Girls down the Eagles
Sophomore standout Caitlin Rorman had 20 points with more than 13 minutes left to play Thursday night at Blue Earth Area High School, and the Buccaneers ran away with their biggest victory since the season opener.
Cashing in on three-point chances from start to finish, the maroon and gold started hot, jumping out to a 10-3 lead against visiting Maple River, and finished even stronger, scoring a season-best 59 points and downing the Eagles, 59-47, to snap a three-game losing streak.
“We managed to score points, and we were taking care of the ball,” said coach Al Cue, highlighting Rorman as a key to the victory. “We need her to step up, and she did.”
Responsible for four of BEA’s eight three-pointers on the night, she also hustled in the paint to come down with 10 rebounds. Rorman was not the only player who caught fire during the Bucs’ biggest win since a season-opening defeat of United South Central.
Her early offensive success helped the Bucs catapult to a 14-5 lead, but senior guard Samantha Barslou also got in on the first-half action, sinking a pair of free throws and then a subsequent three-pointer to keep BEA well ahead of the Eagles.
A Reegan Howard steal kept Maple River from drawing too close, even though a late push aided by back-to-back rebounds helped the Eagles threaten the Bucs’ wide lead toward the end of the first half.
Up 24-19 at one point with the scoreboard deficit shrinking, the Buc girls unleashed another string of threes. Back-to-back treys by Howard and Rorman rebuilt the team’s comfortable lead, and the maroon and gold went into the break up nine.
Another shot by Rorman beyond the arc maintained the Bucs’ rapid offensive pace early in the second half, while a couple foul shots by senior Samantha Ripley pushed BEA’s lead into double digits.
Scoring her 20th point with 13:43 still to play, Rorman all but sealed the Buccaneers’ big win with a handful of late boards. Another run of threes, courtesy of Howard and senior Brittany Johnson, ensured BEA would keep the momentum, and a last-minute score by Ripley pushed the Bucs into the 50s.
Behind Rorman, Barslou (12 points) and Howard (10 points) led the Buccaneers offense, also combining for five rebounds. Barslou hit seven of 10 free throws on the night and was also responsible for a trio of steals.
Sofie Blair and Alissa and Lindsey Norman also got in on the scoring for BEA with a combined eight points, which is slated to return home for the Bucs’ annual Holiday Tournament on Wednesday, Dec. 28.
It is then that the girls are slated to kick off competition with United South Central. The BEA boys will follow the girls that night, also taking on the Rebels at BEA High School.
Waseca 47, BEA 38
The Bluejays came into Tuesday’s game against the Blue Earth Area girls on a five-game win streak and a prestigious one, at that, considering their 77-16 blowout of St. James Area on Dec. 8 and a season-opening victory over Mankato East.
And while the Buccaneers did not allow things to get out of hand, they also fell short of giving Waseca its first loss of the year, dropping to 2-4 on the season before Thursday’s bout with Maple River.
It was BEA’s third straight loss after a 2-1 start to the year for the maroon and gold and also represented the team’s biggest margin of defeat since New Ulm beat the Bucs 73-48 on Dec. 1.