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Brown's free throws lead BHS to win over Detroit Lakes

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sports Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Mitch Brown made seven of his eight free throws in the final 1:48 and those points proved essential as the Bemidji boys basketball team edged Detroit Lakes 78-74 Tuesday night in Detroit Lakes.

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The Lumberjacks improved to 18-3 with the important Section 8-3A victory while the Lakers dropped to 15-6.

After taking a seemingly comfortable 31-17 lead in the first half BHS saw the home team whittle away at its deficit and by intermission the Lakers were within 38-32. Detroit Lakes continued its attack early in the second stanza and leading the charge was senior inside threat Josh Stalberger who scored six consecutive points to open the half.

Another Stalberger bucket set the stage for Connor Hedstrom's 3-pointer and with 14:20 to play the Lakers were on top 43-42.

"Good teams are going to make runs and the trick is to stop the run and generate one of your own," said Bemidji coach Jeff Brown.

The Lumberjacks, behind Carey Woods' lay-up and 3-pointer and a power drive by Cody Rutledge, regained the lead at 49-43. The Lumberjacks maintained an edge the rest of the way but the Lakers consistently were within striking distance until Brown iced the victory with two free throws in the final 10 seconds.

"We made some free throws down the stretch and that was good to see," the coach said. "Detroit Lakes is a very good team and we needed every point we could get."

During the final minutes Woods reached another career milestone as the junior drove the lane and scored his 1,000th point.

"Carey has worked hard to get his 1,000 points," Brown said. "There is no kid more deserving than Carey. Earlier this year Ryan Rude scored his 1,000th point and having two players do that this year is a credit to the kids and to the program."

The Lumberjacks used the 3-point basket to construct the early lead as Brown connected from outside the arc on two early possessions and Ben Hengel duplicated the feat midway through the stanza.

Woods nailed Bemidji's fifth 3-pointer of the evening with 7:30 to play in the half to up the Jacks' advantage to 27-17 and baskets by Rutledge and Brown pushed the margin to 31-27.

But Detroit Lakes returned the favor in the final six minutes as Joe Mollberg drained a trey and Connor McLeod followed with a pair of 3-pointers, the second one making the halftime score 38-32 and setting the stage for the back-and-forth second half.

Woods led Bemidji's offense with 19 points while Brown contributed 17, Rutledge 15 and Rude 10.

BHS is off until Saturday when it hosts Willmar at 2:45 p.m.

Bemidji (78): Hengel 2, 0-1, 6; Rude 4, 1-2, 10; Kroening 0, 0-0, 0; Rutledge 7, 1-3, 15; Brown 4, 7-8, 17; Woods 8, 0-0, 19; Vonasek 1, 1-2, 3; Richardson 3, 0-1, 6; Declusin 1, 0-0,2. Totals: 30, 10-16, 78

Detroit Lakes (74): K.McLeod 0, 0-0, 0; Mollberg 9, 4-4, 24; C.McLeod 4, 2-2, 13; Gilson 1, 0-0, 2; Hedstrom 1, 0-0, 3; Hutchinson 3, 0-0, 8; Labat 3, 2-2, 8; Stalberger 7, 2-2, 16. Totals: 28, 10-10, 74

Fouls: Bemidji 12, Detroit Lakes 12

Halftime: Bemidji 38, Detroit Lakes 32

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