The Blue Earth Area girls basketball team kept fans on the edge of their seats twice.
The No. 4-seeded Buccaneers hosted the United South Central Rebels on Tuesday, Feb. 26 in a sub-section quarterfinal showdown.
The home team won, 60-56, but they found an exciting way to earn that victory. The two teams sent the game into double overtime to decide which would advance in the playoffs.
"We had some great moments in this game and some not very good ones," Buc coach Al Cue says.
BEA started the game with control of the ball, which they used in their favor. Jenna Stevermer sank the first basket for the Bucs.
Whitney Pirsig followed her lead and scored from under the basket and put BEA?in an early 4-0 lead.
The Rebels' Amanda Allis fouled Krista Hassing in the process and gave the Bucs two free shots of which she made one.
Taylor Schultz of USC?rebounded the foul shot and sank the first three-pointer of the game. Allis followed up with a basket of her own, matching the score 5-5.
A couple of baskets later, Schultz rebounded and made another effortless three-point shot.
The teams exchanged basket for basket again, keeping the game fairly even until another Rebel player found a sweet spot for a three-point shot, driving them to a 13-9 lead.
The Bucs responded quickly with a two-point shot which resulted in Hassing being fouled by Schultz.
Hassing had two at the line she missed the first and sank the second. The Bucs regained possession of the ball and made another basket. This tied the score, 13-13.
With just two minutes left in the first half, the Rebels pulled ahead with a two-pointer. Janessa Jahnke retaliated with a shot from right under the basket, keeping the score tied.
However, as the remaining time on the scoreboard counted down, Schultz managed to sink not one but two additional three-point shots.
This ended the first half with USC in the lead, 21-15.
"In the first half, we didn't defend their perimeter shooters well and they made us pay, making five three-pointers,"?coach?Cue says. "We covered them a little better in the second half."
The Rebels continued their three-point streak and started the second half with one made by Tara Bauman.
However, the Bucs didn't stand back. They made two consecutive three-pointers and two baskets which put them in the lead, 25-24.
After that point, the two teams managed to keep only a couple points distance between each other in either direction.
It wasn't until near the end of the second half that things started to heat up again.
Paige Darrington sank a basket for the Bucs, putting them ahead, 40-34.
USC made two foul shots and a basket to close the gap and bump the score to 40-38.
The Bucs made the way down to their basket, but those efforts were cut short when Anissa Janzig of the Rebels grabbed the ball and took it down the court for a two pointer.
The game was tied again 40-40, until Hassing sank a shot. Then, with just :49 left in the game, USC's Lizzy Leland made a basket to send the game into overtime.
Both teams got the most out of those four minutes of overtime as they could.
The Rebels pulled ahead first with a two-pointer. But the Bucs responded quickly with one of their own. This continued three times from each team.
Then, Janzig of USC was fouled and she made both shots from the free-throw line. This put the Rebels ahead, 50-46, with just :38 left in overtime.
Hassing didn't waste any time and made a three-point shot.
Taylor Grandgenett fouled a Rebs player who had two shots at the line. She missed one and sank the second putting the score to 51-49.
Then, with just eight seconds left, it looked like USC?had the victory, but the Bucs weren't done playing yet. Stevermer sank a basket before time ran out, sending the game into double overtime with a score of 51-51.
The next four minutes consisted of many shots from the foul line, and neither team could sneak ahead.
The clock counted down from 1:00 and the game was 56-55. Hassing managed to snatch the ball from her opponent, take it down the court and sink a basket.
Then, Darrington was given two shots from the foul line. She made both and put the Bucs ahead, 59-56.
She was fouled again and had two shots. She missed the first one but made the second. The clock ran out and the Bucs earned the victory, 60-56.
The Bucs and Rebels both had 25 rebounds. BEA?had 15 on offense and 10 on defense and USC?had six on offense and 19 on defense.
The Rebels were 13 of 20 with their baskets for a 65 percent accuracy, 7 of 18 with their three pointers and 9 of 17 from the free-throw line.
The Bucs were 20 of 47 from the field, 3 of 15 for three-point shots and 11 of 25 from the foul line.
Hassing racked up 26 points for the Bucs, nine baskets, one three pointer and five free-throw shots.
"Krista came to life in the overtimes, scoring 12 of her 26 points,"?Cue says.
She also had 12 rebounds and eight steals.
Stevermer scored 14 points. She was 5 of 9 from the field, 1 of 4 for three pointers and 1 of 3 at the foul line.
"Jenna played a very solid game all around,"?the Bucs coach says. "And, freshman Paige Darrington came in and made some huge free throws in overtime."
She brought in seven points, 2 of 2 from the field and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line.
The Bucs will advance on to play New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva on Friday, March 1 at Mankato East High School.
St. Peter 54, BEA 35
The Blue Earth Area girls basketball team traveled to St. Peter to make up a postponed game on Saturday, Feb. 23.
However, the Buccaneers didn't see the successful outcome they had hoped for, and lost by a score of 54-35.
The Saints were accurate with their shots and made a lot of attempts, which is why the Bucs fell short.
St. Peter was 10 of 22 from the field, 6 of 18 with their three-point attempts and 16 of 24 from the foul line.
The Bucs also took a lot of shots but weren't as successful in scoring.
They made 13 of 50 two-point shots, 2 of 6 three pointers and 3 of 19 from the free-throw line.
However, BEA had 13 steals and 17 turnovers while St. Peter only had 11 steals but turned the ball over 24 times.
The Bucs also grabbed a total of 25 rebounds, 15 on offense and 10 on defense.
St. Peter grabbed 30 rebounds, nine on offense and 21 on defense.
Krista Hassing led the Bucs in scoring. She racked up a total of 15 points with seven baskets and one free-throw shot.
She also had five rebounds, five steals and one assist.
Kaitlyn Olsen brought in six points for BEA. She sank one basket, was 1 for 2 with her three pointers and had one foul shot.
Taylor Grandgenett also scored six points. She had one basket, one three pointer and one free throw.
Paige Darrington, Janessa Jahnke and Chelsea Owen were the only other scorers for BEA. Darrington had four points, Jahnke had two and Owen two.
Although she didn't bring in any points, Whitney Pirsig grabbed four rebounds for the Bucs, two on offense and two on defense, and also had two steals.