Bucs drop opener, 59-42
The Blue Earth Area girls basketball team came up short in their season opener, falling to the Granada-Huntley-East Chain Mustangs by a final score of 59-42.
Leading 24-23 at half time, the Bucs were outscored 36-18 in the second half as they struggled to control Mustang junior center Ashlyn Cegeiske. The six foot post player finished with 19 points to lead all scorers for the game.
Early season jitters seemed evident as the Buc girls found themselves trailing 7-0 before Kate Hassing hit a short jumper to finally put BEA on the scoreboard.
The host Bucs were still down 14-4 when a switch to a man-to-man defense – and an injury temporarily sidelining Mustangs point guard Stephanie Stensland – turned the momentum in the Bucs favor. The pressure created some points off of turnovers.
When Morgan Dickman nailed a three from the left baseline, the Bucs were suddenly within one point with just under five minutes to go in the first half, trailing 16-15.
The Mustangs had increased the lead back to five when Jackie Klinkner made a nice fake, driving around her opponent for an easy layup. Dickman added two free throws to once again pull within one.
The Bucs would get their only lead of the night with no time left on the clock at the end of the first half. With the Mustangs up 23-22, and the Bucs playing for the last shot of the half, Alicia Rorman drew a foul as time expired and sank both free throws for the one point half time lead.
A fast start by the Mustangs in the second half turned their one point deficit into a four point lead that the visitors would not surrender.
Down by seven at 33-26, the Bucs battled back to close within two points two different times at 33-31 and 35-33.
In the end, however, they could not keep pace as the Mustangs gradually pulled away to a six point lead at 45-39 with 6:06 remaining on the clock.
The Bucs would be outscored 14-3 from that point on to give the Mustangs their 17 point victory.
Dickman led the Bucs in scoring with 12 points, followed by Hassing with nine and Klinkner with eight.
The Buccaneer girls made eight of their 14 free throws while the Mustangs were 12 of 29 from the charity line. The Bucs only shot one free throw in the second half.
Ten different players saw action for Blue Earth Area as the team awaits the return of Ashley Olson and Meghan Mittelstadt from off season knee injuries.