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Girls lose to Saints and Panthers

Team struggles against the taller, more physical, St. Peter squad

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Feb 21, 2021

Somewhere, behind the mask and the hair in front of her face, is BEA forward Eloise Blair, who grabbed the ball away from her opponent from St. Peter.

The St. Peter Saints were simply too big and too strong for the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers to handle when the two teams met for a Big South Conference girls basketball game on Feb. 18, in Blue Earth.

The Saints, who list three players on their roster who are six feet tall, outscored the Bucs 34-14 in the paint to defeat the Bucs by the final score of 57-37. BEA kept the score close during the opening five minutes of the game and trailed by just one point before going scoreless for over five minutes.

Meanwhile, St. Peter began to work the ball inside to their taller players for high-percentage shots.

The strategy worked and soon the Saints had opened up a 23-8 lead

The Bucs found themselves trailing the Saints 32-14 at the half.

BEA got off to a slow start in the second half and St. Peter extended their lead to as many as 24 points.

The two teams’ shooting percentages were very similar but the Saints shot a total of 52 times from the field while the Bucs were only able to get off 29 shots from the field.

BEA struggled from the free throw line where they made only 11 of their 25 attempts.

St. Peter held a 31-29 edge in total rebounds.

McKenna Dutton and Erika Howard were the leading scorers for the Bucs with seven points each. Sophia Keister tallied six points and Lauren Schavey had five. Téa Armstrong and Eloise Blair each finished with four points.

NRHEG 57, BEA 45

The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers girls basketball team traveled to New Richland on Tuesday, Feb. 16, to take on the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers in a non-conference contest. Unfortunately for the Bucs, the Panthers opened a double-digit lead in the first half on their way to a 57-45 victory.

BEA stuck close to NRHEG in the early going but fell behind by as many as 18 points in the first half before rallying in the closing minutes of the opening stanza to trail by 12 points at half time.

The Panthers were leading 4-1 when McKenna made a short baseline jumper to pull the Bucs within one of the home team. NRHEG went up 6-3 before a Cali Beyer shot from behind the arc tied the score at 6-6. The Panthers regained the lead at 8-6 but Arika Howard’s hard work underneath the basket led to a basket to tie the score 8-8.

It was at that point the Panthers went on an 11-0 run to go on top 19-8 and the Bucs did not recover.

BEA did not shoot as well against the Panthers as they have been shooting in recent games. The Bucs shot only 31 percent from 2-point range and 19 percent from 3-point range. Meanwhile the Panthers shot just under 44 percent from inside the arc and 31 percent from outside the arc.

NRHEG also held the edge in rebounding by a 35-30 margin.

Howard led the Bucs in scoring with 12 points. Eloise Blair also reached double figures with 11 points while McKenna Dutton added nine points.

Blair led BEA in rebounds with nine. Howard finished with eight.

The loss dropped the Bucs’ record to 2-6. The Panthers improved to 4-6 with the win.

LCWM 70, BEA 41

Blue Earth Area knew they were facing a tough task when they traveled to Lake Crystal on Thursday night, Feb. 11, for their girls basketball game.

After all, the Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Knights had only lost once this season while piling up seven wins.

The Bucs fought hard, however, and only trailed the Knights by seven points at half time, 28-21.

It was a different story in the second half. LCWM erupted for 42 points in the closing stanza while limiting BEA to only 20 points to claim a 70-41 victory over the Bucs.

Two major factors stood out in the game. LCWM made it to the free-throw line 23 times and made 17 of their shots while BEA only attempted five shots from the charity stripe and made one.

BEA also had a hard time taking care of the ball. The Knights had 15 steals during the game and forced 27 Buccaneer turnovers.

The Maroon and Gold were 14 of 31 from 2-point range while the Knights made 16 of their 27 shots from inside the arc.

LCWM attempted more than twice as many 3-point shots as BEA. The Knights made 16 out of their 27 attempts from long range while the Bucs made only four of their 13 attempts from behind the arc.

Arika Howard was the only Buc player to reach double figures in scoring, finishing with 11. Sophie Keister and Cali Beyer each had six points while McKenna Dutton and Lauren Schavey each chipped in five.

Howard was also the leading rebounder with seven. Schavey and Keister had six each and Dutton added four.

The loss dropped BEA’s record to 2-5. LCWM improved to 8-1.