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Bucs ousted from playoffs by Jays

By Staff | Mar 15, 2020

The BEA boys basketball got bumped out of the playoffs by Waseca but had the first winning record for a Bucs’ boys basketball team since the 2009-10 season. Pictured in the front row, left to right, Jack Barke, Will Howard, Caelan Sanders, Austin Thielfoldt, Jacob Olson, Waylen Douglas. Standing, left to right, Zach Herrmann, Grant Strukel, Xavier Morrow, Gavin Storbeck, Cameron Anderson, Braden Gudahl, Ashton Lloyd, Donavon Weerts, Sam Keister, Nick Lopez. The team finished with a 14-11 record.

Blue Earth Area Buccaneer boys basketball coach Colby Swanson knew his team faced a tough task going up against the Class AA No. 2-ranked Waseca Bluejays in the Section 2AA, South Sub-Section title game last Monday, March 9, at Bresnan Arena in Mankato.

“They are one of the better teams in the state in Class AA,” Swanson said before the game. “We are the obvious underdog.”

A three-pointer by Braden Gudahl off a Sam Keister screen put the Bucs on the scoreboard first.

But the Bluejays defense held BEA scoreless while the Waseca offense scored the next 18 points on their way to a 56-36 victory.

“Anytime you can play good defense you give yourselves a chance to win,” Waseca head coach Seth Anderson commented. “We know the BEA kids. They are competitive and play hard.”

The Bucs finally got the lid off of the basket and began the tough task of battling back against the Bluejays.

A jumper by Sam Keister pulled BEA to within seven points of Waseca with the Bluejays on top 27-20 in the closing minutes of the first half. It is as close as the Bucs would get.

Trailing 34-24 as the second half got underway, Zach Herrmann’s 3-pointer cut the Waseca lead to seven points again.

However, like the first half, BEA suffered a scoring drought and the Bluejays pulled away for the win.

The Bucs made 35 percent of their two-point field goal attempts while the Bluejays were hitting at a 61 percent clip.

BEA made six of their 11 3-pointers while Waseca was only two of 16 from behind the arc.

The Bucs shot only three free throws in the game and made two. Meanwhile, the Bluejays had 15 opportunities from the charity stripe and were successful on 12.

Waseca outrebounded the Maroon and Gold 30-24. The Bluejays committed six turnovers while the Bucs had 15.

Cameron Anderson led BEA in scoring with 10 points. Keister and Caelan Sanders each finished with seven. Gudahl and Herrmann tallied five points apiece.

Herrmann led the team with five rebounds followed by Gavin Storbeck with four.

In his radio interview before the game, Swanson mentioned some of the goals the team had set for the season.

“We wanted to finish the season with a winning record and earn a trip to Mankato to compete in the playoffs,” Swanson said.

The Bucs accomplished both of their goals. Their 14-11 overall record is the first time the boys basketball team has finished with a winning record since the 2009-10 season. And they made it to Mankato for a playoff game.

“I am so proud of this team and how they have fought this season,” Swanson said before the game. “We have had six ankle injuries and guys have had to play different roles than they have in previous seasons. These guys have bought in to what we are trying to do and they work hard to improve their game.”