Boys clip Bluejays
Although the Bucs got off to a slow start, they kept their poise and recovered from an early 14-point deficit to come back and defeat the visiting Bluejays 57-44.
“We need to shoot better and get three guys in double figures,” were Coach Gary Holmseth comments as the Bucs prepared to take on second-place conference foe Waseca on Feb. 6.
“It’s not the points we’re giving up that’s hurting us,” Holmseth adds. “We’re giving up the fewest points of all the teams in our sub-section.”
Along the way the Bucs fulfilled their coaches’ wishes, as three players hit the double figure mark and the defense did its job.
Waseca, which entered the game trailing Fairmont by just one game for the SCC lead, looked to bury the Bucs early, jumping out to a 16-2 lead.
In addition to the 14 point deficit facing the Bucs, Nick Lee picked up two early fouls with only 5:30 runoff the game clock.
Garrett Anderson started the comeback with a conventional 3-point play at the 9:08 mark. A basket off of an offensive rebound by Lee and a drive to the bucket by Nate Carr cut Waseca’s lead in half as the Bucs pulled to within seven at 16-9.
A pull-up jumper by Lee narrowed the margin to five and then Carr hit Lee on a backdoor cut for an easy basket to close the gap to three points.
The Bluejays broke their drought, hitting a basket to put their lead back to five at 18-13 — but they had not stopped the Bucs’ momentum.
Carr made a pair of free throws and a turn-around jumper to pull the Bucs within one. He then finished off a fast break with a pass to Anderson who grabbed the ball in the air and laid it in to give the Bucs their first lead of the night at 19-18. With under four minutes to go in the half, they would not trail again.
The Bluejays managed to tie the score twice before half time but the Bucs finished the first half on top 25-23.
In their earlier meeting this season, Waseca came from behind to hand the Bucs a defeat. The boys in maroon and gold would have none of that this time around as they built their 2-point half time lead into a 19-point lead with 2:30 to go in the game.
Lee did much of the damage in the second half. After not scoring a basket in the opening nine minutes of the final stanza, Lee poured in 13 points over the next eight minutes as the Bucs pulled away from their opponents.
While BEA benefited from improved offensive play, a closer look shows the defense held Waseca to just 11 points through the first 16 minutes of the second half.
Lee led all scorers with 21 points, Carr had 14 and Anderson finished with 12. The Bucs made 20 two-pointers, one 3-pointer, and were 14 of 22 from the free throw line. The visitors hit 12 two-pointers, connected on five 3-pointers and were 5 of 13 from the charity stripe.
“We are undefeated when we shoot more free throws than our opponent,” says Holmseth.
Anderson led the Bucs in rebounding with 10 and Lee pulled down six as they out rebounded the Bluejays 28-20.