Bucs defeat Saints and Panthers
Blue Earth Area went on the road to face the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers on Feb. 19 in the final girl’s basketball game of the regular season. Despite eight 3-pointers by the Panther’s Sophie Stork, it was the Bucs who came out on top winning by a final score of 64-57.
BEA took a 27-20 lead heading into the second half and still led 32-23 with 14:43 to play in the game. The Panthers then went on a 12-0 scoring run courtesy of four consecutive 3-pointers, three of them by Stork, to take a 35-32 lead.
Caitlin Rorman came up with a loose ball under the Buc’s basket and banked it in to pull BEA within one point of NRHEG. A Kaitlin Johnson basket gave the Bucs a momentary 36-35 lead before Stork struck again from long range to put the Panthers up 38-36.
Arika Howard put one through the nets to knot the score at 38 all. The Buc’s defense held and Rorman was fouled while in the act of shooting with 8:59 showing on the clock.
Rorman entered the game needing 15 points to reach the 2,000 point career milestone. She stepped to the free throw line having already scored 13 points. She sank both shots from the charity stripe to reach join the 2,000 point club and put BEA up 40-38. It was a lead the Bucs would not surrender.
Rorman sank two more free throws to put the Buccaneers up 42-38 but the Panthers scored three straight points to cut the BEA lead to one point at 42-41. Rorman then scored a traditional 3-point play and Howard converted an offensive rebound into two more points to give the Bucs a 47-41 lead with 5:02 to go.
Blue Earth Area would score 12 of their last 17 points from the free throw line to hold on and win the game 64-57.
Rorman led all scorers with 28 points, 18 of them from free throws. She also pulled down 15 rebounds to record a double-double. Hannah Johnson also achieved a double-double scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Bucs made 31 of 40 free throw attempts.
The Bucs finished the regular season with a record of 13-10 and 4-6 in the Big South Conference.
Medford 59, BEA 50
Blue Earth Area kept pace with the Class AA No. 9-ranked Tigers through most of their game on Feb. 18 but were unable to pull off the upset.
The Bucs were within three points of Medford with just over a minute left in the game, trailing 53-50. The Tigers scored six unanswered points in the closing minute, all by free throws, to go home with a 59-50 victory.
Medford held the early lead in the first half. The Tigers were leading 9-8 with 11:49 left in the opening stanza before Caitlin Rosman’s two free throws put the Bucs on top for the remainder of the half.
Rorman increased the BEA lead to 14-9 with a coast-to-coast lay up followed by a basket courtesy of a Ta Armstrong pass.
Medford tied the score at 20-20 but Hannah Johnson’s 3-pointer ripped the nets to put the Bucs on top 23-20. The two teams traded baskets for the rest of the half with BEA holding a 27-26 lead at the break.
The Tigers came out on fire in the second half and outscored the Maroon and Gold 15-3 in the opening five minutes to forge a 41-30 lead.
Medford would take their largest lead of the game at 45-33 before the Bucs would mount a comeback.
Back-to-back hoops by Rorman started the rally. Johnson nailed a 3-pointer to cut the Tiger lead to five points. Two more buckets by Rorman and the Tigers lead was down to one point at 45-44 with 7:56 to play in the game.
The one-point differential would be as close as the Bucs would come. Medford maintained thier lead and kept their perfect record intact with the 59-50 victory.
Rorman led the Bucs with 24 points and seven rebounds. Johnson finished with 12 points and pulled down five boards. Arika Howard contributed seven points along with five rebounds.
St. James Area 27
The Bucs sprinted out of the gates to take an early 17-2 lead over the visiting St. James Area Saints in a game played on Friday, Feb. 15. The final score was 69-27 in favor of the Bucs.
Caitlin Rorman did the early damage for BEA. The senior forward opened the game with a 3-pointer, s steal and lay up and two more 3-pointers allowing the Bucs to take an 11-2 lead.
Hannah Johnson scorched the nets for another 3-pointer and cause the Saints to call a time out less than five minutes into the game.
Rorman added a free throw and Alyssa Ripley connect on a short bucket to give the Bucs a 17-2 lead.
It appeared the Bucs fell asleep for awhile and St. James responded with a 10-3 run which left the Bucs on top 20-12.
Buccaneer coach Al Cue decided to have his team put on the press. The Bucs came to life and finished the opening half on a 10-0 run to take a 30-12 lead.
BEA continued to dominate the Saints in the second half and the game eventually moved to running time.
BEA shot 45 percent from the field for the evening. They made eight of 19 3-point attempts and seven of 11 free throws. The Buc defense held the Saints offense to a 28.6 percent success rate on field goals.
Rorman had a double-double with 34 points and 13 rebounds. Johnson also reached double figures in scoring with 10 points. Ta Armstrong added eight points.
Johnson pocketed six steals, Rorman had five and Arika Howard had four.
The 69-27 victory gave the Bucs their fourth Big South Conference win of the season against 6 losses.