BEMIDJI – Judging by the torrid pace of Friday’s season opener against East Grand Forks in the Lakes and Woods Classic at the Bemidji High School gym, Lumberjack basketball fans are in for a hectic ride.
Among the few times when BHS wasn’t in a hurry to get off a shot was the game’s final 45 seconds when the Lumberjacks were looking to milk the clock in an attempt to take the last shot and snap a 73-73 deadlock.
The tactic backfired, however, when Bemidji committed a turnover with six seconds to go and was forced to foul Grant Frydenlund who was on his way to the game-winning fast-break basket.
Frydenlund made one of the two charity tosses to give the Green Wave the 74-73 victory.
New BHS coach Dan Ninham and his staff have implemented an entertaining brand of basketball that features a pressing defense and an offense that generates quick scoring opportunities.
The negative of that style, at least during Friday’s game, were numerous fouls which forced players to the sideline and strained the Lumberjacks bench.
The teams were deadlocked 40-40 at the break but by intermission the Jacks had three players with three fouls and three more playing with two.
Eventually BHS lost Richard Seado on fouls and had Josh Misco and Jeremiah Huseby saddled with four.
East Grand Forks used a 3-pointer by Frydenlund to take a 5-2 lead but Bemidji answered with a 9-1 spurt to assume an 11-6 advantage.
The run began with Josh Misco’s inside bucket courtesy of Billy Baumgartner’s assist and included Huseby’s basket from the paint, a 3-pointer by Seado and Connor McNallan’s inside hoop.
A 9-2 flurry a few minutes later expanded the cushion to 25-14 but the visitors were able to chip away at their deficit the remainder of the half and eventually tied the game at intermission.
Bemidji regained the lead early in the second session as McNallan connected on a drive and converted a pair of free throws and with 12:55 to play the Lumberjacks extended the margin to 58-47.
Once again, however, East Grand Forks battled back and a three-point play by Jim Warmack with five minutes to play in the game knotted the score at 69-69.
With 1:40 left McNallan converted Baumgartner’s pass to tie the game at 73-73 and the defense blocked Warmack’s shot at the other end of the court with a minute to go.
After calling a time out with 45 seconds to play the Jacks decided to stall but the turnover in the final six seconds proved fatal.
Seado led Bemidji’s offense with 27 points while Mcnallan scored 16. Joe Strong had eight and Josh Misco seven.
East Grand Forks had a more balanced attack as five players reached double figures, including Warmack who tallied 17.
Today finds the Jacks facing St. Cloud Cathedral at 2 p.m. in the second day of the tournament. At 12:30 Grand Rapids will tangle with East Grand Forks.
In Friday’s tournament opener St. Cloud Cathedral nipped Grand Rapids 80-73 in overtime.
Woods and Lakes Classic
East Grand Forks (74): Erickson 0, 4-4, 1, 4; Holy 3, 5-8, 3, 11; Misalek 5, 0-0, 3, 12; Warmack 5, 6-12, 4, 17; Frydenlund 3, 2-4, 0, 10; Cummings 2, 0-0, 2, 5; Parrish 0, 2-2, 0, 2; Friez 4, 3-4, 1, 13. Totals: 22, 22-34, 14, 74.
Bemidji (73): Baumgartner 2, 0-0, 2, 4; McNallan 6, 4-5, 4, 16; Sommer 0, 0-2, 0, 0; Vonasek 0, 0-1, 0, 0; Strong 3, 0-0, 2, 8; Ingalls 1, 0-0, 0, 3; Seado 11, 2-2, 5, 27; Hendricks 0, 0-0, 0, 0; Bruns 0, 0-0, 1, 0; R.Misco 1, 2-2, 3, 4; J.Misco 3, 1-2, 4, 7; Huseby 2, 0-0, 4, 4. Totals: 29, 9-14, 25, 73
Halftime: Bemidji 40, East Grand Forks 40
St. Cloud Cathedral 80, Grand Rapids 73, OT
East Grand Forks 74, Bemidji 73
12:30 p.m.: Grand Rapids vs. East Grand Forks
2 p.m.: Bemidji vs. St. Cloud Cathedral