The Blue Earth Area girls basketball team could not overcome the Jackson County Central Huskies hot start on Feb. 28 in their opening Section 3AA South Subsection matchup in Jackson.
The Buccaneers fell 55-46 to JCC ending their season with a 9-14 mark, (3-7 SCC).
BEA last faced JCC on Feb. 11 in Blue Earth.
Despite a season-high 24 points, 14 rebounds and four steals from Kaitlyn Olsen, the maroon and gold fell 57-52.
JCC converted on all four of their first half three-pointers and shot 12 of 20 from the floor (60 percent), on their way to a 33-22 halftime lead.
"The girls played very hard in this game," coach Al Cue says. "JCC just shot the ball really well."
Kaitlyn Olsen led the way for the Buccaneers with 11 points, five rebounds and four steals.
Paige Darrington also scored in double figures, contributing 10 points and eight rebounds.
In Jenna Stevermer's last game wearing a maroon and gold jersey, she scored nine points, grabbed six rebounds and made two three-pointers.
"We made a great run at them in the second half and cut their lead to one," Cue says. "Unfortunately, we couldn't get ahead. JCC made enough free throws at the end to hold us off."
The Bucs struggled from the line. As a team, they only made 5 of 15 in the game (2 of 11 in the second half).
"We had a lot of fun this year. The girls worked hard every day in practice and got along very well," Cue says.
As the year went on, the team improved on the style of play, according to Cue.
"I thought the girls progressed with their composure on the floor," he says. "They learned how to handle different situations and to remain more calm under pressure. We also try to run a lot of different sets and right at the end of the year the changing from one to another seemed to go more smoothly."
Overall, coach Cue believes the season was a success, but not in the traditional way.
"We didn't get as many wins as we would have liked, but there are other ways to measure success," he explains. "I knew this would be a team that would give great effort all the time and have a lot of fun in the process. They lived up to those expectations."
Next year, after only losing one senior (Stevermer), the Buccaneers will be a year older and a year wiser, according to Cue.
"Nine of the 10 girls who played in varsity games will be back," Cue says. "Hopefully, they will work on their game in the off season. I expect us to be a much improved team next season."