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BEA wins county clash over USC

Bucs pull away midway through first half to defeat Rebels 43-31

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Mar 7, 2021

BEA’s Eloise Blair, top left, drives to the basket while USC’s Izzy O’Rourke tries to block the ball.

Téa Armstrong’s basket with 9:31 on the clock in the first half ignited a 9-0 scoring run which gave the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers a 17-7 lead against their cross-county rival United South Central Rebels.

The Bucs would expand their lead to 18 points by the end of the first half and go on to defeat the host Rebels 43-31 on Thursday, March 4.

Armstrong followed her basket with a nice pass to Maddie Schiltz who made a short shot for two more points. The Bucs applied a press and McKenna Dutton stole the ball and took it in for a layup to put the Bucs on top 14-7 with 7:41 left in the opening stanza.

Schiltz grabbed an offensive rebound and passed it to Armstrong who sank a 3-pointer to give BEA a 10-point lead.

USC’s Izzy O’Rourke ended the BEA scoring streak with two free throws to make the score 17-9 before the Bucs scored the next nine points to go up 26-9.

“We probably played some of our best basketball of the year in the latter part of the first half,” BEA head coach Al Cue noted.

Macy Zebro hit a basket for USC to cut the BEA lead to 26-11 before Eloise Blair swished a 3-pointer for BEA to sent the Bucs to intermission with a 29-11 lead.

The Rebels outscored the Bucs 20-14 in the second half but BEA held on to win 43-31.

“We did not shoot the ball well the second half,” Cue commented. “Give USC credit. They did not give up. They shot the ball well in the second half and made a run at us.”

BEA made 13 of 34 shots from inside the arc while USC was 7 of 28.

The Bucs were 4 for 20 on their 3-point attempts while the Rebels made 2 of 16 from outside of the arc.

BEA shot eight free throws and make five. USC was 11 for 14 from the charity stripe.

Blair was the only Buc to reach double figures in scoring with 11 points. Armstrong tallied nine, Dutton and Arika Howard each had six.

USC had two players in double figures. O’Rourke finished with 11 points and Maya Zebro added 10.

The Bucs held a slight edge in rebounding by a 36-34 margin.

Howard led all players with seven rebounds. Sophie Keister had six for the Bucs.

Zebro pulled down six rebounds for the Rebels followed by O’Rourke with five.

Armstrong had four assists for the Bucs.

The win improved BEA’s record to 4-9 while the loss dropped USC’s record to 1-13.