Buccaneers corral the Mavericks
Caelan Sanders weaved his way through the lane to score a team leading 18 points enabling the Blue Earth Area boys basketball team to defeat the Martin County West Mavericks 67-59. The non-conference game was played Jan. 22.
The victory over the redhot Mavericks put a halt to the Bucs’ three-game losing skid. MCW’s only loss in their prior seven games had been a one-point defeat at the hands of Minnesota Valley Lutheran.
It was a close game throughout the first half. The Mavericks biggest lead came early in the game at 10-5, but the Bucs wiped out that deficit with a 12-0 run which put BEA out front 17-10. The seven-point lead would be the largest the Bucs would enjoy the first half.
MCW would trail for the remainder of the first half until the final minute when they tied the score at 26-26.
However, the Bucs regained the lead courtesy of a Caelan Sanders drive and basket with time expiring on the clock making the score 28-26 in favor of the Maroon and Gold at the half.
Sanders finished the first half with only four points but his aggressive attack of the basket as the first half ended was a sign of things to come.
MCW wasted no time taking the lead as the second half got underway. A basket and a free throw had BEA trailing 29-28.
The lead was shortlived. Carter Bell got open outside the arc and his shot sailed through the net for a 31-29 Buccaneer lead.
Austin Thielfoldt found Grant Strukel alone under the basket for another basket. Strukel was fouled on the Buc’s next possession and converted both free throws for a 35-29 lead.
The Mavericks battled back to tie the game at 37-37.
Sanders drove into the lane for a short jump shot to give the Bucs a lead they would not surrender at 39-37.
Cameron Anderson found some room in the paint and drove to the hoop for two more points. Sanders then stole the ball at mid-court and left the opposition behind as he went in for an uncontested layup and a 43-37 BEA lead.
MCW would cut the deficit down to two points many times in the final 12 minutes but the Buccaneers responded each time with a basket to retain the advantage.
The score stood at 49-47 in favor of the Bucs when Sanders once again drove the lane for two more of his 14 second-half points.
Carter Bell drained a 3-pointer off an inbounds play to make the score 54-47 in favor of the Bucs.
MCW answered with their own basket from outside the arc to close the gap to four points. Sanders responded with two more drives for baskets and Bell added two more points as the Bucs maintained a 60-54 lead with 2:44 remaining in the game.
The Bucs only made five of ten free throws over the remainder of the game but it was enough to fend off the Mavericks and earn the eight point victory.
Two Buc players, in addition to Sanders, also scored in double-digits. Cameron Anderson had 15 points along with 11 rebounds. Carter Bell also had 15 points while contributing three steals.
BEA improved their overall record to 7-5. Their conference record is 2-3.
The game originally scheduled for Jan. 18 at New Ulm has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 4, with the B-squad game starting at 6 p.m. and the varsity game to follow.
BEA played host to Fairmont on Jan. 25. Results of that game will appear in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.