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Bemidji's Kayla Hirt stopped short in the lane for a close range jumper during Tuesday night's Section 8-4A playoff game against St. Cloud Tech. Bemidji faces Elk River in one semifinal game Saturday night in Wadena. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper
Bemidji's Kayla Hirt stopped short in the lane for a close range jumper during Tuesday night's Section 8-4A playoff game against St. Cloud Tech. Bemidji faces Elk River in one semifinal game Saturday night in Wadena. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Bemidji High School girls basketball: Hirt reaches 1,000 points, Jacks move on to section semifinals

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sports Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The Bemidji High girls basketball team rolled easily past outmatched St. Cloud Tech 79-55 Tuesday night in the opening game of the Section 8-4A tournament.

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The game brought out a fine crowd of around 800 to witness the team play its final home game.

The 1-8 match up brought the typical result.

Things will be far tougher Saturday when Bemidji heads to Wadena for the semifinal to meet Elk River, which defeated St. Cloud Apollo 53-51 on Tuesday night.

Elk River is rated by some observers as the team to beat for the state trip.

The final will be March 13 at St. John's University.

It was Kayla Hirt night Tuesday. The big center reached two milestones and set a personal best in a third category.

Her opening bucket three minutes into play gave her 600 points on the season.

Two more quickly followed to reach the 1,000 point mark for her two year career.

And before leaving with several minutes to play, she had pulled down 20 rebounds, a phase of play she has worked hard to improve this season.

Had she remained for two more buckets, she could have set a single game high of 36 points.

As it was she hit 32 to lead nine players who scored. Paige Jensen added 17 and Kelsey Heisler came off the bench for a season high 10.

In all, the bench contributed 20 points to the cause.

As has been the case most of the year, Bemidji won with streaks.

It hit 11 unanswered points early in the game to take a 21-6 lead and another 10 point run upped the lead to 34-12.

At that point the main hope was to hold another opponent under 20 in a half.

 But two late field goals lifted the Tigers to 22 though the trailed 44-22 at the break,

Hirt had 15 and Jensen nine at this point.

It was more of the same in the second half as Bemidji moved quickly to a 55-26 lead and was still 28 points in front at 67-41 when the visitors unleashed a three point barrage, hitting six in the second half.

Three in succession brought the Tigers back to 67-50 but they came no closer as Bemidji scored the next eight and the game was over.

Natasha Ambrose led the Tigers with 14, Hannah Zweiner had 12 and Bobbie Bohlig 11, Ambrose and Bohlig reserves.

The taller Bemidji team had a 48-29 boards advantage getting a number of baskets on put backs. Jensen cleaned 10. No Tech player had more than nine.

Bemidji ended with 17 turnovers though 11 came in the second half with reserves flooding the floor.

But it forced 16 in the first half as Tech ended with 24.

Bemidji lifted its record to 23-3, only one game off the school mark of 24 set in 1992. Tech closed at 9-16.

BEMIDJI (79) Jensen 7 2-4 2 17; Larson 2 2-2 4 4; K. Hirt 15 2-5 2 32; Claypool 2 0-0 2 4; Hendricks 1 0-2 3 1; A. Hirt 1 0-0 2 2; Weimann 1 0-0 2 4; Heisler 5 0-0 1 10; Huseby 3 0-0 2 6; Gilbertson 0 0-2 0 0; Gangelhoff 0 0-0 0 0; Bauer 0 0-0 0 0; Totals: 36 6-13 19 79

ST. CLOUD TECH (55) H Zweiner 3 3-4 3 12; Braun 0 0-2 1 0; R. Zweiner 2 4-4 2 8; Rosh 2 0-2 1 4; Gray 1 1-2 0 3; Bohlig 5 0-0 1 10; Ambrose 5 1-1 1 13; Wurm 1 0-2 0 2; Johnson 0 0-0 0 0; Wendt 1 0-0 2 2; Bjork 0 0-0 0 0; Schlagel 0 0-0 0 0; Bjork 0 0-0 0 0; Totals: 20 9-17 12 55

Halftime score; Bemidji 44, SCT 22

Three point field goals; Bemidji 1-Jensen; SCT 6 (H. Zweiner 3, Ambrose 2, Bohlig)

Rebounds; Bemidji 48, SCT 29

Turnovers; Bemidji 17, SCT 24

Officials: Luke Schumer, Daren Larson and Kevin Duncan

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