Boys go 2-0 for the week
Blue Earth Area’s strong inside play was too much for the Maple River Eagles as the Bucs came away with a 61-47 win at Mapleton Tuesday night.
Garrett Anderson scored 19 points and collected 10 rebounds and Nick Lee added 18 points. Charlie Garlick pulled down four offensive rebounds as the Bucs held a 35-20 rebounding edge.
“Our physicality was the difference,” says Head Coach Gary Holmseth. “We played hard, we played physical and we were aggressive on both ends of the court.”
The Bucs demonstrated that aggressive play right from the start as Lee muscled a shot inside the lane for the game’s first points as he was fouled. Although he missed the free throw, the tone had been set for the contest.
Garlick’s tenacity led to BEA’s next points as he fought to keep the ball alive on the offensive boards which led to an Anderson bucket that tied the game at four all.
The Bucs began to take control of the game as Nate Carr’s steal and basket ignited a 9-0 run to put the Bucs up 13-4.
Carr scored six of the nine points with two of his baskets coming off steals on the Eagle’s end of the court that ended in layups.
Maple River (15-7), who came into the game with a four-game losing streak, struggled to put points on the board — missing their outside shots and finding the going tough when they took the ball inside.
The Bucs stretched their lead to a 16-point margin with 33 seconds remaining in the first half. The Eagles finished the half with two free throws to make it 33-19 in favor of BEA.
The Bucs, winners of five straight and 11 of their last 13 games, saw their lead cut to eight points in the opening minutes of the second half.
The Eagles’ Jacob Malakowsky scored after coming up with the ball following a scramble underneath the basket and Cole Minks got another quick bucket when the Eagles stole the Bucs’ inbounds pass.
Carr got the Bucs going again with a drive across the lane and Anderson’s bucket underneath put the lead back to 12 points at 37-25.
The Eagles got no closer than 10 points, while the Bucs largest lead of the game was 17 points.Carr joined Anderson and Lee with a double-digit performance with 12 points. In addition to Anderson’s points and rebounds, his defense resulted in drawing two charging fouls as the Eagle players tried to drive the lane.
One negative for the Bucs was their free throw shooting, making only 14 of 26 attempts for 54 percent.
The Bucs record improved to 13-7 overall and to 6-1 within their sub-section as they work to gain a high seed and home court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
BEA 77, WEM 63
It was a battle of two teams with similar records but contrasting styles of play as Blue Earth Area (11-7) hosted the Waterville-Elysian-Morris-town Buccaneers (12-7) on Feb. 14.
Although BEA held the lead through most of the contest, it wasn’t until the final five minutes they were able to pull away for a 77-63 victory.
The teams traded leads in the early going until BEA put together a 9-2 run that took them from a 7-6 deficit to a 15-9 lead.
Brady Anderson got things started when he found Garrett Anderson underneath for a basket.
Nate Carr then went coast-to-coast for a layup and then scored two more on a baseline drive to put the hometown up 12-9.
Corey Liebl added a three-pointer for the Bucs to stretch the lead to 15-9 with 10:27 remaining in the half.
WEM then outscored the BEA 10-4 over the next three minutes to pull into a 19-19 tie.
Once again the teams traded baskets with WEM finally gaining a 26-25 lead with under six minutes left until halftime.
Anderson scored seven of his team’s next 11 points as BEA took a 36-26 lead at the 1:56 mark before settling for a 37-28 half time lead.
The home team was unable to shake the visiting Bucs as the visitors cut a 12-point deficit in half with two quick threes.
BEA was able to maintain a six- to nine- point margin until WEM, trailing 48-39, went on a 9-0 run to tie the game with 7:53 left in the contest.
Nick Lee’s jumper gave BEA a lead they would not surrender, although the drama was not over as Anderson picked up his fourth foul with just over four minutes left and the subsequent free throws pulled WEM to within three points, 55-52.
However, BEA maintained their poise and Riley Holmseth’s three-pointer gave his team a nine-point lead with 2:30 remaining.
Anderson returned to the game and took a feed from Carr to push the maroon and gold’s lead to double-digits, 67-56.
In the closing minute of play Anderson added a dunk to his team-leading 21-point performance, and his 14 rebounds gave him a double-double.
Lee finished with 16 points, Carr with 14 and Holmseth with 12. Charlie Garlick added eight points for his best outing of the year.
BEA made it to the free throw line 24 times and made 14.