NEW ULM - Blue Earth Area sank 19-of-43 free throws and went on to top New Ulm 46-26 in a South Central Conference girl's basketball game Friday night at New Ulm.
Krista Hassing led the Bucs (1-0, 1-1) with 12 points.
Ellie Schneider paced the Eagles (0-1, 0-2) with seven points.
Staff photo by Steve Muscatello
New Ulm’s Alley Grejtak drives to the net as Krista Hassing of Blue Earth Area reaches for the ball during the first half Friday at NUHS.
For the Eagles, it was early foul trouble that continued all game that hurt.
"Foul trouble kind of took us out of it early," said assistant coach Dan Reinhart, who saw New Ulm whistled for 19 first half fouls. "We did not have some shots. The game was kind of a street fight early. They hurt us on the boards and then we fouled on the putbacks. That and out shooting percentage [three of 18 from the field in the first half] were the differences in the game."
Two free throws from the Eagles' Alley Grejtak (who along with Molly Shaul fouled out in the second half) pulled New Ulm to within 9-8 with 12:36 left in the first half.
But that was the closest the Eagles came to the Bucs the rest of the game.
A 6-0 run by the Bucs [four of the points coming from the free throw line] moved BEA to a 15-8 lead.
Four more free throws to close out the first half had the Bucs holding a 21-10 lead.
In the first half, BEA was 11-of-24 from the free throw line.
"They beat us to the ball on the rebounds and we were out of position and were slapping," Reinhart said. "When you get beat on the boards those putbacks, 50 percent of those end up being a foul."
BEA came out in the second half and scored the first nine points to establish a 29-10 lead before Nicole Dittrich and Shaul put in a speed bump for the Bucs.
"We do not have a lot of size and we are going to have to rely on the outside shot," Reinhart said. "We have some young kids playing and they played hard. But they got to the foul line a whole bunch more than we did [New Ulm was 10-of-20 from the free throw line] and that was the difference in the game."
Reinhart said that it is still a learning process for the Eagles' team.
"It is a learning curve for the girls," he said.