B.E. Area hoopsters rout NRHEG in playoff opener; Jags, Mavs fall in sub-section

Zach Herrmann

BLUE EARTH — Zach Herrmann produced a double-double performance to pace Blue Earth Area’s balanced high-octane offense as the No. 2-seeded Bucs steamrolled the No. 7-seeded New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers during Section 2AA playoff basketball action Saturday night.

Herrmann netted a co-game-best 22 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to complement five assists to guide the Bucs to a 90-63 rout over the Panthers in South Sub-Section quarterfinal action in Blue Earth.

Blue Earth Area (13-10) advances to play No. 3-seeded Maple River (13-14) in a 7:45 p.m. sub-section semifinal Thursday night at Mankato East High School. The Eagles coasted to a 62-30 win over No. 6-seeded Medford.

Cameron Anderson connected on three 3-pointers to highlight his 19-point performance for the Bucs, while teammate Grant Strukel also made three 3s en route to 12 points. Strukel also garnered six boards and pocketed four steals.

Sam Keister contributed 10 points to BEA’s winning ways, Braden Gudahl tallied nine points and doled out four assists, while Gavin Storbeck tossed in eight points.

Austin Thielfoldt supplied six points, six rebounds and five assists for the Bucs, who made 11 of 17 free throws on the playoff game. BEA also hit 23 of 41 shots from 2-point range, while sinking 11 of 31 attempts behind the 3-point arc.

Lonnie Wilson poured in a co-game-high 22 points to top the Panthers, while teammates Porter Peterson and Blake Ihrke delivered 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Section 2A Playoffs

Mountain Lake/Comfrey 65, Truman/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain 36 — Sam Paulson collected 14 points and seven rebounds to power the No. 3-seeded Wolverines to a 29-point playoff triumph over the No. 6-seeded Jaguars on Saturday night in Mountain Lake.

Abraham Stoesz, Spencer Khamvongsa and Ethan Nickel each contributed 11 points to the Wolverines’ winning ways.

The Wolverines (23-4) advance to face No. 2-seeded Springfield (24-3) in a 7:45 p.m. Section 2A, South Sub-Section semifinal Thursday in Lake Crystal. The Tigers bested No. 7-seeded St. Clair, 77-65, to advance in the playoffs.

Adam Heckman produced a double-double performance of 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Jaguars, who ended their season with a 19-9 overall record.

Cayden Fischer netted 10 points and doled out three assists for the Jaguars, Carter Spear scored five points and pocketed three steals, while Owen Wolter added four points.

The Jaguars made 13 of 28 shots from 2-point territory, just 2 of 17 behind the 3-point arc and 4 of 8 free throws on the game.

The Wolverines built a 30-19 halftime lead before outscoring the Jaguars by a 35-17 margin in the second half.

Nicollet 73, Martin County West 40 — Shane Stevensen poured in a game-best 20 points to engineer the No. 4-seeded Raiders’ 33-point postseason triumph over the No. 5-seeded Mavericks on Saturday night in Nicollet.

Nicollet (21-5) moves on to face No. 1-seeded Waterville-Elysian-Morristown in a 6 p.m. Section 2A, South Sub-Section semifinal Thursday night in Lake Crystal. The Bucs stormed to a 71-50 victory over No. 8-seeded Mankato Loyola.

Zach Anderson produced a double-double performance of 16 points and 11 rebounds to top Martin County West, which finished the season with an 18-9 overall record.

Wyatt Geistfeld netted seven points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Mavericks, while teammate Tanner Sinn chipped in five points and six boards.

Riley Hulke delivered 14 points and Riley Mans tallied 12 points for the Raiders, who connected on 17 of 33 shots from 2-point range, 10 of 25 beyond the 3-point arc and 9 of 11 at the free throw line.

The Mavericks made 11 of 33 from 2-point distance, only 3 of 17 behind the bonus arc and 9 of 12 at the charity stripe.

Nicollet held a 26-18 halftime lead before outscoring MCW by a 47-22 margin during the final 18 minutes of regulation.


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