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Jorgensen hits GW shot to lift Fairmont over B.E. Area hoopsters

OVER THE DEFENSE — Fairmont forward Zach Jorgensen (red jersey) lofts a shot over a block attempt by Blue Earth Area post player Sam Keister (45) during Big South Conference basketball action on Friday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont. Blue Earth Area teammates Caelan Sanders (21) and Grant Strukel (23) watch the action. (Photo by Greg Abel)

FAIRMONT — Tied at 60, one minute left, Blue Earth Area looked to dribble the clock down for the final shot. Enter Zach Jorgensen.

Fairmont’s defense knocked the ball away, BEA picked it up and tried to heave it to the left wing before crossing the halfcourt line, then Jorgensen jumped the pass, drove the court on a fastbreak and laid it in with eight seconds left.

Jorgensen’s steal-turned-layup gave the Fairmont Cardinals their final score in a 62-60 win over the Bucs during a Big South Conference basketball game Friday night at Cardinal Gym in Fairmont.

Fairmont head coach Jared Thompson said the Cardinal defense played a big role in holding back BEA when it needed to.

“I thought we played really well, I thought Blue Earth (Area) played great tonight. They shot the ball really well,” Thompson said. “We’ve been scoring from the outside a lot and it wasn’t there tonight. … We had to score from the paint so (Wyatt) Frank and Jorgy (Jorgensen) scoring from the inside was what we needed tonight. Our defense kept us in the game the whole time even with Blue Earth (Area) playing so well. We just made enough plays down the stretch. … They made a nice run at us and we were able to respond. … It came down to the last possession, our defense needed one stop and we defended the inbounds play as well as I thought we could have.”

BEA had eight seconds remaining to try to score, but Carson Toomer knocked away a pass to a corner-3 opportunity with three seconds left, then the Cardinals gave the Bucs no space on the ensuing inbound pass.

Jorgensen scored one of the two baskets made in the final six minutes of the matchup after the Bucs’ Cameron Anderson tied the matchup with a left-wing 3 off an Austin Thielfoldt assist with two minutes remaining.

Fairmont came out of halftime with a 39-33 advantage, but the Bucs came back quickly.

After Wyatt Frank made back-to-back baskets for four of his game-high 26 points and Thielfoldt hit a 3 from the right wing, Sam Keister made an up-and-under post move to bring the Bucs within five. Zach Herrmann then scored four consecutive points on a free throw and a traditional three-point play, before Keister gave the Bucs their first lead of the second half with a tradtional three-point play off one of Gavin Storbeck’s five assists. BEA took a 45-44 lead with 14 minutes to go, then the teams traded the lead through the rest of the game.

Jorgensen sank a cutter off a Joey Flohrs assist to give the Cardinals a one-point advantage, then Herrmann brought it back to the Bucs with a layup. There were six lead changes in the second half alone.

BEA head coach Colby Swanson said he was happy with his team’s effort.

“We battled hard, we came back from down six at the end of the first half and we battled back again to go up four in the second half,” Swanson said. “We played really well, Wyatt Frank is an excellent player and he gave us all kinds of trouble. … Fairmont did an excellent job crashing the offensive glass in the first half, that was something we struggled with. … I was happy with our efforts, we executed pretty well, we just couldn’t make a couple plays at the end of the game. “

The rivals came out hot in the first half, combining to shoot 16-for-29 in the first eight minutes.

Frank began his control of the paint early, scoring eight of the Cardinals’ first 19 points, including four on putback shots where he garnered two of his game-leading 20 rebounds.

Jorgensen put up 16 points to help lead the Cardinal offense on 6 of 13 shooting, while grabbing six rebounds, dishing out five assists and pocketing four steals.

Grant Strukel led the Bucs’ offense with 15 points, including 13 in the first half, on 6 of 7 shooting, while Anderson had 12 points and four rebounds. Herrmann scored eight points and brought down five rebounds, while Keister scored nine and grabbed six boards.

The win marks Fairmont’s fifth consecutive and sixth in its past seven games. The string of consecutive wins started with the Cardinals’ 54-43 win over BEA in Blue Earth on Jan. 28.

Fairmont (12-6, 6-2 Big South) plays host to Pipestone Area at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday. BEA (9-8, 3-5 Big South) plays host to Waseca at 7:15 p.m. next Friday.

BEA 33-27–60

FHS 39-23–62

Fairmont (62)

Frank 12-23 2-3 26, Jorgensen 6-13 3-4 16, Bell 2-11 2-2 6, Hested 2-11 0-0 5, Flohrs 2-5 0-0 5, Baarts 1-1 0-0 2, Betts 0-0 2-2 2, Toomer 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 25-65 9-11 62.

B.E. Area (60)

Strukel 6-7 1-1 15, Anderson 5-11 0-0 12, Keister 4-12 1-1 9, Herrmann 3-7 2-3 8, Thielfoldt 3-6 0-0 8, Storbeck 2-5 0-0 5, Gudahl 1-6 0-0 3, Sanders 0-4 0-0 0. Totals: 24-58 4-5 60.

3-pointers: Fairmont 3-23; BEA 8-16 (Strukel 2, Anderson 2). Fouled out: None. Rebounds: Fairmont 42 (Frank 20, Jorgensen 6, Baarts and Bell 5); BEA 25 (Keister 7, Herrmann 5). Assists: Fairmont 13 (Jorgensen 5); BEA 11 (Storbeck 5). Steals: Fairmont 4 (Jorgensen 4); BEA 2. Blocks: Fairmont 4 (Frank 2); BEA 2 (Keister 2).

Blue Earth Area came back from down two in the final minute to beat Fairmont 45-43 during B-squad action Friday in Fairmont.

David Maakestad scored 12 points to lead the Cardinals, while Jake Harris, Jacob Crissinger and Jackson Utermarck all had seven.

Sawyer Tordsen scored 21 points to lead Fairmont past Blue Earth Area 47-42 during C-squad action Friday in Fairmont.

Owen Burmeister added seven points to the Cardinals’ winning ways.

Truman/Martin Luther/ Granada-Huntley-East Chain 68, Sleepy Eye 60 — Adam Heckman posted solid all-around numbers of 25 points, nine rebounds, five steals and three blocks to lead the Jaguars past the Indians in nonconference basketball action Friday night in Northrop.

Matt Heckman added 17 points and four rebounds to the Jaguars’ winning ways, while Cayden Fischer posted eight points and Carter Spear scored seven.

Owen Wolter scored six points and pocketed six steals, while Cael Jaskulke also scored six.

The Jaguars shot 22 of 31 from 2-point range for 71 percent, made 5 of 11 3s and hit 9 out of 16 attempts from the charity stripe.

The Jaguars (15-6) go to Trimont for a 7:15 p.m. matchup Monday with Martin County West.

Garner-Hayfield-Ventura 73, North Union 41 — Landon Dalbeck scored 17 points, while Hayden Hutcheson added 14 to lead the Cardinals past the Warriors in Top of Iowa Conference basketball action Friday night in Armstrong.

Robert Ortman led the Warriors with 12 points, while adding four rebounds and three assists.

Parker Eichenberger and Gage Madden each had eight points, while Madden added three rebounds and a team-high four steals.

The Warriors made 13 of 22 shots from 2-point range, 3 of 21 from beyond the 3-point arc and hit 6 out of 14 attempts from the stripe.

North Union (2-17) plays host to Lake Mills at 7:30 p.m. Monday night in Armstrong.

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