Girls cruise to 71-48 victory over Cyclones
Blue Earth Area broke open a close game early in the second half to defeat the host St. Clair Cyclones 71-48 in the opening game of the St. Clair Holiday Classic Girls Basketball Tournament last Tuesday night.
St. Clair took the early lead behind the hot shooting Nicole Dorn, who scored 15 first-half points for the Cyclones.
Trailing 10-4, the Bucs began to peck away at the lead. Jenny Smith scored off a pick-and-roll play when the defense left her alone for a short jumper. Smith then came right back with a layup to pull the Bucs within two of the Cyclones.
Dorn sandwiched two baskets around a Camille Driscoll trey, making the score 14-11 in favor of the Cyclones.
Two free throws by Sara Warmka and another basket by Smith gave the Bucs their first lead of the night at 15-14. The Cyclones got the lead back with two straight baskets, but the Bucs ran off 10 unanswered points, taking a 25-18 lead.
St. Clair would cut into the Bucs lead, but the maroon and gold would end the first half with a 31-27 advantage.
Warmka was the spark-plug for the Bucs in the early going of the second half. She turned one of her four steals for the night into a layup. On the Bucs’ next possession the 5-foot-8 junior guard put back an offensive rebound for two more of her game-high 17 points. Warmka would score eight of the BEA’s first 11 second-half points, giving her team a 42-32 lead.
The Bucs defense did its part, too. They held St. Clair to just six points during the first 12:25 of the second half. They held Dorn to just one second-half point and also shut down Ashley Thooft, the Cyclones’ 6-foot-3 center. Thooft had scored eight first-half points, but was held scoreless in the second half.
“I told the team during halftime that we needed to clamp down on No. 21 (Dorn), and we had to stop giving them so many layups,” says Bucs mentor Al Cue. “We only allowed them to have four offensive rebounds, which was a positive statistic for us.”
Meanwhile, the Bucs were spreading the scoring around. Twelve different players scored for Blue Earth Area, which improved its record to 2-3.
Besides her four steals, Warmka led the team in scoring with 17 points while doling out three assists.
Jenny Smith came off the bench to score 11 points. Camille Driscoll hit for nine points and Krista Hassing and Courtney Grandgenett each tallied eight. Driscoll also added four assists and a team-leading four rebounds. Ashley Olson contributed six steals and three assists in the winning effort.
The Bucs forced 27 Cyclone turnovers while committing 15 themselves.