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Bemidji High School basketball preview: Girls host Cloquet, boys visit Thief River Falls

The Bemidji High School girls basketball team has the home floor tonight, hosting Cloquet in a Battle of the Lumberjacks at the field house.

The boys, meanwhile, head north to Thief River Falls to open their home and home series. The return game here is March 2.

The girls beat Cloquet 68-52 there last year with Kayla Hirt hitting 20.

They carry a 9-1 record into play, winning their last seven after losing to Grand Rapids.

The last six have come by margins of 19-46 points with the team upping its attack and tightening its defense with every outing.

Saturday, Bemidji beat Willmar 71-50 with the starters gone midway through the second period. One was Hirt who retired with 28 points, just missing her fifth 30 point night of the year.

Paige Jensen had her finest day with 24 while that pair combined for 21 rebounds.,

Megan Larson completes the front line with Abby Hendricks and Meg Claypool outside.

And seeing extended play will be Erika Weimann, Kelsey Heisler, Megan Huseby and Ashley Hirt.

Cloquet is 7-5 after taking its last three starts.

The pair have met only one common foe, Cloquet shading Duluth Central 37-31, a team Bemidji blitzed 68-22 at its holiday tournament.

The B Team is 6-4 and the freshmen 7-0. Both play at 5:45.

Boys draw even

The boys reached the .500 mark Thursday beating Brainerd 72-63 with its run and gun attack beginning to grow with every outing.

The Brainerd win came after a 37 point victory over Crookston.

Bemidji is now 4-4. Thief River is also at that figure including a 44-38 win over Grand Forks Central in its last start

That was the only 4A school it has faced. One of its setbacks was to Red Lake 72-59 at its own Russ Smith holiday tournament.

Bemidji had four starters in double figures in the Brainerd win for the first time this year. They included guards Ray Walker and Czar Woods and front liners Ryan Telander and Ryan Rude.

Simon Anderson will join those four in the pivot.

Joe Kingery, Nate McGriff, Sam Weaver and Tony Baumgartner will be the first off the bench.

Thief River swept last year's games 49-43 and 72-69.

The B Team brings a 5-3 mark to its game. The freshmen are 4-3.