Mustangs down Bucs for third place
The Jackson County Central Huskies cruised to a 64-42 victory over the United South Central Rebels Wednesday night, winning the championship of the Blue Earth Area Boys Holiday Tournament.
In the first game of the evening, Granada-Huntley-East Chain defeated the host Buccaneers of Blue Earth Area, 78-51, to claim third place.
JCC 64, USC 42
With two of their starters battling the flu and unable to play, the Rebels still made a valiant stab at keeping up with the powerful Huskies, but trailed all evening.
JCC built up a 10-point lead early, staying ahead 18-8, 20-10 and 28-18. They were up 32-25 at the half.
The Rebels cut the lead to seven in the first part of the second half, at 36-29, but they could never get over the hump. The Huskies built up the lead to a final 64-42.
Ty Schwarting led the Huskies with 20 points, while Nolan Luhman tossed in 12.
For the Rebels, Trey Allis led the way with 12 points, Chris Melby added nine, Cole Stencel six and Jason Huper five.
GHEC 78, BEA 51
The Granada-Huntley-East Chain Mustangs used a devastating three-man trap that forced numerous turnovers which were transformed into points. They jumped out to an early lead, then cruised to a big victory over the host Blue Earth Area Buccaneers.
GHEC quickly led 16-9. A 3-pointer by the Bucs’ Riley Holmseth cut the lead to five at 28-23, but the Mustangs immediately drained a trey of their own.
In fact, long range bombs were raining out of the gym ceiling all night, as the Bucs made eight of them, and the Mustangs six.
BEA’s Sam Lee made a traditional three-point play to cut the lead to 32- 26, but it was immediately followed by another Mustang trey.
GHEC made a third type of three-point play when they were fouled on a three-point shot attempt. GHEC drained all three free throws for a 38-26 lead near the end of the first half.
Just as the half ended, the Mustangs completed an unusual four-point play, when Brandon Meester sank a 3-pointer and was fouled, then nailed the free throw.
That gave the Mustangs a commanding 43-26 advantage at the mid-game buzzer.The Bucs got the first three points of the second half, making the score 43-29, but the ‘Stangs peeled off 13 unanswered points to go up 57-29. A 3-pointer by Brady Anderson finally broke the drought.
GHEC continued to use full court pressure in the second half, building up the lead to 35 points at one point, with the score at 75-40.
Using a couple of more threes by Anderson, BEA outscored GHEC 11-3 in the final minutes. That made a small dent in the Mustangs lead, with the final score 78-51.
Anderson led the Bucs in the scoring column with 14, including his four threes. Holmseth had three 3-pointers and 11 points, while Taylor Owen added eight points.
Kole Kristensen led the Mustangs with 16 points, Meester and Tanner Nawrocki each added 15.
The Bucs committed 21 fouls, enabling the Mustangs to try 30 free throws. They sank 20 of them. Meanwhile, BEA only made 5 of 9 from the line.
Buc coach Gary Holmseth expressed disappointment over the results of the two games, but says he still expects the team to gel and improve.