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Pat Miller: This week at Bemidji High School - busy schedules resume for Jacks winter programs

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Most of the Bemidji High School winter sports teams enjoyed an extended holiday but the break officially comes to a close this week as the Lumberjacks will cram 12 events into three days of action.

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The hectic schedule begins Thursday when the swimmers and divers head to Grand Rapids while the boys basketball team travels to Moorhead.

On Friday the girls hockey team will enjoy the home spotlight as it tangles with Fergus Falls. Friday’s schedule also finds the wrestlers visiting Cambridge to take on the home team and St. Francis.

The girls basketball team will put on the miles this weekend as the Jacks visit Detroit Lakes on Friday and go to Cloquet on Saturday.

Saturday’s agenda also sees the wrestlers, the skiers, the gymnasts and the swimmers on the road plus the boys hockey team entertaining Sartell.

The boys hockey players did not have much of a holiday break as they played three games last week at the Heritage Classic hosted by Duluth Denfeld.

BHS opened the event with a 2-1 overtime victory over Buffalo and on Friday it lost 3-0 to Cloquet.

Bemidji recovered in the third place game, however, and blitzed Denfeld 6-3.

“We played very well,” BHS head coach Wade Chiodo said of the victory over Denfeld. “That’s the way we want to play. I’m very proud of the way we came out; we put a complete game together.”

Six different players scored the six goals for the Lumberjacks (5-6-0), who saw goals from all four lines, Chiodo said.

“It’s nice when everybody’s on the same page, and everybody’s scoring,” he said. “When all four lines score you know something’s going right.”

Sartell will bring a 6-5 record into Saturday’s contest and during the holiday it won the consolation title at the Granite City Classic. In the opening round Sartell fell 4-3 to Monticello, a team Bemidji defeated 4-0. Sartell followed that loss by downing St. Cloud Cathedral 3-2 in overtime and stopping Providence Academy 5-2.

The Lumberjacks girls basketball team also was busy during the Christmas break as it spent a few days in Cloquet. Unfortunately, the trip wasn’t profitable as BHS lost 54-48 to Watertown and 88-56 to Browerville.

Bemidji (3-5) will hope for better results this weekend when it heads to Detroit Lakes (4-3) Friday and Cloquet (5-2) on Saturday.

The Lumberjacks swimmers and divers also were in action during the break as the Jacks placed fourth at the Brainerd Invitational. Coach Megan Fuller mixed her lineup and saw mixed results.

After meeting Grand Rapids in Thursday’s dual the swimmers and divers will participate in Saturday’s Detroit Lakes Invitational.

Bemidji’s boys basketball players and coaches hope that their fortunes will turn around in 2014 as the Jacks open the new year with a 1-10 record. The lone victory came a month ago when they spanked International Falls.

The overall record is deceiving, however, as BHS has played better of late and it probably is just a matter of time before the Lumberjacks put two solid periods together and find their stride.

Moorhead is 3-6 and most of its games have been very close. Bemidji’s next home appearance will be Jan. 7 against Thief River Falls. That game will be part of a girls/boys doubleheader at the Sanford Center.

The wrestlers are off to a great start as they own a 4-1 record in dual action and are coming off a fourth—place finish at the 33-team Big Bear meet hosted by Blackduck-Cass Lake-Bena.

Bemidji will have a busy weekend, opening with Friday’s triangular at Cambridge and closing with Saturday’s Buffalo Invitational. The Lumberjacks open 2014 with a pair of ranked wrestlers as 106-pounder Brian Maas is rated No. 2 in Minnesota Class 3A and Kade Johnson is rated No. 4 at 182 pounds.

Bemidji’s next home appearance will be Jan. 10 against Columbia Heights.

The girls hockey team has been off since demolishing Brainerd 9-0 before Christmas. The Lumberjacks are 4-7-2 while Fergus Falls is 4-9-1.

The gymnasts also have had an extensive break as they have not competed since finishing second at the five-team Fargo South Invitational on Dec. 20.

On Saturday that break will end as Bemidji will participate in the Park Rapids Invitational. The Jacks hope to better their season-high score of 134.35 which was hit in mid-December at home against Little Falls.

Capping the week’s schedule is Saturday’s skiing action at Alexandria. Bemidji’s girls team placed fifth of nine teams at the Brainerd Invitational last week while the boys were fifth of 10 teams.

Next Tuesday the Lumberjacks will compete in the Fergus Falls Invitational.

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Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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