BEA overcomes second-half run
BLUE EARTH — Blue Earth Area separated down the stretch.
The Bucs pulled ahead to a 68-57 Big South Conference basketball win over St. James Area on Monday night in Blue Earth.
The Saints came back from a 34-24 halftime deficit to tie the conference matchup at 38, then stayed close, leaving the Bucs ahead 52-49 with 5:19 left.
Cameron Anderson drove the lane through two defenders for a layup, then hit the ‘and-one’ free throw opportunity to start a BEA run. They were the final three of Anderson’s 14 points, complementing eight rebounds.
Gavin Storbeck then drove the lane for two of his team-high 17 points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting, then Austin Thielfoldt stole the inbounds pass and hit the layup to put the Bucs ahead 59-49.
Sam Keister scored on a putback layup, then Storbeck stole a pass and took it down the lane for another 2.
Hayden Jones used one of his four assists to help Steven Balbuena break the BEA run, but Ashton Lloyd answered with a putback 2-pointer to put BEA up 65-51 with 2 minutes left.
Jones scored another six points for the Saints to close out the game, while Will Howard and Thielfoldt combined to hit three of four free throws in the final minute to build the final 11-point BEA lead.
“We didn’t play our best game, but St. James did a good job taking the easy looks we left them,” BEA head coach Colby Swanson said. “We weren’t knocking down shots from the outside, so we had to find other ways to score. We turned the ball over a little too much, but overall we made enough plays to win. … In the last five minutes, we played with more energy and forced the pace to pick up a bit.”
The Bucs jumped ahead early, while Jones powered the early SJA offense.
Storbeck assisted Anderson for a layup less than 10 seconds into the game, then Hayden Jones used a Connor Jones assist for a right-wing 3 to give the Saints a one-point lead 1:22 into the game.
Anderson answered with a left-wing 3 off a Thielfoldt assist, then Braden Gudahl hit a layup through contact to give the Bucs a 7-3 lead.
Gudahl then splashed a 3 from the right wing off another of Thielfoldt’s team-high four assists, before Hayden Jones scored the game’s next five points to bring the Saints within 10-8.
Storbeck connected on a right-wing 3, then stole a pass and turned it into a layup to put the Bucs back ahead 7.
Hayden Jones scored the Saints’ first 11 points on the way to a game-high 25, while dishing out four assists.
“We were trying to force the ball out of his hands,” Swanson said of Hayden Jones. “He did a good job finding open guys and getting them good shots. … In the first half, he scored a little more, in the second, when we doubled him, he did a good job finding the open guy.”
Gudahl totaled 11 points for the Bucs, while Lloyd knocked down 12 points and grabbed 10 boards to total a double-double.
Alex Stresemann hit three 3s on the way to 13 points for the Saints, while Balbuena totaled 11 points, a game-high five assists and another game-high five steals.
Blue Earth Area (11-2) plays host to Martin County West at 7:15 p.m. tonight in Blue Earth. The Saints (2-12) host Pipestone at 7:15 p.m. Friday.
Storbeck 7-7 0-0 17, Anderson 6-13 1-1 14, Lloyd 5-10 0-0 12, Gudahl 5-10 0-0 11, Thielfoldt 3-8 1-2 8, Keister 2-4 0-0 4, Howard 0-1 2-2 2. Totals: 28-53 4-5 68.
H. Jones 8-15 5-6 25, Stresemann 5-10 0-0 13, Balbuena 5-9 0-0 11, Suarez 2-7 0-0 5, C. Jones 1-5 0-0 3, Stevens 0-4 0-0 0, Luna 0-0 0-0 0, T. Olson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-50 5-6 57.
3-pointers: BEA 8-22 (Storbeck 3); SJA 11-26 (H. Jones 4, Stresemann 3). Fouled out: Suarez (SJA). Rebounds: BEA 31 (Lloyd 10, Anderson 8, Thielfoldt 5); SJA 16 (C. Jones 5). Assists: BEA 14 (Thielfoldt 4); SJA 15 (Balbuena 5, H. Jones & C. Jones 4 each). Steals: BEA 9 (Lloyd 3); SJA 12 (Balbuena 5).
Truman/Martin Luther/Granada-Huntley-East Chain 62, Madelia 45 — Adam Heckman scored 23 points to lead the Jaguars past the Blackhawks during Valley Conference action Monday in Madelia.
Owen Wolter hit two 3s on his way to joining Adam Heckman in double-digit scoring with 11 points, while Cael Jaskulke scored eight points.
Jakob Fischer contributed seven points to the Jaguars’ offense, while Matt Heckman totalled 6 on two 3s.
Ja’Sean Glover led the Blackhawks with 23 points.
The Jaguars (10-4) play host to Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial at 7:15 p.m. Thursday in Truman.
Fairmont 74, Windom Area 73 — Zach Jorgensen rebounded a missed free throw with 10 seconds left, took the ball coast-to-coast and hit a 5-foot pull-up shot off the glass with 2 seconds left to beat the Eagles during Big South action Monday night in Windom.
Jorgensen led the Cardinals with 18 points and seven assists to complement five rebounds, while Gavin Junkermeier scored 16 points and brought down seven boards.
Jacob Crissinger hit five 3s to total 15 points, while Sawyer Tordsen shot 6-for-7 to put up 14 points to complement his team-high eight rebounds for Fairmont. Tanner Rosch added seven rebounds to the win.
Fairmont hit 30 of 60 shots overall, including 7 of 23 attempts from behind the arc, to complement 7-for-12 shooting from the charity stripe.
Connor Redman led the Eagles with 26 points, while Abe McKibbin scored 20.
Windom Area made 30 of 64 total shots, 5 of 15 from 3 and 8 of 16 attempts from the free throw line.
The Cardinals outrebounded the Eagles 35-26 in the matchup.
Fairmont (6-5) plays host to Luverne in another Big South Conference matchup at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
Windom Area 40-33–73
Fairmont held Windom Area offense to eight points in the first half to build a 37-32 win during B-squad action Monday in Windom.
Hadan Toomer led the Cardinals with eight points, while Blaze Geiger totaled seven. Ian Hatfield and Nolan Schultze scored six points each for the Cardinals.
Martin County West 52, Alden-Conger/Glenville-Emmons 41 — Rubi Reyes hit two 3s on her way to a 14-point performance to lead the Mavericks to a 52-41 Valley Conference win Monday in Alden.
Emily Anderson joined Reyes in double-digit scoring with 10 points, while Lucy Larson, Thea Anderson and Kari Matejka scored eight points each.
The win marks the Mavericks’ seventh consecutive.
Abigail Theusch scored 22 points to lead the Knights, while Kylie Korman totaled 14.
Martin County West (10-3) travels to Lake Crystal for another Valley Conference matchup at 7:15 p.m. Friday.