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Boys basketball holds on for win

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Bemidji, 56619

Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

The Bemidji Lumberjacks wasted a seven-point first half lead and all but squandered a nine-point margin late in the game but managed to hold off Sauk Rapids 74-69 Saturday in the nightcap of a girls-boys basketball doubleheader.

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It was the second of six twin bills against Central Lakes Conference foes. The next comes at Little Falls next Saturday.

Before that, however, the Jacks host Grand Rapids Tuesday trying to repeat an earlier 55-54 triumph at the Rapids.

The Jacks-Storm match up pitted two teams that had won only four games this season.

The Storm brought a 1-12 mark into the game. Bemidji was 3-11.

The pair were evenly matched and battled tooth and nail all the way.

The foul-filled battle saw 58 fouls called with Bemidji losing three players down the stretch and Sauk Rapids one.

It appeared the Storm was going to pull out the victory after it poured in six straight points to crawl back to 70-67 with a minute left.,

But Bemidji held tough and scored four of the final six points.

Doug Bender and David Sand led the way with 13 while Drew Baker added 11 and eight of the nine players scored.

Aaron Haakenson and Matt Elliott hit 14 for the Storm.

The visitors rolled to a 14-9 lead at the start and were still ahead 16-13 when Bemidji rolled in 10 straight points including Baker's three point play to take a 23-16 lead.

But it failed to hold it as the Storm blew back to retake the lead 30-29 late in the going on a three point play by Elliott.

After Bemidji went back in front 33-30, Sauk Rapids closed the half with a six-point run to take a 36-33 advantage to the locker room.

Bemidji opened strong in the second half, outscoring the Storm 9-2 at the start to move back ahead 42-38.

From then on, it was a barn burner

For the most part, Bemidji moved ahead and Sauk Rapids fought back, running five in a row to trail 63-59 with four minutes remaining.

Two Sand free throws another by Baker plus Bender's lay-up sent the Jacks back to the front 68-59, its largest lead of the night.

At 70-61, two free throws by Jordan Christian, another by Haakenson, his following lay-up follow3nbg a turnover and a Cody Meyer free throw left the Storm behind 70-67 with 50 seconds remaining.

Chris Marty's lay-up and Eric Carlstrom's drive in matched two pointers before free throws by Alex Muller and Mike Erpelding sealed the visitors' fate.

Bemidji held a strong 44-32 lead off the boards with Bender cleaning 10 and Sand 8.

Haakenson's eight was the Storm's best.

Bemidji ended with 22 turnovers and Sauk Rapids 18.

Bemidji reached 4-11 with the win. Sauk Rapids dropped to 1-13.

The B Team fell 60-47, out scored 37-27 in the second half after trailing by only three at the break.

Eric Johnson led the visitors JV with 20. Dan Sadek hit 13 and Ray Walker 11 for Bemidji.

Steve Thompson's forces dropped to 3-12. They also face the Rapids Tuesday.

The freshmen return to the court that night. There were no freshman games Saturday.

BENMIDJI (74) Bender 5 3-10 2 13, Sand 5 3-5 5 13, Marty 1 4-4 4 6; Hengel 3 1-1 5 7; Muller 1 3-6 2 5; D. Baker 4 3-4 5 11; T, Baker 2 4-4 2 8; Erpelding 1 1-2 1 3; Schaper 3 2-5 4 8; Bretschneider 0 0-0 0 0; Totals: 25 24-21 30 74

SAUK RAPIDS (69) Haakenson 6 2-6 3 14; Meyer 2 3-4 4 8; McCabe 1 3-3 0 5; Wichterman 1 1-1 1 3; Christianson 2 4-6 4 8; Elliott 4 5 4-5 5 14; Carstenson 2 2-2 2 6; Benoit 4 0-2 2 8; Bartel 0 0-0 3 0; Frieler 1 1-2 1 3; Piepkorn 0 0-0 2 0; Janson 0 0-0 1 0; Totals: 24 20-31 1 28 69

Halftime score: Sauk Rapids 36, Bemidji 33

Three point field goals; Sauk Rapids 1-Meyer; Bemidji none

Rebounds: Bemidji 44, Sauk Rapids 32

Turnovers; Bemidji 22, Sauk Rapids 18

Officials; Theo Ringle, Tim Trosen and Aaron Lenes

B Team Game

BEMIDJI (47) Sadek 13, Walker 11, Telander 8, Jahner 7, Hengel 3, Anderson 3, Felts 2, Erickson, Baumgartner, Heinle 0; Totals: 14 16-21 17 47

SAUK RAPIDS (60) Johnson 20, Janson 14, Piepkorn 10, Holcomb 7, Leyk 7, Gaffke 2, Ree 0: Totals: 25 9-12 19 60

Halftime score; Saul Rapids 23, Bemidji 20

Three point field goals: Bemidji 3 (Hengel, Walker, Jahner); Sauk Rapids 1-Leyk

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