BEA in Sub-Section finals
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers got the first score of the Class 2AA Sub-Section South semi-final game against the USC Rebels on Thursday night. Garrett Anderson hit two free throws to put BEA up 2-0.
The Bucs led the rest of the game, taking a 69-48 win over the visiting Rebels, and advancing to the Sub-Section Championship game set for Monday night, March 15.
The Bucs, the No. 1 seed in the south Sub-Section, face the No. 2-seeded Maple River Eagles at Minnesota State University, Mankato, at 8 p.m.
Although the Bucs were ahead the whole game, it stayed close early.
BEA was ahead by one, 8-7, when Brady Anderson hit a 3-pointer. That sparked a 14-2 run for the Bucs, who soon were up 22-11.
The score was 22-16 after a 3-pointer by the Rebels when the Bucs went on another big run to finish off the half.
A 13-0 run put BEA ahead 35-16. Nate Carr and Garrett Anderson put up most of the scores, with Carr driving the lane on fast breaks, and Anderson taking hook shots from the right side. Brady Anderson added another 3-pointer during the run as well.
The score at the break was 39-18.
BEA’s scoring binge slowed down for a while in the second half, while USC increased their shots. Both teams scored an identical 30 points in the second stanza.
A slam dunk by 6-foot-7 USC sophomore sensation Kyle Bauman got the Rebel crowd back in the game, and made the score 43-26. It was followed by a Rebel trey to cut it to 46-29. An alley-oop pass to Bauman, who put in a backwards layup, added two more for USC and the score was 46-31.
USC made another run, using three Buc turnovers, and the score was 53-39 with six and a half minutes left.
The Bucs did not relent, however, and expanded their lead. They were up by21 at 62-41 with three and a half minutes left. Their biggest lead, 69-46 came with two minutes left.
The game ended with the Rebels trying a long-range three, and missing, and the score was 69-48 at the buzzer.
“I thought our defensive tenacity was the best it has been all season,” Buc head coach Gary Holmseth says. “From the beginning of the game to the end.”
Holmseth also had praise for the Rebels.
“Give USC credit,” he says, “They did not roll over after we got ahead. They are well coached and rebound the ball so well.”
The Buc coach thought Carr and Nick Lee did a great job of defending USC’s two top scorers, Bauman and Riley Swearingen.
“And yet, Bauman still scored 19 points,” Holmseth says. “He is a great player. He will probably be the top player in southern Minnesota next year.”
But, the night belonged to the Bucs’ Nate Carr. He led all scorers with 26 points, plus he had seven deflections and five steals.
“He was our top scorer on offense, but he was an absolute warrior on defense,” Holmseth says. “And two days earlier, in the Kasson game, he was not feeling well. I don’t know where he gets all that energy.”
Besides Carr’s 26, the Bucs got 18 points from Garrett Anderson, 12 from Brady Anderson, and eight from Nick Lee.
The Bucs made 22 2-point shots, three 3-pointers and were 16 of 23 from the free throw line, for 70 percent.
Garrett Anderson grabbed seven rebounds, while Lee had seven and also seven assists.
USC was 19 of 59 from the floor and made four of their six free throw attempts.
The Rebels were 2 of 12 from the 3-point range.
BEA had 27 rebounds to USC’s 23. The Rebels had 14 steals to the Bucs nine.