Bucs end 2019 on a winning note
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers defeated the previously unbeaten Truman/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain Jaguars 60-47 in the opening round of the Blue Earth Area Invitational Basketball Tournament.
“We took care of the basketball and played as tough as we have played in the last two years,” BEA coach Colby Swanson said.
Cameron Anderson staked the Bucs to an early 5-0 lead with a baseline three-pointer and then a layup off an assist from Gavin Storbeck.
BEA would never trail. T/ML/GHEC pulled to within one point at 5-4 but two free throws by Austin Thielfoldt and another baseline three by Anderson put the Maroon and Gold in front 10-5.
The closest the visitors would come was when a baseline drive by Jags’ guard Carter Spear narrowed the gap to 18-15, with BEA still on top.
The Bucs responded with Zach Herrmann and Storbeck making back-to-back shots from outside the arc to boost the BEA lead to 24-15.
A basket by Storbeck with 1:20 showing on the clock gave the Bucs their biggest lead of the opening stanza at 29-16.
A 3-pointer at the buzzer by Jaguars’ senior forward Cayden Fischer made the score 31-23 in favor of the Bucs as the first half ended.
Anderson’s third 3-pointer of the game put the Bucs up by 12 points at 44-32 with 11 minutes left in the second half. The Jaguars then went on an 8-0 run to cut BEA’s lead to four points at 44-40 with 8:47 showing on the game clock.
A drive down the lane and resulting layup by Braden Gudahl stopped the Jaguars’ run and put the Bucs up 46-40.
BEA was holding on to a 52-44 advantage when they went on a 6-0 run to increase their lead to 58-44 with 3:36 left in the game.
Grant Strukel started the run with his only 3-pointer of the game. Two free throws by Herrmann and one by Thielfoldt put the Bucs up by 14 and helped secure their third win of the year against three losses. The defeat gave the Jaguars a record of 7-1.
“It was not always the prettiest,” Swanson commented. “But our energy and effort was the difference. We had a lot of great individual efforts by the players.”
Anderson and Thielfoldt topped the Bucs in scoring with 15 points each. Storbeck and Herrmann each had nine points, Gudahl added seven and Strukel finished with five.
Leading BEA in rebounding with six were Herrmann and Thielfoldt. Anderson pulled down five boards and Storbeck had four.
The Bucs shot 40 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line. The Jaguars shot 47 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from the charity stripe.
BEA committed nine turnovers. T/ML/GHEC had 15.
The Bucs host Maple River on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Look for the results of that game in next week’s edition of the Faribault County Register.