Buccaneers rout LCWM, fall to Fairmont
The Buccaneers last five games have been decided by a total of 20 points, losing four of those five.
However, the Blue Earth Area boys basketball team used a 25-5 run to distance themselves from Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial last Tuesday night in Blue Earth.
BEA came away with the 63-38 victory, which was their most lopsided win of the season.
Senior Luke Monson led the way with 32 points, 16 rebounds (eight offensive) and two blocks.
As a team, the maroon and gold fired 56 percent from the floor, compared to only 29 percent for the visitors.
The Buccaneers got off to a slow start and LCWM took advantage by jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead.
The Bucs turned the ball over on their first four possessions.
“We came out a little sluggish last night and got off to a rough start,” coach Seth Anderson says. “We made some offensive adjustments to the pressure they were applying to us. Their denial defense gave us some trouble in getting open.”
Monson stopped the scoring drought by hitting a quick release three-pointer from the top of the circle with 14:25 remaining in the half. He nailed two more three’s to give BEA their first lead of the game at 14-13 with 10:10 left until halftime.
The Knights’ Bryson Yackel scored four quick points for the visitors. He took the Bucs 11th turnover the length of the court and layed it up giving LCWM a 22-19 lead.
The Knights would cling to a one-point lead heading into halftime, 22-21.
Monson scored 14 of the Bucs first 16 points to open up the second half on a 16-3 run with 11:55 remaining in the game.
After Brandon Olson drilled a three, the Knights called a timeout to regroup from a 44-27 deficit.
Monson put the finishing touches on the game by grabbing an offensive rebound, scoring and completing the three point play to give BEA their largest lead at 58-32 with 5:26 left on the clock.
Yackel led the way for the Knights with 12 points.
“I thought our guys off the bench played really well,” Anderson explains. “Our defense was what won us the game. Our defensive positioning has been very good the last two games.”
Fairmont 59, BEA 54
The Blue Earth Area boys basketball team must be wondering when the programming is going to change.
Four nights after dropping a three-point game to Maple River, the Bucs seemed to be watching a rerun.
This time it was Mitch Pfingsten and the Fairmont Cardinals edging the Buccaneers 59-54 in a close game in Fairmont on Jan. 24.
BEA has put themselves in position to come up with big wins in the last month, but can’t quite get over the hump.
“We had yet another opportunity to get the job done against a state ranked team and couldn’t quite do it,” coach Seth Anderson says. “We are still improving each game and guys are playing with more confidence.”
The maroon and gold’s loss to the Cardinals means BEA has dropped six games this season by five points or less.
Early on, the Bucs and the Cardinals traded baskets, which resulted in an early 10-10 tie.
Buc’s guard Brandon Olson sparked an 11-0 run by scoring five straight points.
With the Buccaneers leading 21-10, the Cardinals put together a 7-0 run of their own.
Guard Derek Johnson stopped the run and hit one of his four three-pointers to expand the Bucs’ lead to seven, 24-17.
However, like before, the Cardinals answered yet again with a 14-4 run giving the home team a 31-28 advantage.
Johnson hit another three to tie the game at 32-32 heading into the half.
Both squads struggled in the final two minutes of the half, combining to miss all six field goal attempts. Johnson started the second half the way he ended the first; he hit a contested three-pointer to put the Bucs up early 35-32.
Despite the early momentum, Fairmont outscored BEA 10-4 in the opening five minutes of the second half giving the home team a 42-36 lead.
The maroon and gold came back to tie the score at 44-44, but that’s as close as they would get.
Pfingsten put the game out of reach in the final seconds with two free throws, which sealed the victory for the Cardinals.
Luke Monson led the Bucs with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Johnson contributed 14 points.
Pfingsten led three Cardinals in double figures with 16 points.
“We played well and really made big strides in eliminating unforced turnovers (nine) and handling full-court pressure,” Anderson explains. “I like the way we defended and rebounded the ball.”