BEA clips Southland
Krista Hassing turned in her finest performance as a varsity player, helping spark a 62-54 come-from-behind victory by the Blue Earth Area Bucs over the host Southland Rebels in sub-section girls basketball.
The 5-foot-11 sophomore came off the bench to score 22 points, helping the Bucs overcome a 9-point first-half deficit.
The victory by the No. 3 seed Bucs over the No. 2 seed Rebels allowed them to advance to the sub-section title game against NRHEG, who defeated the USC Rebels 64-44.
Southland came into the game with an 18-8 record and an explosive offense that averaged more than 69 points per game in their victories.
An aggressive defense that helped yield a couple of turnovers and a transition basket enabled the Rebels to race to an 11-4 lead just three minutes into the game.
“Their press rattled us early a couple of times,” says Bucs coach Al Cue. “We settled down, started handling their press, and got them out of it.”
Camille Driscoll’s offensive rebound and subsequent put back pulled the Bucs to within two points of the Rebels at 17-15 with 6:30 to go in the first half.
BEA had a couple of opportunities to tie the game up but couldn’t get the ball to fall through the hoop.
Southland’s Jana Schammel, who finished with 14 points, scored five quick points to ignite a 7-0 run that put the Rebels on top 24-15, with 4:00 left in the opening stanza.
Hassing started the Bucs’ comeback by taking a pass from Driscoll and converting it for two, while drawing a foul. She missed the free throw, but got free underneath the next time down the floor for two more points, cutting the Rebels’ advantage to four points.
Four straight free throws by Hassing resulted in four points that had the Bucs within one point of their opponent. Sara Warmka was fouled and made 1 of 2 attempts, tying the game at 24-24.
Two free throws by the Rebels gave them a 26-24 lead as the teams left the court at halftime.
The two teams took turns holding the lead for the first seven minutes of the second half.
With the Bucs holding a 41-40 advantage, Jenny Smith hit her second trey of the night, staking the Bucs to a 44-40 lead.
Hassing was fouled underneath again and made both attempts to put the Bucs up by six.
Ashley Olson came up with a steal and got the ball ahead to Hassing who made a nice fake to avoid a shot block and scored the basket, making it 48-40 in the Bucs’ favor.
Olson came up with another steal and took it to the hoop, making the basket and drawing a foul.
Following a Rebels’ time out, Olson successfully completed the traditional 3-point play to cap a 10-0 Blue Earth Area run.
The Bucs now led 51-40 with 8:27 remaining in the game.
“We got some steals that led to easy baskets, then we settled into our zone and they weren’t able to get good shots,” explains Cue.
With the clock winding down, the Bucs kept their advantage in the double digits, forcing the Rebels to foul.
The Bucs scored nine of their last 11 points from the free-throw line.
The Rebels scored the final points of the game on a trey, getting the lead under 10 points – but it was too little too late and Blue Earth Area was able to go home with the victory.
Hassing made six field goals and was 10 of 14 from the free throw stripe to account for her 22 points.
Olson also finished in double figures, tallying 14 points. Smith and Driscoll added eight and seven points, respectively.
The Rebels committed 29 fouls resulting in 44 free-throw attempts by the Bucs.
The Bucs made less than 50 percent of their shots from the line, connecting on only 20 free throws.
Blue Earth Area held a 28-24 rebounding advantage. Leading the way were Rylee Wagner with six, while Olson and Sydney Ristau had five each.