Quasars pressured into lossOKABENA — Southwest Star Concept’s girls’ basketball team couldn’t handle the pressure.
By: Matt Huss, Worthington Daily Globe
OKABENA — Southwest Star Concept’s girls’ basketball team couldn’t handle the pressure.
Blue Earth Area forced 27 turnovers and held off a furious second-half rally Monday night to defeat the Quasars 46-37.
The Buccaneers’ full-court press and aggressive man-to-man defense in the half-court stifled SSC for much of the night.
The Quasars went scoreless over the first five minutes and 24 seconds of the game and trailed 28-13 at halftime.
“It took us out of a lot of rhythm offensively, especially when we were having trouble even getting (the ball) across,” SSC coach Les Knutson said, referring to the Buccaneers’ full-court press. “We’ve had trouble with presses.”
The Buccaneers (3-2) scored 17 points off 16 SSC turnovers in the first half and held the Quasars to just 6-of-16 shooting.
Betsy Voehl scored her second basket of the game with 8:31 remaining in the first half to pull SSC to within four points, but the Quasars committed turnovers on four consecutive possessions, allowing BEA to open up a 16-6 lead.
Fewer than seven minutes later, a 3-pointer by Morgan Dickman gave the Buccaneers their largest lead of the night, 28-11.
SSC center Katey Granstra, who scored 18 points Saturday in a victory against Hills-Beaver Creek and 22 points Thursday in a win against Ellsworth, scored her first basket of the game with 55 seconds remaining in the half to cut BEA’s lead to 15 going into the intermission.
“They were fundamentally sound,” Knutson said, referring to BEA. “We looked like we really lacked fundamentals for much of the first half.”
The second half was a different story.
The Quasars, who came out in a full-court press, scored on their first three possessions, trimming the deficit to 11 points. But SSC committed four consecutive turnovers, allowing the Buccaneers to take a 37-23 lead.
The 6-foot-1 sophomore scored against a double-team down low and followed by forcing a turnover on the other end.
Two minutes later, Michaela Rasche floated a perfect pass over two defenders to Granstra, who was fouled while making a shot and converted on the three-point play.
After consecutive turnovers by both teams, Granstra blocked a shot and scored on the other end off a perfect feed from Jenny Doherty.
“We were going to be more aggressive in the second half and try to pick them up ourselves, but we really didn’t do the best job of that until later in the game,” Knutson said. “I told (my players) they were keying on Granstra. We got (the ball) into her in a lot better position in the second half.”
BEA failed to score on its ensuing possession, and SSC’s Cassie Cselovszki answered with the biggest shot of her young career.
The sophomore guard picked up a loose ball near the elbow, turned and swished a jumper. Cselovszki’s first career varsity points capped runs of both 13-2 and 9-0, pulling the Quasars to within five points with 3:52 remaining.
“She can put pretty good pressure on defensively, and that’s why she was in there,” Knutson said, referring to Cselovszki. “Then she hits a shot, and that was big.”
The Quasars had chances down the stretch but couldn’t capitalize.
BEA junior center Hayley Pirsig answered with a layup on the other end, but Granstra went 1 of 2 at the free-throw line after getting her only offensive rebound of the game.
Pirsig missed a jumper on BEA’s ensuing possession, and SSC’s Betsy Voehl was fouled on a drive to the hoop. But, with an opportunity pull the Quasars to within four points, the senior guard missed the front end of a 1-and-1, and the Buccaneers made 7 of 8 from the charity stripe in the final 2:22 to seal the victory.
“It shouldn’t have really been as bad as it was in the first half, but I give Blue Earth credit because we were not able to hardly ever get a second shot — they really were able to box out well,” Knutson said. “We need to be more like them, since we didn’t block out too well ourselves.”
SSC (3-2) had just two offensive rebounds in the first half and six for the game.
Granstra, who had 10 points off seven offensive rebounds Thursday night, finished with just one offensive board. She led SSC with 16 points, 10 rebounds and eight blocks.
Voehl had six points, but no other player scored more than three for the Quasars, who had their three-game winning streak snapped.
Luanna Henkels had two points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, and Voehl added two steals.
Maddie Collin had four rebounds, and both Rasche and Doherty had two assists.
Kate Hassing and Jackie Klinkner each had 11 points, and Morgan Dickman added 10 to lead the Buccaneers.
BEA 28 18 — 46
SSC 13 24 — 37
BEA (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Rorman 0-0-3-3, Dickman 2-2-0-10, Hassing 0-3-5-11, Klinkner 0-4-3-11, Pirsig 0-4-1-9, Skaare 0-1-0-2. Totals 2-13-14-46.
SSC (3FG-2FG-FT-TP) Beyer 0-1-0-2, Voehl 0-3-0-6, Cselovszki 0-1-0-2, Rasche 0-1-0-2, Henkels 0-1-0-2, Leopold 0-0-2-2, Doherty 0-1-0-2, Post 0-1-1-3, Granstra 0-7-2-16. Totals 0-16-5-37.