It was a close, exciting girls basketball game when the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers hosted the Fairmont Cardinals on Tuesday night.
In the end, BEA prevailed with a 44-37 victory.
"We were not real sharp on defense in the first half, but really picked it up in the second half," Buc coach Al Cue says. "We did a good job of limiting their chances by rebounding well."
Krista Hassing is confronted by a Fairmont player.
BEA either led, or the score was tied, all through the first half.
The Bucs were behind only one time, that was at the end of that opening stanza.
After the game was tied three times at 2-2, 6-6 and 8-8, BEA kept regaining the lead, sometimes by as many as five points.
But, after enjoying an 18-13 advantage, the Bucs saw the Cards come back to tie the game a fourth time at 18-all.
After the fifth tie of the half, at 20-20, Fairmont scored a basket to take their first lead of the half, 22-20, into the locker room.
The Cards expanded the lead to four as the second half began, up 24-20, while the Bucs kept missing several shot attempts.
BEA finally came back to tie it at 24-all on baskets by Camille Driscoll and Krista Hassing.
After this sixth tie of the game, the Cards went ahead again, by one, at 25-24.
The Bucs responded with a big 12-0 scoring run, taking a huge 36-25 lead.
BEA continued to keep a lead that stayed around seven to 10 points the rest of the way out, putting the 44-37 win into the score book.
Hassing had another stellar game, finishing with a double-double. She had a game-high 21 points and added 11 rebounds.
In addition, she had seven deflections and five steals.
Driscoll added 11 points to the Bucs' tally, while Sara Warmka had five, Allie Curtis four and Courtney Grandgenett three.
Fairmont was led by Kayla Lardy with 12 points and Shannon Christianson with 10. As a team, BEA shot 40 percent from the field, going 17 of 42. They were 9 of 14 from the free-throw line, 64 percent.
Fairmont shot 31 percent from the field, connecting on 10 of 32 attempts. The Cards were 16 of 20 from the line for an 80 percent clip.
Both teams only hit one 3-pointer each during the game.
The Bucs had 14 steals to the Cards eight, and 16 turnovers to their 24.
"It was a good effort overall," Cue says. "Hopefully, we can use it as good springboard for the postseason."
The Bucs take their 18-5 overall season record (5-5 in the South Central Conference) into postseason play.