Dream turns into nightmare
One-point lead, 51-50. Eight seconds on the clock, in overtime. A trip to the State Tournament on the line.
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneer girls team looked poised to make it a repeat – win the Section Tourna-ment and go back to State for the second year in a row.
Unfort-unately, the St. Peter Saints had other ideas, and their star guard, AnnMarie Brown, was able to take the inbound pass, go the length of the court and score, with just 2.6 seconds left on the clock.
Saints win, 52-51.
It was quite a game, with both teams going on scoring runs, and the score tied at the end of regulation, 47-47.
That tie came on a questionable foul called on the Bucs’ Kate Hassing when the Saints’ Brown had tried a 3-pointer.
BEA was up by three at the time, 47-44, with 31.5 seconds left in regulation before the three try.
Brown went to the line for three free-throw attempts and made all three. The third was also the 1,000th point of her career.
“I thought the girls played their hearts out,” Buc head coach Al Cue says. “This was one of the best high school games I have been associated with.”
The Bucs started the game with an 8-0 burst. A 3-pointer by Meghan Mittlestadt upped the lead to 13-2 and the Bucs looked to be in control.
However, the Saints went on a 12-0 run and took the lead at 14-13.
From there the lead changed hands several times until the halftime buzzer, when St. Peter was up by one, 21-20.
In the second half, the Saints increased their lead over the Bucs, finally getting ahead by 10 at 34-24, with 12:15 left in the game.
At that point the Bucs mastered a come-back, going on an 8-0 run. Two baskets by Kate Hassing and one by Camille Driscoll put the score at 34-32, Saints.
That is when BEA’s Hayley Pirsig decided to take over the game. She scored the Bucs next 12 points.
Pirsig’s last two put the Bucs up by four, 42-38, with four minutes left in the game.
A free throw by Ashley Olson made it five at 43-38 with 2:39 left. She made BEA’s next four points, all on free throws, until the score stood at 47-44.
That was when Brown sunk her three free throws to tie it up and send it to overtime.
Two Saints fouled out in the overtime period.
The Bucs got two points from free throws by Pirsig to go up by two, 49-47. St. Peter tied it back up at 49-all.
BEA was up 50-49, then trailed 51-50. Olson free throws put the Bucs ahead 52-51 with only seconds left, but instead of a one-point win, it became a one-point loss with the coast-to-coast St. Peter score.
“We had our chances and couldn’t capitalize,” Coach Cue says. “St. Peter played well.”Cue adds that the two teams are very evenly matched. In the three games the Bucs and Saints played this season, the total score was BEA 157, St. Peter 157.
The Bucs were led by Pirsig who tallied 16 for the maroon and gold. Olson added 15 and Hassing 10.
Hassing led in rebounds with eight, while Alicia Rorman added five and Olson four. Both teams had 29 rebounds.
The Bucs had 16 turnovers to the Saints 12.
Cue had a lot of praise for this group of Buccaneer girls.
“The seniors are to be commended,” he says. “They have accomplished a lot in their three years of varsity play – they won two Holiday Tournaments, two SCC Championships, two Sub-Section titles and one Section championship.”
Over the last three years the Bucs have sported a post-season record of 9-3.
“More than all that, they – and all the underclassmen – have always carried themselves in a manner that represented themselves, the team and Blue Earth Area High School in the highest regard,” Cue says.
“BEA has a 35 year tradition of excellent basketball, and I feel this team and these seniors have continued the tradition very well,” Cue adds. “These seniors will be sorely missed.”
Those seniors are; Alicia Rorman, Morgan Dickman, Kate Hassing, Mandy Warmka, Meghan Mittelstadt, Hayley Pirsig, Mary Johnson and Olivia Skaare.
That is a big crew to lose, but the Buc head coach says not to worry.
“The underclassmen are ready, and capable, of continuing the tradition here at BEA next season,” he says.