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Bemidji HS Friday preview: Boys basketball team set to host Northland Classic

Bemidji High boys basketball fans will get an added bonus tonight when the Jacks added game to their slate at the Woods and Lakes Northland Classic.

The meet is sponsored by Northland Tackle.

The gymnastics team, meanwhile, will face a dual meet at Park Rapids. The BHS wrestling team will open at the Paul Bunyan Invite in Brainerd.

St. Cloud Cathedral was added to the slate this week to fill the fourth spot to battle the Jacks and Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids will face Cottage Grove Park tonight at 6 with the Jacks and Cathedral squaring off at 7:30.

Tomorrow the Rapids and Cathedral open at 12:30 with the Jacks battling Park at 3.

Activities Director Harvey Crable announced that the meet will become a permanent fixture at Bemidji this year rather than alternating between Bemidji and Grand Rapids as has been the case since its beginning.

The Rapids is beginning its own tournament next weekend with Bemidji again a participant. That meet was unable to locate a fourth team this year with both teams going against DeLaSalle. Bemidji will face the visitors Friday and has added a game at Brainerd Saturday to fill the open date.

The Jacks JV will play preliminary games tonight and tomorrow. The freshmen are not scheduled.

Bemidji won its opener 64-61 against highly regarded East Grand Forks, getting double figure performances from Ryan Rude and Carey Woods with six other players scoring.

Rude hit 19, all but two in the second half. Woods ended with 11.

Dan Frost will join Rude on the front line flanking center Grant "Big Country" Richardson with Carey and Czar Woods outside.

Set for heavy duty are Harley Kroening, Josh Kane, Mitch Brown, Cody Rutledge and Frank Mays with Ben Hengel, Darres Martel and Zach Declusin rounding out the varsity cast.

Hengel hit 25 to lead the B Team to victory.

The team heads to Red River Tuesday for its next start.

Seek second win

The Bemidji Lumberjacks wrestling team head heads to Brainerd tonight to open two days of action at the 43rd annual Paul Bunyan Invitational.

It will match the Jacks against many of the northern Minnesota's top teams including defending champion Foley which won its second straight crown last year in a 14-team field

Bemidji finished a distant 10th, managing only 75½ points. It was the lowest total since 1992 when it scored 53.

Bemidji has taken the title only once, winning in 2001, but has normally been competitive, taking third in 2007 and fourth a year later.

Best finishers last year were Colton Doty at 112 who finished second and Corey Huber who was third at 171.

Bemidji was open at three weights which further hampered its chances.

This year it will fill all 14 weight classes though starting six freshmen and an eighth grader among its 14.

Bemidji opened with a 49-27 win over Roseau Tuesday on Ken Schmoker Night and hopes to pick up from there.

Coach Rance Bahr, making his varsity debut, was well pleased with the effort of his wrestlers getting wins from Doty, Kade Johnson and Dale Norton over three of Roseau's top performers.

There will be a number of weight switches for the tourney with the veterans dropping to tournament weights.

He will go with:

103- Nick Ness; 112-Logan Crosby; 119-Jake Crosby; 125-Dolty; 130-Craig Maas; 135- Norton; 140-Drew Peterson; 145-Cody Gardner; 152-Russ Mason; 160-Nick Conner; 171-Logan Knutson; 189-Huber; 215-Brenden Fredrickson; Hwt.-Alex Johnson.

The Crosbys, Maas, Doty, Norton, Gardner, Huber and Johnson were opening night winners, the Crosbys scoring falls as did Norton, Gardner and Johnson with Doty winning on an injury default. Huber on a forfeit and Maas scoring a major.

This weekend's meet will be the first of eight straight road matches before the next home meet, the Rick Lee Invitational Jan. 16.