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Bemidji High School girls basketball: Jacks rally in second half to down Duluth East

Trailing by nine points at the 11 minute mark of the second half Thursday at Duluth East, things weren't looking good for the Bemidji High girls basketball team.

But the Jacks turned things around and dominated down the stretch, running their record to 12-2 with a big 72-61 win.

What prompted the big turnaround? "We starting playing our style of defense, running our offense consistently and making our shots," said BHS head coach Rick Kehoe matter-of-factly.

The Jacks started out with a quick 6-1 lead before East came back to claim a 7-6 advantage. From that point on it was a back and forth affair with neither team able to make any type of major run offensively, according to Kehoe.

""We didn't play our style," Kehoe said. "We didn't push the ball offensively and didn't apply our usual pressure defensively. East packed it in tight down low and we just didn't move the ball well in our half-court offense to generate good shots.

"That's something we really need to work on or we're not going to have a lot of success against the stronger teams we play against."

Defensively, when the Jacks pressured the ball they were able to force turnovers and convert them to baskets, Kehoe continued. "When we played soft, they scored."

The Jacks finally got the message in the second half and began to play their style. It worked as the Jacks earned the hard fought win.

Kayla Hirt had another big night for the Jacks, ending with 33 points. Paige Jensen was the only other BHS player in double figures with 14. Erika Weimann came off the bench to hit consecutive three pointers in the second half to help turn the tide for the Jacks, according to Kehoe.

Marissa Yernatich had 23 points to pace the Greyhounds, while Marcy Darow added 15.

The Jacks return to action Saturday at Rocori.

Junior varsity falls

The BHS junior varsity had a tougher time, falling 51-35. The Jacks trailed 17-10 at the half and were never able to recover.

BHS was paced by Brittany Zastrow with nine points as none of the Jacks were able to break into double figures. Caitlin Gangelhoff added seven and Summer Monsrud 6.

The Jacks fell to 10-4 with the loss.

Freshman team wins

The BHS freshman kept its perfect season intact, winning 44-27 to reach 10-0 on the year.

The Jacks jumped out to a 30-15 first half lead and coasted home from there.

Kenzie Kane paced with Jacks 16, while Jessica Sagedahl added 10, Jess Yost nine and Ashley Long nine to account for all the scoring.

BHS (72):Megan Larson 1 1-2 1 3, Meg Claypool 0 1-2 1 1, Erica Weimann 2 0-0 0 6, Kayla Hirt 12 9-10 2 33, Ashley Hirt 0 2-2 0 2, Megan Huseby 1 0-0 0 3, Abby Hendricks 2 3-3 1 7, Paige Jensen 5 3-4 3 14, Kelsey Heisler 2 0-0 1 4

Duluth East (61): Marissa Yernatich 23, Marcy Darow 23

Halftime: East 27, BHS 26