Bucs fall in Section finals
In a hard-fought, physical game, the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers fell 56-44 to the Jordan Hubmen in the Section 2A, Class AA championship game on Friday, March 19.
The biggest difference in the game at the Taylor Center at Minnesota State University, Mankato, came at the free throw line.
The Bucs were 5 of 8. The Hubmen went to the line 20 times and made 17 of them, for an 85 percent clip.
The 12-point advantage in free throws made accounts for the 12-point margin of victory for the Hubmen.
Rebounding was another key, as BEA was outboarded by Jordan 33-20.
Both teams shot just 43 percent from 2-point range. BEA was 15 of 35, while Jordan was 12 of 28. The Bucs were 3 of 18 from 3-point range, while the Hubmen were 5 of 11.
Those 3-pointers made a difference in the game as well.
The Bucs held a slim 10-8 lead early in the game when the Hubmen hit their first trey to take the lead 11-8, and they never relinquished it.
The game had been tied several times before that first Jordan 3-pointer.
Jordan hit two more threes before the half time buzzer, while the BEA players missed many scoring opportunities.
The Hubmen used some good shooting to build up a 10-point, 29-19 advantage before the first half was over.
In the second stanza, the Bucs were able to cut the lead to four, at 36-32, when Nick Lee hit a 3-pointer. But, Jordan responded with one of their own moments later.
Jared Smith hit a 3-pointer to cut the Jordan lead to 45-39. He hit a second one moments later, cutting the Hubmen’s lead to only three, at 47-44, with three and a half minutes left in the game.Unfortunately, Smith’s second trey was to be the Bucs’ last points in the game.
The Hubmen spent the last minutes of the game hitting free-throws, while the Bucs failed to make any kind of a basket, despite numerous tries.
Nate Carr had another big game for BEA, leading the scoring with 14 points. He also added five rebounds and had five steals.
Lee added 10 points for the Buccaneers, with two rebounds and two assists.
Brady Anderson put eight points on the scoreboard for BEA.
Both Garrett Anderson and Smith contributed six points each. Anderson also led in rebounds with eight.
BEA had nine steals to Jordan’s five. Both teams had a pair of blocked shots.
It was the final game for Buc seniors Jared Smith, Nate Carr, Jordan Lietzke, Alex Cleppe, Nick Lee and Garrett Anderson.
The Bucs ended the season with a 24-5 record.
“The kids played hard, in this game and all year long,” Coach Gary Holmseth says. “We just didn’t get our shots to go tonight.”