Bemidji girls basketball stops Spuds despite injuries
With Jess Yost unavailable for Tuesday's game against Moorhead because of minor surgery, the Bemidji girls basketball players had to elevate their individual games or suffer the consequences.
And the girls decided to adopt the first option.
"During the first 12 minutes we played as well as we have all year," said Lumberjacks coach Rick Kehoe following his team's 59-52 home victory. "The difference between this year and last year is we played together and we didn't panic when Moorhead got close."
Bemidji employed a team concept that featured quick ball movement and constant player movement. The result was open looks at the basket, especially during the first 12 minutes when the Lumberjacks opened a 29-13 lead.
During that stretch the Spuds had no answer for Bemidji's offensive attack and defensively the Jacks made life miserable for Moorhead with their match-up zone.
Quarterbacking Bemidji's play was Cheyenne Woods but when she was assessed her second foul with 4:44 to play in the first half and BHS ahead 29-13, Kehoe decided to keep her on the bench the rest of the period.
Moorhead took advantage of the opportunity and outscored Bemidji 13-3 the rest of the stanza and trailed only 32-26 at intermission.
The visitors continued their comeback early in the second period and eventually tied the game 41-41 with 9:25 to play. The teams traded a pair of baskets to maintain the tie but Bemidji then went on a 10-3 spurt to regain control.
Moorhead did close within 56-52 with 1:40 to play but the Lumberjacks slammed the door as Cori Treat converted a pair of charity tosses and Woods added an insurance free throw.
"Free throws made a huge difference," Kehoe said. "We have struggled from the line this year but Tuesday we made 23 of 36 while Moorhead hit only seven of 14."
Caitlin Hadrava paced the Jacks with 17 points while Woods added 16 and Greta Steever 11.
The win was Bemidji's seventh in eight outings. The Lumberjacks return to action Dec. 28-29 at a tournament in St. Peter.
Yost is expected to be sidelined for that tournament but she should be available when Bemidji heads to Detroit Lakes on Jan. 5.
Moorhead (52): Clark 0 2-3, 2; Wixo 1, 2-2, 4; Tonn 8, 1-2, 22; Engen 2, 0-0, 5; Gulsvig 0, 0-0, 0;p Driscoll 1, 1-2, 3; Rosenfeldt 2, 0-0, 4; Groth 1, 1-1, 3; Swanson 1, 0-0, 2; Dahlquist 3, 1-4, 7. Totals: 19, 7-14, 52.
Bemidji (59): Lusby 0, 0-0, 0; Sagedahl 1, 0-2, 2; Treat 2, 3-4, 9; Woods 6, 2-4, 16; Gronhovd 1, 1-2, 4; Hadrava 3, 10-12, 17; Steever 2, 7-12, 11. Totals: 15, 23-36, 59
3-point FG: Moorhead 6, Bemidji 6
Fouls: Moorhead 21, Bemidji 15
Halftime: Bemidji 32, Moorhead 26