Bucs avenge early season loss
Local basketball fans weren’t sure they were watching the same two teams that had matched up earlier in the season.
In their first game, played in Fairmont, the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers were dominated by the Cardinals. At one point in the first half the score was 33-3 in favor of Fairmont.
Tuesday night in Blue Earth the same two teams met up, but the game’s storyline was completely different. BEA started with a 7-0 run on its way to a 53-40 win over its biggest conference rivals.
In fact, the Bucs only trailed once during the game – and it was a very brief Cardinal lead.
The Bucs even used some razzle-dazzle in their game plan last Tuesday night.
After Taylor Owen controlled the opening tip off by tapping the ball three times, Brady Anderson took the ball into the Bucs’ end of the court and made an alley-oop pass to Owen, who caught it in a mid-air leap next to the basket and laid it in on the fly for BEA’s first two points.
The tactic worked so well, that after a Sam Lee basket made the score 4-0, Anderson and Owen connected on a nearly identical alley-oop play to make it 6-0.
BEA tried the alley-oop tactic several more times in the game with different players, but only connected once more on a pass to Isaac Darrington.
Owen hit a 3-pointer, pushing the score to 12-4 in favor of the home team. It was the first of eight 3-pointers the two teams would rain in during the first half.
Daniel Plocker’s trey put BEA up 17-6. But over the next six minutes, the Cardinals would use the long-range shot to go on a 14-4 run, and tie the game at 21-21. In fact, it was a Cardinal 3-pointer that tied the game.
It was another Fairmont trey that put them ahead for the first – and only – time in the game, 24-23. Dallas Barslou quickly countered with a three himself, putting the Bucs up 26-24, a lead they never relinquished.
It was 27-24 at the half. BEA tried for a last-second shot, running off the last two minutes of the clock. But, Fairmont stole the ball with two seconds left and tried a half court shot that just missed.
In the second stanza, BEA advanced its lead to 10, at 37-27, using baskets by Anderson, free throws by Lee and another 3-pointer by Barslou.
The score stayed around the 10-point Buc lead, at 42-32 and 47-37.
With the score at 51-37 and three minutes on the clock, neither team scored until Holmseth hit two free throws with 1:22 left. Fairmont managed three more points to make the final 53-40.
“This game was by far our best effort, with the mental and physical toughness aspect of the game,” Buc head coach Gary Holmseth says. “I was especially happy for our seniors. They have been beaten badly for many years by Fairmont, and it was great to see them win their last game they will play against Fairmont.”
The Bucs had two even halves, scoring 27 in the first and 26 in the second.
Owen led in the scoring column with 13 points. Barslou added nine, Lee eight and Anderson seven.
Owen also had three steals and two blocked shots.
Lee led in rebounds with nine, with Holmseth grabbing seven, Darrington five.
Both teams had 30 rebounds.
There were 10 3-pointers in the game, with the Bucs hitting four and the Cards six.
The Bucs were 19 of 28 at the free throw line, while the Cards were just 4 of 9.
Mitch Phingsten led Fairmont with 13 points.