The Waterville-Elysian-Morristown Buccaneers came into Thursday night's Section 2 Class 2A South Subsection semifinal game with a 19-game winning streak. Unfortunately they ran into another hot team in the Fairmont Cardinals.

The Cardinals were able to do something most opponents could not this season, and that's score a lot of points. No. 4 seed Fairmont won the game over the top seed Buccaneers 81-65.

I spoke with one of the Waterville-Elysian-Morristown players after the game and he simply said, "I think we took them a little lightly."

Buccaneer head coach Jeff Wagner didn't take the Cardinals lightly. Before the game he told me during our Nordmeier Brothers Keys to the game he was surprised his team got the top seed and said the seed really doesn't mean much after the first round this year.

Wagner knew Fairmont had size and some capable shooters and said his team better defend the paint. Man was he right.

The Cardinals scored 22 of their 38 points in the first half in the paint and finished the game with 40 points there. Fairmont led at the half 38-33.

Coming into the game, Waterville-Elysian-Morristown had given up an average of about 45 points a game.

So naturally I thought Wagner would get his team refocused defensively. It appeared that might have been the case when they took a one point lead about five minutes into the half, but the Cardinals had to shoot lights out in the game.

Six-foot-5 senior Zac Olson ended his fantastic career at Waterville-Elysian-Morristown with 38 points.

The Bucs jumped out to a lead to start the game and Olson was having his way driving to the hoop or on the block. He scored 17 points in the first half; 6-foot-3 fellow senior Dallas McBroom had 11 points at the half.

Fairmont saw Olson score 21 in the second half but Waterville-Elysian-Morristown got seven points from McBroom and only two other people scored in the second half.

Meanwhile the Cardinals had four of their five starters score double-digit points, and the fifth finished with nine. Six-foot-7 senior Walker Torsden had 13 of his 22 points in the second half and 6-foot-6 junor Derek Missling had 15 of his 18 in the first half.

When the Buccaneers would cheat over a bit to help in the post, a cutter would either get a back door layup or get a dump off while flying down the lane.

Fairmont is now 17-9 and will play New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva at 6PM Monday at Minnesota State University-Mankato.

The Panthers beat the defending section and subsection champions from Maple River 48-44 in a defensive minded second game. It was the fourth time this season NRHEG defeated Maple River.

Six-foot-8 senior Tyler Raimann got in some foul trouble and finished with 10 points. He also had some blocks and made the Eagles alter some shots around the basket.

Six-foot-5 senior Oakley Baker did not score in the first half and opened the second half with a top of the key three-point basket that seemed to get him going. He finished with 11 points.

Five-foot-10 junior Benji Lundberg had blow by after blow by of defenders to get easy kisses off the glass and finished with 16 points, 14 in the second half.

Five-foot-11 Panther senior Jason Jongbloedt hit two clutch free throws with 32 seconds to go in the game and Baker swished two with 15 seconds to go and hit two more with three seconds to go to seal the victory for New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva.

I'm sure the Bucs would have one piece of advice for the Panthers: Do not take Fairmont lightly.

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