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Bucs rally to defeat the Cardinals

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Jan 31, 2021

McKenna Dutton, pictured in the dark jersey, fights for the rebound in BEA’s game against New Ulm. The Eagles won 52-44.

The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers rallied from a one-point deficit at half time to defeat the Fairmont Cardinals 34-31 in a game played in Fairmont on Thursday, Jan. 28.

Trailing 20-19 to begin the second half, the Bucs outscored their I-90 rivals 15-11 in the final 18 minutes to go home with the victory.

BEA got off to a fast start in the second half and scored the first five points to take a 24-20 lead. The Cards responded with their own 5-0 run to go on top 25-24 over the Bucs.

Téa Armstrong’s drive to the basket put the Maroon and Gold back on top 26-25 with 10 minutes to go in the game.

McKenna Dutton’s pass to Arika Howard led to another basket and increased the Bucs’ lead to 28-25.

It only took one shot by the Cardinals, a 3-pointer by Faith Olson, to tie the game at 28-28.

The clock was down to 3:48 when BEA’s Cali Beyer sank a shot from the corner for three points and a 31-28 Bucs’ lead.

A back-door pass from Armstrong to Howard resulted in two more points and increased the Bucs’ lead to five points.

Fairmont sank a 3-pointer with 25 seconds left and Armstrong added a free throw to finish the scoring and send the BEA home with the three-point triumph.

The Bucs shot 47 percent from 2-point range while the Cards made only 27 percent of their shots.

BEA made two of their six 3-point attempts. Fairmont took 32 shots from behind the arc and made only five.

The Cardinals outrebounded the Bucs 35-23.

Howard led all scorers with 12 points. Armstrong tallied eight and Dutton had seven.

The win improved BEA’s record to 2-2 overall.

New Ulm 52, BEA 44

The Blue Earth Area girls basketball team fell behind by as many as 12 points against New Ulm late in the second half of their game on Friday, Jan. 22. However, the Bucs put together a late rally which saw them close the gap to four points with just under 1:30 remaining in the game.

BEA had a couple of chances to cut their deficit even further but could not get their shots to fall through the net and New Ulm held on for a 52-44 victory.

The visiting Eagles combined accurate long-range shooting and baskets from inside the paint to take an early 10-3 lead over the Bucs.

Cali Beyer kept BEA in the game with three 3-pointers of her own. The senior forward scored nine of her team’s first 10 points to help the Bucs cut the Eagles’ lead to four points at 14-10.

New Ulm still held a four-point lead with three minutes to go in the opening half when McKenna Dutton hit a baseline jumper from just inside the arc to make it a 2-point ballgame with the Eagles on top 19-17.

A basket by the Eagles just before the buzzer sounded ending the first half sent the teams into their locker rooms with New Ulm on top 21-17.

The Bucs scored the opening basket of the second half to pull within two points of the Eagles again, but then the visitors began to pull away.

New Ulm had extended their lead to 12 points with just under three minutes left in the game when Téa Armstrong scored with 2:23 remaining to make it a 10-point ballgame.

Twenty seconds later Armstrong sank two free throws and BEA was down by eight points at 48-40.

The clock had wound down to 1:31 left in the game when Arika Howard drew a foul and went to the line for the Bucs. The senior guard sank both shots to cut the Eagles’ lead to six points.

A steal and basket by Armstrong had BEA’s deficit down to four points.

The Maroon and Gold got the ball back and had their chances to score but could not get the ball through the hoop. They were eventually forced to foul the Eagles who closed out the game making four free throws in a row for the 52-44 triumph.

Cali Beyer led the Bucs in scoring with 12 points. Dutton finished with eight and Armstrong tallied seven.

Eloise Blair led the team in rebounds with 12 followed by Howard with eight and Beyer with seven.

Howard led the team in assists with five while Blair had three steals.

The loss dropped BEA’s record to 1-2 while New Ulm improved to 2-1.