Late takeaways lift BEA girls over LCWM
Looking to rebound from a 25-point loss in New Ulm on Dec. 1, the Blue Earth Area girls surrendered an eight-point lead to Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (LCWM) Monday night but did enough late in the second half to capture a 48-42 victory, their second at home this basketball season.
“I was disappointed in the lack of energy,” Buccaneers coach Al Cue said, referencing BEA’s back-and-forth bout with the Knights. “It doesn’t take talent to hustle, but I also give us credit for rallying, and we got the stops we needed.”
With or without hustle, the Bucs clawed their way to an early advantage at BEA High School Monday, taking a 3-2 lead out of the gate with a three-pointer by senior Samantha Barslou, then staying ahead 7-6 with a steal and subsequent bucket by junior forward Reegan Howard.
Fending off shots from LCWM’s eighth-grade standout Lakesha Carter, the maroon and gold stayed in the mix despite a handful of missed rebounds, knotting the contest at 11 on a Caitlin Rorman layup.
A score by junior Sofie Blair soon afterward sparked the Bucs’ biggest separation of the evening, with Lindsey Norman taking her own rebound to the net and another Howard takeaway paving the way to a 25-17 BEA advantage.
Ahead by six at halftime, the Buccaneers were not nearly as effective once the teams returned to the court, as Carter and the Knights stormed back within one on multiple occasions.
Lindsey’s sister, senior point guard Alissa Norman, powered through a foul on a layup to extend BEA’s lead to 33-28, but the Bucs were outrebounded as LCWM narrowed the deficit for the second time in a span of several minutes.
A couple of Rorman foul shots preceded an even stronger push by the visiting girls, with LCWM capitalizing on missed shots and quick rebounds to capture a 39-35 lead, quieting the crowd in Blue Earth.
“We didn’t rebound well, we didn’t defend well,” Cue said. “At times, we did things well but overall, it wasn’t good there.”
With a little more than five minutes to play, the Knights maintained the edge, 41-37, before junior BEA forward Grace Mensing helped the Bucs chip away at LCWM’s lead.
Down one with time running out, Howard came up with another steal for the maroon and gold, scoring despite being fouled and securing the Buccaneers’ comeback.
Back in control, then, BEA put away the victory, a 48-42 decision, with another Barslou trey and a pair of subsequent free throws by the senior.
Barslou led the Bucs with 13 points, six of which came on three-pointers, and also logged four defensive rebounds. Howard and Rorman, meanwhile, had eight points apiece and combined for another eight rebounds.
Lindsey Norman had seven points, Mensing had four and Blair and junior Ryanne Klabunde also chipped in with three off the bench.
Alissa Norman had four rebounds of her own, while Hannah Johnson and Samantha Ripley each contributed in the rebound department as well.
Above .500 through three games, the Blue Earth Area girls were next slated to travel to Fairmont for a matchup with the rival Cardinals on Friday, Dec. 9, kicking off a doubleheader that also featured a Buc boys contest.
The girls began play that night at 6 p.m.