After slow start, girls down Rebels
Although they stumbled coming out of the gate, the host Blue Earth Area girls were able to regain their footing and go on to defeat their cross-county rival USC Rebels 60-40 in basketball action Tuesday night.
Leading 4-0, USC made it 6-0 when they grabbed an offensive rebound and put it in the hoop.
This prompted a quick timeout by Bucs coach Al Cue who, obviously was not happy with the girls’ play so far, met the girls on the floor and kept them there during the timeout.
They apparently got the message as they scored the next 12 points, taking a 12-6 lead.
Jackie Klinkner got things going as she beat her defender off the dribble and took it in for a layup. The basket allowed the Bucs to get into their full-court press and Klinkner promptly came up with a steal leading to a basket and free throw by Hayley Pirsig.
USC fared no better on their next attempt to break the press as Klinkner continued her thievery. This time Kate Hassing was the beneficiary as she was fouled while making a lay up.
A free throw completed the conventional 3-point play and gave the Bucs an 8-6 lead.
Following a turnover by USC on the other end of the court, the Bucs broke the Rebel’s press with Hassing getting the easy bucket.
Hassing completed the Buc’s 12-0 run on their next possession. She went to the hoop after snaring an offensive rebound, was fouled and made both free throws.
A three by the Rebel’s Clara Christenson broke the visitors drought and brought them within three points at 12-9. The score would remain close with the Bucs holding the lead until the 5:08 mark when another Christenson three put the Rebels up by two at 25-23.
The Bucs responded with a 9-2 run to take a 32-27 lead into the locker room as the first half ended.
Second half play saw the Bucs build on the momentum they had gained at the end of the first half as they worked to extend their lead.
A steal by Ashley Olson – who moved the ball ahead to Hassing who forwarded it to Alicia Rorman – resulted in Rorman making a trip to the foul line and a USC timeout.
Rorman’s two free throws gave the Bucs their first double digit lead of the night at 41-31 with 14:11 to go in the game.
The successful free throws allowed the Bucs to get into their press and they made the most of it. A pass deflection at mid-court by Hassing went to Rorman. She hit Hassing, who was streaking for the basket, for an easy layup and a 12 point lead. Following two Rebel buckets that narrowed the gap to eight points, Olson burned the nets with consecutive shots from behind the arc, giving the Bucs a 14-point cushion.
A turn around jumper by Hassing and a Pirsig drive gave the Bucs an 18 point 53-35 lead and led to another USC time out with 8:50 remaining.
The Rebels were unable to make a run at the Bucs and Olson’s three with 5:23 left in the game gave the Bucs a 58-39 lead. The reserves started to enter the game.
The Bucs and the Rebels had met earlier in the season in the St. Clair tournament with the Rebels coming out on top 58-46.
“They (the Rebels) didn’t shoot as well tonight,” commented Cue. “Our press was able to force some turnovers tonight and that gave us some easy baskets.”
Hassing led all scorers with 16 points followed by Olson who tallied all 12 of her points in the second half. Pirsig came up one point short of double figures with nine, while Klinkner added eight.
The Bucs did an outstanding job at the free throw line as they shot over 75 percent, making 15 of 19.
A slight edge in rebounding went to the Bucs who pulled down 30 boards to the Rebels’ 29. Klinkner led the way with nine rebounds and Hassing pulling down seven.