Girls beat Cards in battle of I-90 foes
The dynamic-duo of Hannah Johnson and Caitlin Rorman scored 42 of Blue Earth Area’s 49 points to lead the Buccaneers to a 49-37 victory over the visiting Fairmont Cardinals on Friday, Jan. 25. The win gave the Bucs a season sweep of the Cards in girls basketball.
“I didn’t think our offense was as sharp as it has been and I give Fairmont credit for that,” Bucs mentor Al Cue said. “But, on the other hand, I felt our defense played real well.”
Johnson and Rorman combined to score eight of the first 10 points for BEA, staking the hometown team to an early 10-3 lead.
The score was 12-6 when Johnson lobbed the ball over the defense and into Rorman for an easy basket and a 14-6 lead.
Senior guard Lexi Lunn answered for the Cards with a long range 3-pointer to close the gap to 14-9. Callie Stevermer converted an offensive rebound for two points putting the Bucs out front 16-9.
Lunn hit her second straight shot from the outside to pull Fairmont within four points at 16-12.
Johnson responded with a traditional 3-point play and then ripped the nets from the top of the key to give the Bucs a 22-12 lead.
Fairmont fought back with two consecutive drives by Lunn to make it a 22-16 game. The Card’s senior center, Taylor Crissinger, scored in the paint to shrink the Buccaneer lead to four points at 22-18.
Rorman and Johnson scored the final six points of the first half for BEA. The final points of the half came as Rorman sprinted downcourt to get behind the defense. She was rewarded with a Ta Armstrong half-court pass for an easy layup with the clock winding down towards zero. Rorman’s basket gave the Bucs a 28-18 lead at the half.
BEA got off to a fast start in the second half. Johnson scored off a Stevermer assist. Rorman then went to work in the post and banked in a left-hander to give the Bucs a 32-18 lead.
Fairmont cut the Buc’s lead down to single digits with just over seven minutes on the clock, trailing BEA 37-29.
Johnson restored the Bucs’ double digit advantage when she pulled down an offensive rebound, dribbled out beyond the 3-point arc and scorched the nets with a baseline jumper.
The Cards got within eight points of the Bucs with 1:23 remaining in the game and the score 44-36. Fairmont attempted to get the ball back by fouling and sending the Bucs to the free-throw line.
Johnson foiled the strategy as she made five of her six free throw attempts to stop any chance of a Cardinal comeback which gave BEA the 49-37 win.
Blue Earth Area shot 43 percent from the field while holding Fairmont to a 25 percent success rate.
Neither team was very effective shooting 3-pointers. The Bucs hit three of 15 long range attempts while the Cardinals were successful on five of their 22 long- range shots.
Both teams had 16 free throw attempts. Fairmont made 12 and the Bucs made 10.
Johnson and Rorman each scored 21 points for the Buccaneers. No other BEA player had more than two points.
Rorman was the leading rebounder with 11, followed by Johnson who had eight, Arika Howard pulled down six and Callie Stevermer finished with five rebounds.
Armstrong led the team with four assists.
Blue Earth Area improved their record to 10-6 overall and 3-3 in the Big South Conference.
The home game originally scheduled for Monday, Jan. 28, against Maple River, was postponed due to poor weather conditions. It has been rescheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9, with the B-squad game beginning at 3:30 p.m. and the varsity game to follow.
Another home game, this one against Medford, was moved from the original date of Jan. 29 to Tuesday, Feb. 12. There will be no B-squad game and the varsity game will start at approximately 7:15 p.m., following the completion of a boys varsity game which is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m.
The girls were scheduled to play at Waseca on Friday night, Feb. 1 and host New Ulm on Saturday, Feb 2, at 1:15 p.m. Results of those games will appear in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.