Bucs trail most of game to rival Cards
Blue Earth Area came up short in their bid to obtain the season sweep against their Interstate 90 rival, the Fairmont Cardinals, in boys basketball.
The host Buccaneers only led twice during the contest. A Grant Strukel 3-pointer gave BEA a 9-8 lead with 13:54 remaining in the first half. Fairmont regained the lead on a putback by forward Dustin Schultz putting the Cards in front 10-9.
Cameron Anderson’s two free throws temporarily put the Bucs back in front 11-10 but the Cardinals gained the lead for good courtesy of?Lucas Denny’s bucket for two points.
Fairmont increased their lead to 17-13 before Carter Bell’s 3-pointer from the top of the key brought the Bucs to within one point at 17-16 with 10:00 left in the opening stanza.
Trailing 22-18, Bell again hit from long range to make it a one-point game.
A 7-0 run by the Cards put the visitors up by eight points at 29-21. Following a basket by Bell, Fairmont’s Pedro Ortega nailed a 3-pointer giving the Cards their largest lead of the first half at 32-23.
BEA manufactured an 8-2 run to cut the deficit to three points. Austin Thielfoldt was left alone at the top of the key and drained the three-pointer to pull the Bucs to within six.
A basket by Fairmont’s Schultz got the lead back to eight points in favor of the Cards. Freshman Zach Hermann scored on a baseline jumper which was followed by a Thielfoldt steal and layup cutting the Cardinal lead to four points at 34-30.
Grant Strukel made the front end of a one-and-one chance from the free throw line narrowing the Buccaneer deficit to three points. However, BEA committed a foul with 1.9 seconds left on the clock and Fairmont made one of two attempts from the charity stripe to take a 35-31 halftime lead.
The Cards increased their lead to 10 points four minutes into the second half with Jack Hested’s shot, good for three points.
BEA had trouble gaining ground against their South Central Conference rivals until there was only five minutes left to play in the game.
Strukel found the range on another 3-pointer bringing the Bucs to within six points of the Cards at 54-48.
BEA was unable to get any closer and Fairmont went home with the 65-54 win.
The Cards made 16 of 29 free throw attempts while the Bucs converted nine of 16 tries from the charity stripe.
Strukel led BEA with 15 points. Bell added 11 and Anderson 10. Thielfoldt and Caelan Sanders scored eight points apiece.
Anderson and Thielfoldt each had seven rebounds in the game.
With the loss, BEA falls to 2-4 in the Big South Conference and 7-6 overall.
Blue Earth Area traveled to Waseca on Friday, Feb. 1, to take on the Bluejays. Results of that contest will appear in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.