Bucs’ rally falls short against Giants
The Le Sueur-Henderson Giants scored the first nine points of their girls basketball game against the host Blue Earth Area Buccaneers on Tuesday, Jan. 21.
BEA mounted a second-half rally to pull within one point of LSH, but the Giants held on to win 52-49.
The Bucs did not get on the board until Arika Howard sank two free throws with 14:28 showing on the clock in the first half.
LSH would increase their lead to 14 points at 26-12 before BEA closed out the opening stanza by scoring nine unanswered points.
Eloise Blair started the surge with a basket near the hoop. Kaitlin Johnson was fouled while making a basket. She made the free throw to complete the traditional 3-point play and cut the Giants’ lead to 26-17.
A Ta Armstrong shot from the outside followed by a turn-around jumper in the lane by Blair gave the Bucs four more points and made the score 26-21 in favor of the Giants at halftime.
LSH opened the second half with two baskets to increase their lead to nine points. The Bucs responded with a 3-pointer by Armstrong and a drive to the basket by Blair to make it 30-26 with the Giants still on top.
Once again the visitors took control and extended their lead to 10 points at 38-28 only to have the Maroon and Gold score eight of the next 10 points to pull within four of the Giants at 40-36.
LSH was still in front by four points at 45-41 with 4:16 left in the game. Neither team would score again until 2:32 was left in the contest. A basket by the Bucs’ Kiera Osmundson closed the gap to two points with the Giants now leading 45-43.
Blair fouled out at the 2:30 mark. The LSH player missed the front end of a one-and-one but the Giants grabbed the offensive rebound and put it in for a 47-43 lead.
At the other end of the court the Bucs were inbounding the ball underneath their own basket and found Johnson alone for a layup to cut the Giants’ lead to two points at 47-45 with 2:05 to go in the game.
LSH was able to build their lead back to five points at 51-46. The Bucs hit a 3-pointer with 6.5 seconds to go to make it 51-49.
The Bucs fouled right away and the Giants made one of their two attempts from the charity stripe to increase their lead to 52-49 with 5.5 seconds left in the game.
BEA inbounded the ball and got a shot off near mid-court which would have tied the game if it went in. The ball hit the backboard and went off the rim to give the Giants a 52-49 victory.
Johnson led the team in scoring with 14 and Osmundson added 11.
No other statistics were available following the contest.
St. James 48, BEA 40
The Blue Earth Area Buccaneer girls traveled to St. James on Thursday, Jan. 17, to take on the Saints in a Big South Conference contest. BEA held a 22-17 lead at the end of the first half but St. James rallied in the second half and triumphed over the Bucs 48-40.
Scoring went back-and-forth early in the game and the score was tied for the fifth time at 11-11 when an Eloise Blair free throw gave BEA a 12-11 lead. The Bucs started to click on offense with good ball movement and efficient passing which led to five unanswered baskets and a 22-11 lead.
St. James ended the opening stanza with two 3-point plays. The first was a shot from behind the arc while the second was a traditional 3-point play as the clock wound down. The result was a five point BEA lead at the half, 22-17.
The squads traded free throws to begin the second half. Ta Armstrong drained a 3-pointer to give the Bucs a 26-20 lead. The Saints responded with a three of their own, then added four free throws and a close range basket to grab a 29-26 lead over the Bucs.
A free throw by Armstrong broke the run by St. James but the two point deficit would be as close as BEA would come for the rest of the game. The Bucs had many opportunities to narrow the deficit but could not get the ball to go through the hoop.
Armstrong and Blair were the leading scorers for BEA with 11 points each. Arika Howard tallied nine and Kaitlin Johnson finished with seven.
Blair led the team with eight rebounds. Johnson and Howard finished with six each.
The Bucs shot 27 percent from the floor and 64 percent from the free throw line. The Saints had a 37-34 edge in rebounding. BEA had 20 turnovers to 21 for St. James.