Girls come from behind – twice
Blue Earth Area found themselves down by 13 points at half time against the Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial (LCWM) Knights in girls basketball last Monday night.
The Bucs were looking to get off to a fast start in the second half to try and get back into the game. Instead it was the host Knights who scored the first six points of the second stanza, putting the Bucs down by 19 points with just over 14 minutes left in the game.
Done. No Chance. Not a prayer.
Not so fast! Whatever was said in the huddle during a Bucs time out at the 14:07 mark must have worked. The Bucs, who seemed so totally over matched and outplayed during the first 22 minutes of the contest, came back to outscore the Knights 31-10, erasing the 19 point deficit and coming away with a 49-47 victory.
“We were terrible,” explains Blue Earth Area mentor Al Cue. “We were terrible on offense, we were terrible on defense – for 22 minutes. We lacked intensity, we need to play better. That being said, give the girls credit, they didn’t quit and they overcame a 19 point deficit.”
The Knights were able to score the majority of their points in the opening half from close range, as the normally stingy Bucs defense got beaten inside, both in the half court offense and in the transition game. Karina Schroeder, the Knights 6-foot center, was the chief culprit as she scored three baskets and made 6 of 10 free throws for 12 first half points.
Ashley Olson’s four treys and Hayley Pirsig’s two baskets, gave the Bucs their first 16 points.
With 11.7 seconds left in the first half, the Knights’ Schroeder missed two free throws. The Bucs grabbed the rebound and moved the ball ahead quickly to Ashley Olson who found Morgan Dickman alone under the basket for two points. The Bucs still went into half time trailing 31-18.
So, four days after overcoming a 14-point second half deficit to defeat Waseca, the Bucs found themselves down by 13 points with 18 minutes to go.
It looked as if it might be a rout in the Knights’ favor when the Bucs found themselves down by 19 points just under four minutes into the final stanza.
Then came the time out and the intensity the Bucs had been lacking.
Alicia Rorman started the rally with a basket. The Bucs, who didn’t have much success with their full court defense in the first half, tried it once more. Ashley Olson came up with a steal and dished it to Kate Hassing for the basket.
The Bucs came up with another steal and Camille Driscoll converted 1 of 2 free throws to cut the lead to 14 points at 37-23.
LCWM’s Schroeder made two free throws, but Dickman countered with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 13.
With just over 10 minutes left in the game, the Knights were able to increase their lead back to 15 points at 43-28.
Back-to-back treys by Meghan Mittelstadt and Dickman cut the lead to single digits at 43-34 with 9:15 remaining. It was clear the Bucs now had the momentum. Pirsig added a free throw and the Bucs trailed by eight.
Next, it was an offensive rebound and put back by Mittelstadt, the shortest player on the court, that brought the Bucs within six. Another offensive rebound, this one by Pirsig, led to a left-handed shot for a basket and the Bucs had trimmed the lead to four with 8:07 showing on the game clock.
The Knights continued to have woes on offense. Meanwhile, Pirsig moved away from the basket to hit a 15-footer and Olson followed that with a baseline drive and layup that tied the score at 43 with 5:59 left in the game.
Pirsig struck again from just inside the arc to give the Bucs their first lead since the opening minutes of the game. She wasn’t done. On the Bucs’ next possession Pirsig got the ball inside the paint about 12 feet from the basket. With the defender overplaying her to her right and with nobody to pass to, Pirsig switched to her left hand and put the ball in the hoop for a 47-43 Bucs lead with 2:45 remaining.
The Knights finally broke their eight minute drought with two free throws. Olson answered with another drive to make it 49-45 with 1:27 left in the game.
It was back to a two-point game when a weird carom resulted in an easy inside basket for the Knights with 1:11 on the game clock.
Neither team would score in the final minute. The Bucs came up empty on two free throw attempts, but the Knights were unable to get off a quality shot on their end of the court – and the Bucs claimed the 49-47 victory.
Both teams had come into the contest with just three losses. The Knights had 15 wins while Blue Earth Area had 13.
Ashley Olson was the leading scorer for BEA with 16 points followed by Haley Pirsig with 13 and Morgan Dickman with 10.
The Bucs were out rebounded by the Knights by a 36-24 margin. LCWM committed 20 turnovers to BEA’s 15, while the Bucs came up with 14 steals to the Knights’ seven.