BEA snaps USC’s win streak
Ashley Olson made 5 of 6 three-point attempts – on her way to scoring 19 points – and the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers defeated the USC Rebels 52-44 in girls basketball action last Tuesday evening.
This was a big game for both teams as they jockeyed for a better seeding in the upcoming sub-section playoffs.
USC entered the game riding a 10-game winning streak and a 15-5 overall record. They hadn’t lost since Dec. 30. Meanwhile, the Bucs came into the game with a 9-6 record and were looking to snap a one game losing streak.
Valerie Sahr, who broke the 1,000 career point barrier in January, put the Rebels on the board first, but Olson answered with the first of her five ‘threes’ to give the Bucs a 3-2 lead.
And, that’s how the first 12 minutes of the game went, punch and counter-punch, with both teams taking turns with the lead, but neither team able to come up with a knock-out punch.
Trailing 18-17, the Bucs’ Camille Driscoll put one through the nets to give BEA a 19-18 lead. A full court press by the Bucs resulted in a half court steal and subsequent lay-up by Driscoll to boost the lead to 21-18.
Sydney Ristau stepped out from her low post position to put one in from the corner of the free throw line, putting BEA up by five. Following a Rebel basket, it was Driscoll hitting her only trey of the night, giving the Bucs a 26-20 lead.
USC would fight back and outscore BEA 6-1 over the final 1:55 of the first half to cut the Bucs’ halftime advantage to one, 27-26.
Olson made sure the Bucs got off to a fast start in the second half. She opened it scoring with another trey and then came up with a nifty assist, giving Riley Wagner an easy basket underneath that put the home town girls ahead 32-26.
USC senior center Kayla Stenzel got free underneath, cutting the Bucs’ lead to four points.
Danielle Koestler added a lay-up to make it a 32-30 game in favor of the maroon and gold.
Olson, however, wasn’t done with her long range sharpshooting. She connected on consecutive shots from behind the arc to put the Bucs up 38-30 and force a Rebel time out with 13:31 to go in the game.
The Rebels came out of the time out to score six straight points and once again they had pulled to within two of the Bucs.
Krista Hassing sandwiched two free throws around a Sydney Ristau basket to stretch the lead back to six points.
Ristau’s basket was especially impressive as she fought to get her own rebound twice, before finally getting the ball through the hoop over the taller USC post players.
A drive by the Rebels’ Kristie Overbo cut the Bucs’ lead to four points at 42-38.
Five straight points by the Bucs gave the hosts their biggest lead of the night at 47-38 with six minutes left in the game.
The Rebels worked the deficit down to six points at 50-44 and forced a Buccaneer turnover at the 2:50 mark. USC’s shot was off the mark and Ristau swept the boards to give BEA the ball.
Another Buc turnover, this time double dribbling, gave the Rebels another chance to cut the lead. Their shot again was off the mark and Olson leaped high to pull down the rebound.
Olson ended the game by sinking two free throws, giving the Bucs a 52-44 win.
“We played a decent game, things went fairly well,” says Buccaneer coach Al Cue. “We still need to work and improve on a lot of little things.”
Olson finished the game with 19 points. Joining her in double figures was Driscoll with 12 points while Riley Wagner finished the game with eight.
The Bucs out-rebounded the taller Rebels 31-22 and pulled down 15 offensive rebounds.
Leading the way was Ristau with nine total, including six offensive rebounds. Krista Hassing had seven total with four offensive rebounds. Riley Wagner contributed six rebounds.
Driscoll came up with seven of her team’s 12 total steals for the night. Sara Warmka had five assists and Olson added four assists.
USC had 18 turnovers to BEA’s 13.
The Bucs were 10 of 20 from the charity stripe while the Rebels finished 6 of 10 from the free throw line.
Koestler led the Rebels in scoring with nine points while four other Rebel players each had seven points.