Eagles slip by Bucs, 50-44
There is an old adage in sports that roughly says if you allow your opponent to “stick around” and not put them away, that opponent might come back and defeat you at the end of the game.
The Blue Earth Area girls basketball team found out the hard way just how true that saying can be, suffering a defeat on their home court to the New Ulm Eagles by the score of 50-44.
The Bucs led for almost 34 of the 36-minute ball game.
However, the Eagles tied the game at 41-41 with 1:58 showing on the clock and then outscored the Bucs 9-3 to close out the game.
Seven of those nine Eagle points came from the free throw line. Their lone basket was scored when Angele Serbus, who led all scorers with 20 points, rebounded her missed free throw and put it in the hoop.
A problem area for the Bucs was their inability to take care of the ball underneath the Eagles’ basket late in the game.
Turnovers led to the Eagles getting the ball close to their basket and when the Bucs fouled, the Eagles made them pay.
New Ulm had great success in getting to the free throw line and they made the most of their opportunities, making 22 of 31 attempts for a 71 percent success rate.
Meanwhile, the Bucs shot only 45 percent from the charity stripe, converting 9 of 20 attempts.
But, perhaps the bigger problem was the number of shots the Bucs missed from close range, which kept them from extending their lead in either half. Too many shots couldn’t find their way through the hoop and that gave the Eagles the chance for their comeback.
This was the first game for the Bucs since winning the St. Clair Holiday Tournament two weeks ago. Weather had forced a couple of games to be canceled but the Bucs seemed to shake off any rustiness in the early going.
Krista Hassing’s two successful free throws put the Bucs on the board first.
A steal by Camille Driscoll and subsequent pass to Sara Warmka for a layup made it 4-0. Following an Eagles’ free throw, Ashley Olson dished out assists to Sydney Ristau and Driscoll for two more baskets and an 8-1 Buc lead.
New Ulm would settle down and pull to within one point of the maroon and gold at 14-13.
The Bucs responded with a 6-2 run to end the half with a 20-15 halftime lead.
The Bucs started the second half much like the first, as Olson and Driscoll combined for five straight points to open up a 25-15 margin over the visitors.
Once again, the Eagles regrouped and closed the gap to two points, trailing 31-29. They took their first lead of the night when Serbus nailed a trey to put the Eagles up 32-31.
Following a time out by the Bucs, Jenny Smith nailed one from outside the arc to put BEA back on top 34-32.
Blue Earth Area would keep the lead at two or four points until Serbus struck again.
This time the junior guard grabbed a defensive rebound and dribbled all the way down the court for a lay up as the Bucs failed to have anyone stop the ball.
The basket brought the Eagles to within one point of the Bucs. Two free throws later the Eagles took the lead for good at 42-41.
Driscoll led the Bucs with 12 points. Joining her in double figures was Ristau with 11 points.
The Bucs made one three point attempt while the Eagles made four.
Krista Hassing pulled down 13 rebounds to lead the Bucs who out-rebounded the Eagles 42-33.
The Bucs recorded nine steals with Olson leading the way with six.
Blue Earth Area is now 0-2 in the conference and 4-4 overall.
This week, the Bucs travel to Southwest Star today, and to Fairmont on Friday.