This week at Bemidji High School: One more big day before holiday break
The pre-holiday competitive push for the Bemidji High School sports teams ends tonight as five of the winter squads are in action. The lone home appearance will belong to the boys basketball team as the Lumberjacks entertain Sauk Rapids-Rice at 7:15 p.m.
Tonight's road schedule sees the girls basketball team at Moorhead, the gymnasts against Fargo South, Fargo North and Moorhead in Fargo, the swimmers at Park Rapids and the girls hockey team at International Falls.
Following tonight's play all Bemidji teams will take a Christmas break. The boys cagers return to action Dec. 28 at the Chisago Lakes Invitational while the girls head to Albert Lea on Dec. 27. The gymnasts will be off until January while the boys hockey team travels to the Denfeld Invitational Dec. 28 and the girls hockey team hosts Detroit Lakes Dec. 28 at Nymore Arena. The wrestlers compete in the West Fargo Invitational Dec. 29, the swimmers travel to Brainerd on Dec. 28 and the skiers head west to Deer River on Dec. 28.
Boys cagers host Sauk Rapids
The Lumberjacks will put their perfect record on the line when they host Sauk Rapids today. BHS is 4-0 and has been off since Dec. 11 when it thumped St. Cloud Cathedral 89-76 in the Lakes and Woods Classic at the BHS gym.
Bemidji also ripped Park of Cottage Grove 77-38 in that tournament. The season began with a pair of road victories as the Jacks dumped East Grand Forks 77-50 and Fargo South 78-66.
Sauk Rapids is 0-5 and averages 48.4 points on offense while yielding 67.
BHS coach Jeff Brown is not taking anything for granted, however, despite the disparity in the records.
"This is a section game and Sauk Rapids wants the same thing we do," Brown said. "In a section game anything can happen and usually does."
With no games last week the Lumberjacks concentrated their practice sessions on improving the defense.
"Offensively we should be okay because we have some very good athletes," the coach said. "But we have some important games coming up and defensively we have to find ways to balance our lack of size. Unfortunately, we didn't grow any in the past week."
Tonight's starting cast will include Ryan Rude and Carey Woods at the points, Mitch Brown and Cody Rutledge at the wings and Grant Richardson inside.
Girls BB team seeks second win
Bemidji finally put together a complete game Saturday and the result was a 62-41 home victory over St. Cloud Apollo.
Despite obvious improvement in each game the Lumberjacks entered the contest 0-4. Saturday, however, they took control early and maintained an edge the entire game.
"We're making better decisions with the basketball," said BHS coach Rick Kehoe. "Every game we've been getting better. We were at a point in our season where there was no such thing as a moral victory, there were only losses. And winning Saturday was very important to this team."
Moorhead is in a similar situation as Bemidji was as the Spuds enter tonight's game 0-5. Defensively Moorhead hasn't been able to stop anybody as Buffalo won 75-40, Fargo South 73-39, Fargo North 82-62, Shanley 92-52 and Detroit Lakes 67-53.
Bemidji averages 42.4 points on offense and is yielding 49.6 points per contest.
In Saturday's win, Greta Steever scored 23 points and Jess Yost added 22.
"Losing by two points to Hibbing (53-51) and four points to Sauk Rapids (42-38) earlier in the year could result in the girls losing their self-confidence," Kehoe said. "But (Saturday's) win over Apollo cured a lot of ills."
Girls hockey team heads north
Saturday's 4-4 tie at Brainerd was a tale of two halves. The Lumberjacks dominated the first period and led 3-1 at its conclusion but Brainerd-Little Falls controlled the middle stretches and eventually took a 4-3 lead.
BHS, however, earned the tie when Karleigh Wolkerstorfer notched her second goal of the afternoon at 14:31 of the final period. She also opened the scoring with a goal 2:15 into the game. Also scoring for the Lumberjacks were Allie Lapp and Karlee Tower.
Laura Thompson was in the net and finished with 21 saves.
International Falls is 5-3-3. After losing to Roseau 7-1 and tying Silver Bay 1-1 the Broncos won five consecutive games. Since then they are 0-2-2. Last week International Falls tied Hibbing 1-1 and lost to Thief River Falls 7-0.
Swimmers, gym teams on the road
Bemidji's swimmers will be at Park Rapids tonight while the gymnasts face Moorhead, Fargo North and Fargo South.
The swimmers dominated Thief River Falls 126-54 last week while the Panthers lost 112-73 to Melrose-Sauk Centre in their only start.
The Prowlers proved to be no match for the Lumberjacks as Bemidji won all but one race and dominated from the opening event. BHS captured the 200 medley in 1:57.49 and never looked back.
The gymnasts have made steady progress this winter. After opening with a 126.0 score Bemidji improved to 126.225 against Fargo South and Fargo North and last week tallied 126.526 at Detroit Lakes.
Katie Jensen scored 32.0 in the All-Around at the Detroit Lakes meet and Jessica Bergquist earned 31.725.