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Grand Rapids hands Jacks cagers 55-42 setback

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

The Grand Rapids Thunderhawks opened fast and closed strong Tuesday night to hand the struggling Bemidji Lumberjacks a 55-42 setback at the field house.

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It completed a home and home sweep for the Hawks who won the season opener 76-66 on their home court.

Sixty-six would have won this game easily for Bemidji. But the Jacks were unable to find the bucket all evening, equaling their season low turned in earlier in a loss to St. Michael-Albertville at the Brainerd Holiday Tournament.

But a determined defensive effort kept Bemidji in the game until the final six minutes. They trailed at that juncture 38-35 and seemed to be taking control.

But the visitors outscored Bemidji 17-7 down the stretch to end matters. Thirteen of the 17 came at the foul line as Bemidji had to foul repeatedly to regain possession.

And that, coupled with their lack of finding the bucket, told the tale.

Ryan Gibeau led the winners with 15 points, going 10-13 from the charity stripe Brandon Moberg added 10 and controlled the boards.

Doug Bender had 16 for Bemidji. Andrew Hengel's eight was next and no one else topped six.

Bemidji's inside trio combined for four points and nine rebounds.

The game opened at a snail's pace with neither team able to hit.

Bemidji led briefly 3-0 before the Rapids ran the next 13 points to take a lead it never lost.

But Bemidji kept pecking way at the lead until halftime eventually getting it down to 26-23 at the break. Bender and Drew Baker had six at this point to lead Bemidji.

Early in the second half the Jacks drew within two at 30-28 on three points from Bender.

The Rapids scored the next six.

Bemidji fought back on Hengel's trey from the left corner to get back to 38-35 with six minutes remaining.

Grand Rapids ran the next six.

Another three-point surge by Bender left Bemidji trailing 44-38.

But the Rapids answered with five and all doubt of the outcome vanished.

The winners outboarded Bemidji 45-35 with the husky Moberg clearing 13. Jeff Schaper's six was Bemidji's best.

The Jacks cut their turnovers to 16, one of their better games this year. The Hawks had 17.

Grand Rapids reached .5009 at 7-7. Bemidji fell to 4-12.

Things get no easier Saturday when they play the nightcap of a girls-boys twin bill at Little Falls

The B Team fell to 3-13 with a 55-45 setback. Matt Leslie's half court shot at the buzzer gave the visitors a 24-21 lead.

They opened the second half with a 20-3 run to end matters.

Leslie's 13 was high but 10 players scored. Ray Walker and Lucas Felts hit 10 for Bemidji and Dan Sadek followed with eight.

The Hawks held a 39-36 boards edge with Sadek's eight tops for both teams. Bemidji had 18 turnovers to 17 for the winners.

The freshmen prevented a Rapids sweep with a 58-36 decision to reach 6-6.

Czar Woods had a season-high 25 while Ryan Rude added nine. Virkus led the Hawks with 10.

BEMIDJI (42) Bender 5 5-8 4 11; Sand 0 0-0 0 3 0; Marty 2 0-0 4 4; Hengel 3 1-2 3 8; Muller 1 0-0 2 1 2; D. Baker 1 3-4 5 6; D. Baker 2 0-1 2 4; Schaper 0 0-0 1 0; Erpelding 0 2-2 1 2; Bretschneider 0 0-0 0 0; Totals: 14 11-17 24 42

GRAND RAPIDS (55) Gibeau 2 10-13 3 15; Moberg 4 2-2 5 10; Drobnick 3 2-3 0 8; Kruse 1 3-4 2 6; Richie 0 0-0 0 0; Boss 1 1-2 0 3; Stoeke 2 0-0 5 4; Sjostrand 3 1-5 2 7; Trboyevich 1 0-0 2 2; Totals; 17 19-29 19 55

Three point field goals: Bemidji 3 (Bender, Hengel, D. Baker); Grand Rapids 2 (Gibeau, Kruse)

Rebounds; Bemidji 35, Grand Rapids 45

Turnovers; Bemidji 16, Grand Rapids 17

Halftime score: Grand Rapids 26, Bemidji 23

Officials: John Klinnert and Joe Young

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B Team Game

BEMIDJI 45) Anderson 0 2-2 0 2; Sadek 3 2-3 2 8; Telander 0 1-4 1 1; Jahner 0 0-0 0 0; Walker 4 0-0 0 10; Adams 1 0-2 0 2; Hengel 1 0-0 0 2; Heinle 3 0-0 1 6; Felts 4 2-4 3 10; Erickson 0 1 0-0 0 1; Baumgartner 0 0-0 0 0; Weaver 0 2-3 0 2; Totals: 17 9-18 7 45

GRAND RAPIDS (55) Johnson 3 1-2 1 7; Leslie 6 0-0 0 13; J. Anderson 1 0-0 5 2; Trboyevich 1 0-0 2 2; George 2 0-0 0 4; Sutherland 3 0-0 2 6; Richie 2 0-0 2 6; Scherer 0 0-0 1; McCartney 0 0-0 0 0; C. Anderson 2 2-4 2 6; Butler 1 0-0 0 3; Benson 0 0-0 1 0; Booth 3 0-0 3 6; Totals: 24 3-6 19 55

Halftime score; Grand Rapids 24, Bemidji 21

Three point field goals: Bemidji 2, Walker 2; Grand Rapids 4 (Richie 2, Leslie, Butler)

Rebounds; Bemidji 36, Grand Rapids 39

Turnovers; Bemidji 19, Grand Rapids 17

Officials; Joe Young and John Klinnert

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C Team Game

BEMIDJI (58) Woods 25, Rude 9, Humeniuk 9, Frost 6, Koepp 4, Kane 3, Hanson 2, Smith, Neft 0

GRAND RAPIDS (36) Virkus 10, Wilde 8, Akre 6, Flood 5, Robbers 4, Anderson 2, Halling 1, Werner, Erlenbush, Gordell 0

Halftime score; Bemidji 31, Grand Rapids 20

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