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BREAKING NEWS

Waseca knocks BEA out of playoffs

Bluejays win 86-65 after Maroon and Gold had defeated Eagles

By Kevin Mertens - Staff Writer | Mar 28, 2021

Cameron Anderson takes the ball to the hoop against the Eagles’ Teien Murphey in the second half of their contest on March 20. Anderson finished with 10 points in the game.

The Blue Earth Area boys basketball team traveled to Waseca to take on the Class AA No. 1-ranked Bluejays in the South Sub-Section finals of Section 2 on Wednesday, March 24. Although the Bucs shot the ball well, it was not enough and the Bluejays advanced to the Section finals with an 86-65 win.

Waseca hit the first basket of the game before Gavin Storbeck hit a 3-pointer to give BEA their only lead of the game at 3-2. The Bluejays took over and built an 18-point lead at 28-10 with 10:35 remaining in the opening half.

The Bucs kept working and began to find their offense. Two 3-pointers from the top of the key, one each by Cameron Anderson and Braden Gudahl, put some life in the Maroon and Gold.

Gudahl went inside to score a tough bucket and spark an 11-2 BEA run which cut Waseca’s lead from 14 points at 32-18 down to seven points at 34-27.

Austin Thielfoldt followed Gudahl’s drive with a pull-up jumper just inside the free-throw line. Ashton Lloyd added a 3-pointer to cut the Bluejay’s lead to 32-23 with 7:11 showing on the clock. Waseca scored on a give-and-go to increase their lead to 11 points.

Lloyd scored on an inbounds play and Thielfoldt sank two free throws and the Bucs were within seven of the Bluejays.

One of the things which makes Waseca such a dangerous team is their ability to score points in bunches which is how they closed out the first half. The Bluejays outscored the Bucs 13-4 over the final 5:54 of the first half to go into their locker room with a 47-31 lead.

Waseca outscored BEA 39-34 in the second half as they secured their victory.

The Bucs made 50 percent of their shots from 2-point range, converting 14 of 28 shots. The Bluejays shot even better. They made 29 of 40 shot attempts from inside the arc for a 72.5 percent success rate.

BEA was 10 of 23 from outside the arc while Waseca was 6 of 15 on long-range shots. The Bucs were 7 of 10 from the free-throw line compared to 10 of 17 for the Bluejays.

Waseca was successful getting the ball inside and scored 54 of their points in the paint.

The Bucs had 26 rebounds compared to 22 for the Bluejays.

Gudahl led BEA in scoring with 15 points, Anderson tallied 12, Keister had 10, Thielfoldt had nine, Lloyd had seven and Storbeck finished with six.

Keister had six rebounds, Gudahl had five and Storbeck had four. Gudahl also led the team in assists with five.

BEA ends their season with an overall record of 15-5 and a Big South Conference record of 7-2.

It was the final game of their high school careers for seven BEA seniors. They are Gudahl, Storbeck, Thielfoldt, Will Howard, Anderson, Keister and Nik Lopez, who missed the season because of a knee injury.

BEA 63, Maple River 59

Gavin Storbeck sank two free throws with 11:51 remaining in the game to break a 34-34 tie which gave the Blue Earth Area Buccaneers the lead for good and the host team went on to defeat the Maple River Eagles 63-59. They advanced to the Section 2AA, South Sub-Section basketball final against Waseca which was held on March 24.

Maple River trailed most of the first half before rallying to take a 27-25 lead over the Bucs at the intermission.

Cameron Anderson was fouled and sank both free throws to tie the game early in the second stanza but a 3-pointer by the Eagles’ Will Sellers gave Maple River a 30-27 lead.

Sam Keister’s basket in the paint brought the Bucs to within one point of the Eagles but a drive and layup by Mason Schirmer had Maple River on top 32-29.

Anderson drove across the lane before pulling up and hitting a short jumper and Ashton Lloyd sank a shot from outside of the arc to give BEA its first lead of the second half at 34-32. Maple River’s big man, Ethan Fischer, got loose for a bucket underneath the basket to tie the game at 34 before Storbeck’s free throws gave the Bucs the 36-34 lead. Austin Thielfoldt drained two free throws to increase BEA’s lead to four points but an offensive rebound and a 3-pointer by Maple River’s Zach Hermann made it a one-point game with the Bucs on top 38-37.

Lloyd rattled in a 3-pointer and then sank another long-range shot from outside the arc to increase the Bucs’ lead to 44-37 and bring the Eagles’ head coach Chad Ostermann off the bench to call a time out with 9:16 remaining in the game.

BEA increased their lead to nine points at 46-37 following two successful free throws by Braden Gudahl.

The Eagles began to chip away at the Bucs’ lead. Teien Murphy hit a 3-pointer to cut the BEA advantage to six points at 50-44.

Storbeck answered with a swoosh from outside the arc to put the Bucs up by nine points. Gudahl then drove to the basket and was fouled while making an off-balance shot. He missed the free throw but BEA now owned a 55-44 lead with 1:32 to go.

Maple River would score on one conventional 3-point play and sink four three-pointers in the last minute and a half to make the score close, but BEA came out on top in the end by a 63-59 final score.

The Bucs were 14 of 27 on their 2-point attempts and 7 of 13 on their 3-pointers.

Maple River was 11 of 37 from inside the arc and shot over 61 percent, 11 of 18, from outside the arc.

BEA attempted 18 free throws and made 14. Maple River was 4 of 10 from the charity stripe.

The Eagles held a 32-24 edge in rebounding over the Bucs.

The Maroon and Gold had four players in double figures in scoring. Gudahl led the team with 15 points. Thielfoldt finished with 12, Storbeck tallied 11 and Anderson had 10. Lloyd finished with nine points and Keister had six.

Storbeck was the leading rebounder for BEA with seven. Thielfoldt and Lloyd each had six.

Thielfoldt had five assists and Lloyd had three steals.

Maple River ended their season with an 18-2 record with both of their losses being against BEA.

BEA improved their record to 15-4.