Bucs cage Jaguars in BEA Holiday Classic
BEA's Rorman eclipses career 1,000-point mark in 60-39 victory
BLUE EARTH — Caitlin Rorman went about her pre-game stretching and shooting on Thursday night like it was just another basketball game.
Blue Earth Area’s 5-foot-10 junior point forward needed 19 points to reach the 1,000-point career scoring mark and nearly hit her target by halftime of her Bucs’ first-round clash with the Granada-Huntley-East Chain/Truman/Martin Luther Jaguars at the BEA Holiday Classic.
Rorman poured in a game-best 26 points for half of her game-high double-double performance that included 10 rebounds, while teammate Hannah Johnson delivered 21 points on the strength of four 3-pointers to pace the Bucs’ 60-39 victory over the Jaguars in Blue Earth.
Blue Earth Area (5-5) faces Jackson County Central in today’s 3 p.m. championship game, while GHEC/Truman/Martin Luther (0-7) plays United South Central for third place at 1 p.m. today. JCC coasted to a 76-33 first-round win over USC.
“She (Rorman) didn’t talk about it (1,000 points), but knew how many she needed to reach it,” said Blue Earth Area head coach Al Cue. “She just went about her business as usual.”
Trailing 14-12 on the heels of Jaguar guard Macy Quinn’s pair of free throws, Rorman and Hannah Johnson played integral roles in engineering the hometown Bucs’ pivotal 14-0 scoring surge that spanned seven minutes during the opening half.
Johnson drilled her second trey from the top of the key off of one of Rorman’s three assists to serve as the run’s catalyst before teammate Grace Mensing delivered an assist to Lindsey Norman for a 12-footer.
Johnson sank two free throws, Sofie Blair perfectly lofted one of her game-best four assists to Mensing for a backdoor lay-in and Rorman sliced through traffic for a left-handed banker.
Callie Stevermer chipped in a solo charity toss before Johnson spotted Rorman for a low-post leaner to extend the Bucs’ lead to 26-14.
Quinn, who topped the Jaguars with 13 points, three assists and three steals, ended the visitor’s scoring drought by banking in a runner in traffic at the 2:56 juncture in the first half.
Quinn later snapped the nets on a pull-up 3 from the top of the key before Rorman answered at the other end with her lone trifecta of the game.
Center Rachel Stauter drilled a 3-pointer with 44 seconds left before intermission to pull the Jaguars within 32-22 before Maddie Armon fed Rorman off an inbound play to counter with 12 seconds showing.
Maddie Johnson converted a one-and-one situation at the 8-second mark for the Jaguars only to watch as Mensing swooshed a right-corner 2-pointer at the buzzer for a 12-point Bucs’ edge.
Marissa Steinhaus erupted for five of her nine points on the game to open the second half for the Jaguars, with Hannah Johnson and Rorman answering for the Bucs.
Johnson nailed a 3 off a Mensing assist before Rorman’s low-post bank shot proved money in the bank with career points 1,000 and 1,001 with 15:05 left in regulation.
Stauter spotted Quinn for a left-wing jumper only to have Hannah Johnson delivered seven of BEA’s ensuing 11-0 run to put the game out of reach at 52-31 with 9 minutes remaining. Sofie Blair delivered the final two assists to Johnson during the run.
Mensing finished with eight points, three steals and three assists for the Bucs, while Stauter netted a team-best six rebounds for the Jaguars.
B.E. Area 36-24–60
B.E. AREA (60)
L. Norman 1-3 0-0 2, H. Johnson 7-12 3-4 21, Rorman 11-16 3-3 26, Sofie Blair 0-3 0-0 0, Mensing 4-11 0-0 8, Stevermer 0-4 1-2 1, Ripley 0-3 0-2 0, Armon 1-2 0-0 2, Weerts 0-0 0-0 0, Osmundson 0-2 0-0 0, Armstrong 0-0 0-0 0, K. Johnson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-56 7-11 60.
Studer 1-1 0-0 2, M. Steinhaus 4-9 0-0 9, Stauter 1-6 1-2 4, Becker 1-7 0-0 3, Quinn 5-13 2-2 13, M. Johnson 1-3 2-2 5, Calkins 0-1 1-2 1, Geistfeld 0-1 0-0 0, Hall 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 14-41 6-8 39.
3-pointers: BEA 5-13 (H. Johnson 4-7, Rorman 1-2, Sofie Blair 0-1, Mensing 0-1, Armon 0-1, Osmundson 0-1); GHECTML 5-16 (M. Steinhaus 1-4, Stauter 1-2, Becker 1-4, Quinn 1-3, M. Johnson 1-2, Geistfeld 0-1). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: BEA 34 (Rorman 10); GHECTML 23 (Stauter 6). Assists: BEA 15 (Sofie Blair 4; H. Johnson, Rorman and Mensing 3 each); GHECTML 7 (Quinn 3). Steals: BEA 15 (Sofie Blair and Mensing 3 each); GHECTML 5 (Quinn 3).
Jackson County Central 76, United South Central 33 — Alaina Wolff poured in a game-best 31 points to power the Huskies to a 43-point triumph over the Rebels during first-round action in the Blue Earth Area Holiday Invitational on Thursday.
Kailey Koep delivered 13 points to JCC’s winning ways, while teammate Molly Brinkman supplied 11 points.
Kaylee Carlson netted 13 points to top USC.
JCC (6-4) faces host Blue Earth Area (5-5) in today’s 3 p.m. holiday tournament championship game in Blue Earth.
USC (0-7) plays GHEC/Truman/Martin Luther (0-7) in today’s 1 p.m. third-place game.
Truman/Martin Luther/GHEC 59, Blue Earth Area 56 — Derek Shoen sank two free throws during the waning seconds of regulation to propel the Jaguars to a three-point win over the host Bucs during opening-round action in the Blue Earth Area Holiday Classic on Thursday night.
The Jaguars (3-5) advance to face Jackson County Central (6-1) in today’s 7:15 p.m. championship game in Blue Earth. JCC defeated United South Central, 72-62.
Blue Earth Area (1-6) plays USC (3-4) for third place at 5:30 p.m. tonight.
Shoen connected on 9 of 13 free throws to help pace his team-leading 19-point performance to complement six rebounds and five assists.
Mason Maloney neared double-double territory for the Jaguars by scoring 15 points to go with nine boards, while Cayden Fischer contributed nine points to the win.
Zach Wolter tallied seven points for the Jaguars, while James Schrunk doled out seven assists to go with four rebounds.
Grant Strukel scored 15 points and distributed four assists to pace the Bucs’ effort, while Caelan Sanders supplied 14 points.
Carter Bell contributed 10 points to BEA’s performance, Jacob Vaske generated nine points and garnered seven rebounds, while Austin Thielfoldt chipped in eight points.
The Jaguars, who held a 26-25 halftime lead, outscored the Bucs 33-31 during the final 18 minutes.