Knights hold off Bucs’ comeback for 66-64 win
BLUE EARTH — The Bucs brought the game down to the wire.
The Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Knights beat the Blue Earth Area Bucs 66-64 Monday night during nonconference girls basketball action in Blue Earth.
BEA was down 61-54 with 1:30 left in the game before surging to a 10-5 run, nearly creating a tie.
Caitlin Rorman grabbed one of her four rebounds after a LCWM missed free throw to start the run and a foul sent her to the free throw line, where she made both, helping build her game-leading 32 points.
The teams traded free throws to make the score 63-58 before LCWM’s Kendall Anderson made one of two with 46 seconds remaining. Rorman grabbed the rebound and went coast-to-coast and dropped in a layup to bring the Bucs to within four.
On the ensuing inbounds pass, Te’a Armstrong stole the ball away and made a mid-range jumper to put the Bucs behind by only 2.
The Knights called timeout and set up a play to get behind the Bucs’ full-court press.
The play worked and Lakesha Carter caught a deep pass under the BEA basket and layed it up for two of her team-leading 24 points.
Rorman brought the ball back down the court for BEA and made a shot to bring the score within two again, but time ran out as LCWM inbounded the ball, ending the Bucs’ comeback.
BEA interim head coach Travis Armstrong said he was impressed with the team’s effort and how they fought back.
“I thought we played really hard,” Travis Armstrong said. “We played a good defensive game when we needed to. I never question the girls’ effort, the effort is always there. We were down seven with less than two minutes left and for a young, inexperienced team like we are to come back to within 2 twice, it shows we’ve got a little moxie now and that’s what we’re trying to build. We want them to have the ability to stay calm and if they take Caitlin Rorman away, we’re gonna have to find alternate scorers and we found a few tonight.
“When we needed to, we made a few open jump shots, so we’ve got things to work on, but overall the effort and the attitude were great.”
Defending Rorman with multiple players didn’t stop her for long, for she scored half of BEA’s points on the night. Hannah Johnson joined Rorman in double digits with 14 points.
In the first half, the teams traded shots and stayed within four of each other the whole way, entering halftime at 30-26 Knights.
After the Bucs won the opening tip, Callie Stevermer got the scoring started with a quick two points, and LCWM’s Alexis Cloyd quickly scored two of her own.
The teams traded 2-pointers through the first five minutes and the Knights led 8-6 at the 13:00 mark of the first half.
With nine minutes left before intermission, the Bucs and Knights were tied at 16, then the Knights took a two-point lead with 7 minutes left.
The Knights won the final seven minutes 12-10 to go into halftime up by 4. In the second half, Carter took over, scoring 12 of her 24 points and led the Knights with five rebounds to go with the three she grabbed in the first half.
Carter’s eight rebounds were second on the Knights behind Grace Rydeen’s nine.
Johnson led the Bucs on the glass with seven rebounds, while Alyssa Ripley grabbed six and Stevermer, Rorman and Te’a Armstrong each had four.
Rorman also grabbed four steals to help the Bucs’ defense, while Johnson had three. Ripley led the team with three assists.
BEA took advantage when it was sent to the charity stripe, shooting 12-for-15 for 80 percent including 7 of 8 from Rorman.
The Bucs shot 24-for-58 from the field on the day for a 41 percent rate.
Travis Armstrong said he told his team in the locker room he was impressed with the players’ ability to stay composed.
“We learned that people are going to double- or triple-(team) Caitlin (defensively,” Travis Armstrong said. “But we’re just gonna be more patient. We know what we need to work on. The great effort is probably what I’m most proud of, they could have folded up easily down 12 in the second half, things weren’t going right and they held it together and stayed composed for the most part. I was impressed.”
Blue Earth Area (1-1) plays at New Ulm on Thursday night in a Big South Conference game.
Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial (3-0) waits to play its next game until next Tuesday when the Knights will face Belle Plaine on the road.
Carter 8-13 8-10 24, Rhydeen 7-8 0-0 15, Goeringer 1-6 7-8 10, Cloyd 2-9 2-2 7, Harazin 2-5 1-3. Totals 23-45 18-23 66.
Rorman 11-21 7-8 32, Johnson 7-15 0-0 14, Armstrong 3-4 1-1 7, Howard 1-7 2-2 4.
3-pointers: LCWM 6-19 (Harazin 2-4), BEA 1-8 (Rorman 1-4). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: LCWM 26 (Rydeen 9, Carter 8, Harazin 6), BEA 27 (Johnson 7, Ripley 6, Stevermer 4). Assists: LCWM 8 (Cloyd 3), BEA 9 (Ripley 3). Steals: LCWM 9 (Carter 3, Rydeen, Cloyd and Goeringer 2 each), BEA 13 (Rorman 4, Johnson 3).
Blue Earth Area 70, Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial 44 — Cameron Anderson scored 14 points to pace a balanced scoring attack as the Bucs coasted by the Knights by 26 during nonconference action Monday night in Lake Crystal.
Austin Thielfoldt tallied 13 points for Blue Earth Area, Carter Bell netted 11 points, Caelan Sanders produced 10 points, Parker Kienitz chipped in eight points, while Grant Strukel scored six.
Anderson also pulled down five rebounds, Thielfoldt distributed five assists and Strukel supplied three steals.
The Bucs, who built a 30-23 halftime lead, erupted to outscore the Knights in the second half by a 40-21 margin.
James Sullivan netted 15 points to top LCWM, while Landon Lantz tallied 13 points.
Blue Earth Area (2-0) plays host to New Ulm on Thursday night in a Big South Conference game.
BEA 30 40 — 70
LCWM 23 21 — 44
Westbrook-Walnut Grove 72, Martin County West 49 — Parker Freeburg delivered a game-best 25 points, while teammate Andrew Quade supplied 21 more to power the Chargers to a 23-point non-league basketball win over the Mavericks on Monday night in Westbrook.
Angel Reyes netted 14 points to pace the Mavericks, while teammates Dawson Weber and Nick Beseke generated eight and seven points, respectively.
The Mavericks made 8 of 18 free throws on the game, while the Chargers connected on 16 of 25 at the charity stripe.
Martin County West (0-1) travels to Jackson County Central tonight for another nonconference contest.
MCW 22 27 — 49
WWG 35 37 — 72