Epic game plays out between conference rivals

SAUK RAPIDS - The final minute of the game was not for the faint of heart.

After trailing for nearly the entire game against Kimball Area, the Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa girls' basketball team had their backs to the wall with 36 seconds left in the Sub-Section 5A-South semifinals on Saturday, March 5.

Their defense, battered and bruised all game by a strong post and interior game plus a few key three-point shots by sharp-shooting Cubs guards, shined when it mattered most in the final minutes.

After Kimball took a 64-58 lead on a layup by star junior guard Madison Hurrle with 4:18 on the clock, B-B-E's defense repelled shot after shot the rest of the way.

With 3:04 left, sophomore Nicole Wesbur drained two free throws to cut it to 64-60.

With 2:28 left, Hurrle went 0-for-2 at the free throw line, and then 14 seconds later Wesbur scored in the paint to make it a two-point game.

B-B-E's defense continued to get huge defensive stops, and with 56 seconds to go, a Kimball player missed the front end of a bonus opportunity.

With 40 seconds, Kimball threw the ball away on an inbounds play to the left block. A few seconds later, B-B-E head coach Kristina Anderson called a timeout to set up some strategy for the final stretch.

The Jaguars inbounded the ball, made good passes and withstood what Kimball threw at them before Bailey Buchholz calmly drained a three-pointer with 15 seconds remaining. The defense then did what was needed to preserve the win as B-B-E tore the hearts out of every Kimball player, coach and fan in the gym. For the third straight year, the girls' basketball team will play in a sub-section championship game!

Next: the Jaguars (20-8) face a tall order when they try to knock off state-ranked and two-time defending Section 5A champion and No. 7 state-ranked Browerville/Eagle Valley (24-3) in the sub-section championship. The game is set for 7 p.m. at Sauk Rapids-Rice high school on Tuesday, March 8. Spread the word!!!!


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