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Waseca eliminates BEA from playoffs

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Mar 21, 2021

The Blue Earth Area girls basketball team led through much of the first half in their Class 2AA South Sub-Section quarterfinal game on March 17, against the host Waseca Bluejays, before settling for a 17-17 tie at the intermission. Both teams took turns holding the lead in the second half before the Bluejays pulled away for a 37-28 victory.

Waseca advanced to host Fairmont in a semifinal contest on March 19 while the BEA season came to an end.

The Bucs were unable to overcome the Bluejays, who made over 71 percent of their shot attempts, 10 of 14, from 2-point range. BEA shot 21 times from inside the arc and made 12.

While the Bucs may have outscored the Bluejays from 2-point range, Waseca had the advantage from outside the arc where they scored 12 points compared to three for BEA.

Waseca also held the edge at the free-throw line by making 5 of 8 of their shots from the charity stripe compared to BEA, who only shot five free throws and made one.

The Bucs outrebounded the taller Waseca girls by a 26-11 margin but the Bluejays had 10 steals compared to one for BEA.

Eloise Blair and Sophie Keister each scored six points for the Bucs, Arika Howard added five, McKenna Dutton had four, Téa Armstrong finished with three while Lauren Schavey and Kate Armon tallied two points each.

Blair led the team with nine rebounds followed by Armstrong with seven, Howard with six and Keister with five.

The Bucs end the season with a 4-14 record while the Bluejays improved to 11-7.

It was the final game for five BEA seniors. They are Armstrong, Howard, Schavey, Dutton and Cali Beyer, who missed the final game due to injury. It was also the last game for BEA head coach Al Cue who announced his retirement from his head coaching position at the beginning of the season.

JCC 62, BEA 59

Blue Earth Area controlled the first half of their game against Jackson County Central on Friday, March 12.

However, the Huskies rallied in the second half to defeat the Buccaneers 62-59. The two teams met in Blue Earth as part of the Big South Crossover slate of games.

The Bucs led throughout the first half and went into the locker room at half time leading the Huskies 27-20.

JCC came out in the second half and chipped away at the BEA lead before pulling in front later in the second half. The Bucs staged their own rally but the Huskies went home with the three-point win.

BEA was 16 of 28 from the 3-point line for a 57 percent success rate. JCC also attempted 28 shots from inside of the arc but made only 10 for a 36 percent success rate.

The Bucs were 5 of 15 on 3-pointers compared to the Huskies, who were 4 of 22.

The difference was at the free-throw line.

BEA went to the charity stripe 17 times and made 12 shots. JCC shot over 85 percent from the free-throw line, making 30 of 35 attempts.

The Huskies held a 33-26 edge over the Bucs in rebounding.

Sophie Keister led the team in scoring with 23 points. Eloise Blair also reached double figures with 13 points. Arika Howard added 8.

Keister also led the Bucs with seven rebounds followed by Howard, who finished with five.

Téa Armstrong led the team with eight assists. Blair had five.