Bucs defeat Canby in second round action
Blue Earth Area advanced to the championship game of the St. Clair Holiday Classic with a come-from-behind 46-37 victory over the Canby Lancers on Wednesday night.
The Lancers had come into the game against the Bucs with a 6-1 record. They had defeated the United South Central Rebels 47-36 in their first game of the tournament.
“I thought we played real well, except for that stretch in the first half,” says Bucs coach Al Cue.
That “stretch” in the first half lasted more than seven minutes. During that time, the Bucs scored only two points as they watched an 11-7 lead become a 23-13 deficit.
Camille Driscoll had gotten the Bucs off to a fast start, as she drilled her first two shots from three-point range. Sara Warmka and Ashley Olson combined to score the Bucs’ next basket. Warmka stole the ball and passed it ahead to Olson, who gave it back to Warmka for the lay up.
Olson went solo for the Bucs’ next two points. She pocketed one of her five steals and converted the layup to give BEA a 10-4 lead.
A series of easy baskets turned the momentum in favor of the Lancers and gave them a 10-point lead late in the opening half. Olson cut the deficit to eight with a drive to the basket.
Canby played for the final shot of the half, but Driscoll stole the ball and forwarded it ahead to Olson who was fouled going in for the layup with five seconds on the clock. Olson sank both free throws making the halftime score 23-17 in favor of the Lancers.
The two teams traded baskets to open the second half. Olson struck again, first with a drive to the basket and then with a trey that pulled the Bucs to within one point of the Lancers at 25-24.
Riley Nordgaard, the Lancers’ outstanding junior guard, was forced to leave the game with an injury to her ankle with 14:32 showing on the clock. The Bucs defense had held her to four first half points. She made an attempt to come back later but didn’t last long and was done for the night with six points.
Canby played well in spite of Nordgaard’s absence and held a five point lead at 30-25. The Bucs finally tied the score at 31 when Jenny Smith found Warmka cutting to the basket for the layup.
BEA continued to apply defensive pressure and started drawing fouls as they worked the ball inside. The combination of inside shots and free throws gave the Bucs a 39-31 lead. The Lancers were able to narrow the gap to six points a couple of times but free throws by Warmka and Olson helped ice the game and give the Bucs the nine-point win.
Olson finished the game making all six of her free throws and led all scorers with 17 points. Warmka tallied nine points while dishing out four assists. Driscoll finished with eight points and matched Olson with five steals. The Bucs were credited with 16 steals for the night.
Blue Earth Area out-rebounded Canby 35-17. Sydney Ristau led the way for the Bucs with nine rebounds, Driscoll snagged seven rebounds including five offensive boards.
Both teams committed a lot of turnovers with the Bucs totaling 20 and the Lancers 22.
The victory brings the Bucs back to .500 for the season with three wins and three losses.
Details on the championship game will be in next week’s Register.