The Bemidji Lumberjacks boys basketball team begins its final week of regular season play tonight, heading west to Thief River Falls to complete a home-and-home series.
Friday they play at Duluth Central. Section play opens next week.
Bemidji will make its debut into 8-3A this year, where its top foes will be St. Cloud Apollo and Rocori.
The Jacks beat Rocori here 63-52 but did not face Apollo this winter.,
Rocori beat Apollo by one and lost by nine in their two meetings.
Other teams in the section include Little Falls, Sauk Rapids, Sartell, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls and Thief River.
Little Falls edged Apollo in last year's title game.
Thief River is 13-10 entering tonight's play but 0-2 against the two section foes it met, losing to Bemidji 51-36 here and to Detroit Lakes 64-57.
All of its Minnesota wins have come against 2A teams. It did defeat Grand Forks Central, a team that has won only once this season.
Thief River Falls played a slowdown game here but the Lumberjacks' defense dominated the Prowlers in the 15-point win.
It was the Jacks second best defensive performance of the year bettered only by their 60-31 win over Cottage Grove in the holiday tournament. Ryan Rude had 18 and Carey Woods 14 that night to pace the attack.
They will team with Dan Frost, Grant Richardson and Czar Woods in the starting lineup with Josh Kane, Harley Kroening, Mitch Brown and Cody Rutledge first off the bench.
Bemidji led by six at halftime here and was only 10 points ahead with eight minutes to go before widening the gap down the stretch.
The B and C Teams well be trying for sweeps, The B Team is 15-8 winning 57-34 here.
The Frosh are 5-13 but took the first game 57-38 from the Prowlers.
Friday's foe, Central, took an 8-13 mark into this week, Bemidji won last year 75-51 here.