Bucs dominate Saints
St. James traveled to Blue Earth last Tuesday looking for their first conference win of the year in girls basketball. The Bucs, who sit at the top of the conference, made sure the Saints left empty handed, defeating them 64-38.
“We didn’t play particularly well in our half court offense,” comments Bucs mentor Al Cue, “but our intensity was good and we were able to get many points off of defensive steals.”
Indeed, the Bucs were able to tally 19 steals for the game as their defensive pressure proved difficult for the Saints to handle.
That defensive pressure got the Bucs off to a quick start, as Ashley Olson and Morgan Dickman got easy buckets off Saints turnovers. Olson added a drive to the bucket and the Bucs were quickly ahead 6-0.
The lead could have been bigger, but the Bucs squandered a couple of opportunities under the bucket and the Saints put together six straight points to tie the game.
Free throws put the Buccaneers ahead for good. They made eight trips to the foul line over the next minute and a half. Unfortunately, they could convert only three of the free throws, but it still put the Bucs up 9-6 with 12:36 remaining in the first half.
A short jumper by Meghan Mittelstadt made it 11-6 before the Saints scored another basket to make it 11-8.
BEA continued to extend the lead. Olson’s traditional 3-point play gave the Bucs a 10 point lead at 19-9 with 7:49 left in the half.
Camille Driscoll accounted for the Bucs’ next five points. She completed a fast break that started with Alicia Rorman moving the ball ahead to Kate Hassing who found Driscoll underneath for the easy basket. Next, Driscoll set up outside the arc and pumped one in that gave the Bucs a 24-12 lead with 4:31 showing on the clock.
A play near the end of the first half exhibited the tenacity the Bucs were playing with. Rylee Wagner and Hassing kept pounding the offensive boards until Hassing was finally able to get a shot to fall. Then, as the Saints were bringing the ball past half court to work for the final shot of the half, Mittelstadt picked the Saints guard with eight seconds left. She scored the easy layup resulting in a BEA 34-18 half time lead.
Olson made sure the Bucs stayed on track in the second half. She hit the first of her two treys to open the half. Following a Saints’ basket, Olson ignited a fast break with a pass to Rorman who advanced it to Pirsig for the easy basket.
A steal and a layup by Olson made it 41-22 four minutes into the second half. Following a St. James free throw, post player Pirsig stepped out and drilled a three pointer to make it a 21 point lead at 44-23.
The Bucs would outscore the Saints 20-15 over the last 12:30 to complete the 26-point victory.
One of the Bucs strengths is the depth of their bench. That was evident tonight in their scoring. Starters Olson and Hassing led the way with 18 and eight points respectively, but reserves held the next four spots. Sidney Ristau finished with seven followed by Driscoll, Mittelstadt, and Wagner with 6 points each.
The Bucs pulled down 30 rebounds for the night and were led by Driscoll with four. They made 8 of 15 shots from the free throw line.
After a 3-3 start, the Bucs have won nine straight and improved their record to 12-3.
“We are definitely shooting the ball better,” explains Coach Cue, “and our full court defense is better and that has led to better shots.”
The Bucs beat Waseca 51-45 on Thursday. Details will be in next week’s Register.