The Blue Earth Area Buccaneers ditched their three game losing streak with an 80-57 thrashing of Granada-Huntley-East Chain to open up their Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27 on the Bucs home court.
BEA dominated their opponent and never trailed.
"It was nice for our kids to play with a comfortable lead most of the game," coach Seth Anderson says.
In a game where nine different Buccaneers scored, Luke Monson led the way with yet another double-double. He scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Bailey Olson also had a double-double with 16 points on six-of-nine shooting, and matched Monson with 10 rebounds of his own.
Monson and Bailey scored the first eight points for the Bucs giving them an early 8-4 edge.
The Bucs' lead was blown open with a three-pointer from the top of the key by Derek Johnson. He contributed 10 points and six assists.
Monson then scored eight straight points for the maroon and gold, putting the home team up, 23-13.
Johnson and Olson hit back-to-back three-pointers to extend the lead to 14, with 7:15 left in the half.
The Buccaneers' defense held the Mustangs to only four points in the next five minutes, while expanding their lead to 17, 36-19.
At the half, the maroon and gold took a 45-26 lead.
There was no letdown in the second half for the home team. BEA came out of halftime by outscoring GHEC 9-2, which gave the Bucs their largest lead of the night at 54-28.
Anderson's squad kept up the high intensity the rest of the game and cruised to their second victory of the season.
For the Mustangs, Ryan Shumski tallied a team high 20 points. Logan Pyleski added 14 and Josh Wolter scored 11.
BEA only surrendered six turnovers and shot 52 percent from the field in the win.
"I was happy we played our style of game," Anderson says. "Overall it was a complete game all around."
USC 65, BEA 43
After their impressive performance the night before, the Buccaneers couldn't keep up the offensive intensity in their second game of the Holiday Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 28.
BEA fell to United South Central, 65-43.
The 43 point output was the lowest of the season, which came one night after they scored 80 points, their highest so far.
"We got off to a great start and created open shots," Anderson explains. "Our defense created three straight turnovers with our zone right away."
Luke Monson continued to put up impressive numbers for the maroon and gold. But, his 29 points, on 12-for-13 shooting, was not enough.
Monson got off to a hot start by scoring 19 of the first 23 points for the home team, giving them an early 23-17 advantage.
After the early surge, the Buccaneers went cold from the floor missing their next eight field goal attempts.
USC held BEA to no fieldgoals for the rest of the half, a span of nine minutes.
The Rebels couldn't completely capitalize on the Buccaneers poor offensive execution. However, USC did score the last 11 points of the half, taking a 28-23 lead into the break.
The second half opened similar to how the first half ended with a Rebel run.
USC scored the first seven points of the half expanding their lead to 12 and BEA still hadn't found the bottom of the net since the nine-minute mark in the first half.
Kellen Jacobs scored two points on a tough contested layup down low for the Bucs first field goal in nearly 13 minutes, going back to the first half.
The Rebels lead ballooned to 24 midway through the second half.
The Buccaneers could not handle the Rebels half-court trap defense, evident in the five turnovers in a row with seven minutes remaining in the game.
USC relied on their guards to create pressure and confused Buc players where to even pass the ball.
Luke Trio led the Rebels with 22 points. Nate Pederson contributed 13 points and three assists.
"Our guys were not composed and seemed to play hurried when double teams came," Anderson says. "It wasn't our best game and USC was a major part of that."
The Buccaneers played host to the St. Peter Saints Friday, Jan. 3. On Tuesday, Jan. 7, the maroon and gold will host the New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva Panthers at 7:30 p.m. Those games were played after the Faribault County Register deadline. Game results will be included in the next Register.