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High-flying Bucs win three at home

Team hits stride in victories over the Eagles, Saints and Mavericks

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Mar 7, 2021

Ashton Lloyd shoots over the defenders to score two points for Blue Earth Area.

Blue Earth Area sank 15 3-pointers on their way to a 71-45 victory over the visiting Martin County West Mavericks in boys basketball action on Tuesday, March 2.

“Former BEA coach Gary Holmseth told me he believes that is the record for the number of 3-pointers made by a Buccaneers boys team in a single game,” Bucs head coach Colby Swanson said.

Gavin Storbeck hit two shots from outside of the arc in the opening minutes to help fuel a 10-0 BEA run to start the game. MCW hit the boards for an offensive rebound to score their initial basket of the contest and make the score 10-2.

Braden Gudahl stole the ball and was fouled while making the layup. Gudahl sank the free throw to complete the traditional three-point play. After another Maverick basket, the senior guard struck from long range for three more points and a 16-4 lead.

MCW had narrowed the deficit to six points at 17-11 when Ashton Lloyd decided to get in on the action. Lloyd’s 3-pointer put the Bucs up 20-11 but the Mavericks scored again to cut BEA’s lead to 20-13. Storbeck tallied another three points on three free throws when he was fouled while attempting to shoot from behind the arc.

MCW kept pace with the Maroon and Gold and were trailing 23-17 when Lloyd and Gudahl connected for consecutive 3-pointers to put the Bucs up by 12 points at 29-17. BEA would sink two more shots from outside of the arc before the first half ended and take a 38-19 lead into the intermission.

BEA began the second half getting the ball down low to center Sam Keister. The senior responded with two easy baskets in the low post. Keister’s four points were the only points by the Bucs while the Mavericks tallied 12 to cut BEA’s lead to 42-31.

The Bucs responded with an 18-6 scoring run to propel the home team to a 60-37 lead. All 18 points came via 3-point shots. Gudahl made the first two, then Lloyd, Storbeck and Will Howard each made one before Lloyd sank another one to cap off the streak. Luke Norman made the final 3-pointer of the evening for BEA for their final points of the game.

BEA attempted 29 3-pointers and made 15. They were 9 of 22 on shots inside of the arc and 8 for 10 from the free-throw line. MCW made 16 of 44 2-point shots and only 4 of 18 3-point attempts. The Mavericks shot three free throws and made one.

The Bucs held a 36-34 edge in rebounding.

Gudahl led BEA in scoring with 18 points, including 15 from behind the arc. Storbeck finished with 14, Lloyd had 12, Anderson tallied eight and Howard and Austin Thielfoldt each had five.

Thielfoldt led the team with eight rebounds and eight assists. Anderson pulled down seven rebounds and Lloyd had six.

BEA 68, St. James 57

Gavin Storbeck was perfect from the field to lead Blue Earth Area with 17 points and the Buccaneers defeated the St. James Saints 68-57 in Big South Conference basketball action on Monday, March 1.

Storbeck made all three of his shots behind the arc to compliment his 4 for 4 shooting from 2-point range as the Bucs withstood a second-half rally by the Saints to gain the victory and improve their record to 11-2.

BEA had taken an eight-point lead into the locker room at the half time intermission only to see St. James eliminate the Buc’s advantage and tie the game at 38-38. The score remained close throughout most of the second half until the Maroon and Gold put together a run to go up by 10 points with less than five minutes remaining on the game clock. The Saints were not able to mount another rally and the Bucs got the triumph to sweep the season series with their conference rival.

Storbeck was not the only BEA player with a hot hand. The Bucs shot 66.7 percent as a team from 2-point range, sinking 20 of their 30 shots. In fact, 40 of their points came from inside the paint.

BEA made eight of their 21 shots from 3-point range and four of their five free-throw attempts.

The Bucs held a 31-18 advantage in rebounding.

In addition to Storbeck, three other BEA players reached double figures in scoring. Cameron Anderson tallied 14, Ashton Lloyd finished with 12 and Braden Gudahl tallied 11. Austin Thielfoldt finished with eight points while also leading the team with four assists.

Lloyd led the team in rebounding with nine followed by Anderson with six.

BEA 92, New Ulm 63

Sometimes the shots are just falling.

Blue Earth Area shot 62 percent from the floor from inside the arc and five Bucs reached double digits in scoring on their way to a 92-63 triumph over the New Ulm Eagles in boys basketball action on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 27, in Blue Earth.

New Ulm scored the first basket of the game to take their only lead of the game.

Gavin Storbeck’s baseline drive, Austin Thielfoldt’s two free throws and Will Howard’s 3-pointer put the Bucs on top 7-2.

New Ulm would tie the score at 19-19 nine minutes into the game but they would never retake the lead.

The Maroon and Gold outscored the Eagles 25-14 during the remaining nine minutes of the first half to go into the locker room at the intermission with a 44-33 lead.

Sam Keister opened the scoring for the Bucs in the second half with a drive to the hoop and Braden Gudahl grabbed a rebound off his own missed shot and put it back up for a basket to give BEA a 15-point lead at 48-33.

The Bucs’ lead was 11 points at 52-41 with 14:05 remaining in the game when the home team went on an 8-0 scoring run to go up 60-41. Ashton Lloyd began the scoring streak with a basket from the low-post position. Cameron Anderson added a bucket before Lloyd once again worked for another two points from inside of the paint. Thielfoldt added the last two points of the run when he finished off a fast break with a layup.

BEA kept extending their lead and the reserves finished the game by making two 3-pointers to give the Bucs their 29-point win.

Gudahl led the Bucs with 19 points. Also reaching double figures in scoring were Keister with 14, Howard with 12, Thielfoldt with 11 and Anderson with 10.

Gabe Torres came off the bench to drain three 3-pointers for nine points and Lloyd tallied eight.

Lloyd and Anderson each had 10 rebounds while Gudahl and Thielfoldt had five assists each.

BEA made 10 of 27 3-point attempts and 8 of 12 free throws. The Eagles shot 44 percent from 2-point range but only made seven of their 34 attempts from 3-point range, or 20.6 percent. New Ulm shot 80 percent from the charity stripe, making 12 of their 15 attempts.

Rebounding was very even with the Eagles holding a 41-40 edge.

The Bucs scored 19 points off of turnovers compared to four for the Eagles. BEA was also effective working the ball inside. They scored 52 of their points in the paint.

The victory improved BEA’s overall record to 10-2.