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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Gronhovd jumper lifts Bemidji to first win, 55-54 over St. Peter

SAINT PETER – The Bemidji High School girls basketball team could breathe a sigh of relief Friday night.

The Lumberjacks, who began the season 0-8, broke the long losing streak with a dramatic 55-54 win against St. Peter in the St. Peter Tournament.

“We’re all feeling much better now,” BHS head coach Rick Kehoe said. “It’s just nice to get that first win in the books.”

The Lumberjacks (1-8) did it in dramatic fashion, as Dani Gronhovd hit the game-winning shot with just eight seconds left to help BHS seal the win.

“It was just a nice job by Dani, and a great shot,” Kehoe said of his guard, who scored a team-high 17 points.

The Lumberjacks, who trailed 20-17 at halftime and by as many as 12 midway through the second half, clawed back and found themselves down by a single point, 54-53, with 22 seconds remaining.

Kehoe called timeout when the Jacks got the ball back and said he told the team to be patient and wait for an open shot.

The Lumberjacks worked the ball around and Gronhovd found an opportunity when a St. Peter defender lunged for a steal and missed.

Gronhovd attacked to the basket then pulled up to nail a 10-foot jumper with 10 seconds to go to give BHS the 55-54 lead.

The Saints (6-2) called timeout with five seconds left but double dribbled and turned the ball over with two seconds to go, effectively sealing the win for the Lumberjacks.

“We didn’t fold, and we just kept fighting,” Kehoe said. “We had some turnovers tonight but we kept in the game and stepped up late.”

The Lumberjacks also overcame a monster night by Saints forward Tailor Raymond, who led all scorers with 31 points; she was the only St. Peter player in double figures.

Jess Yost added 11 for the Lumberjacks, who are set to take on Class 2A No. 2 New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva in the tournament’s title game at 6 p.m. today.

Bemidji 55, St. Peter 54

Bemidji (55) – Lusby 1 0-0 2; Greendahl 0 0-1 0; Olson 3 2-5 8; Yost 4 3-12 11; Gronhovd 6 3-5 17; Palmer 3 3-3 9; Steever 3 2-2 8. Totals 21 13-28 55.

St. Peter (54) – Retlaff 3 0-0 7; K.Carpenter 1 0-0 3; Kennedy 1 0-1 3; Karlsrud 1 1-2 3; E.Carpenter 1 0-0 3; Raymond 12 6-10 31; Hass 2 0-0 4. Totals 21 7-13 64.

3-point goals – Bemidji 2; St. Peter 5.

Halftime Score – St. Peter 20, Bemidji 17.

Jack Hittinger

Jack Hittinger is the sports editor of the Bemidji Pioneer. He is also the Bemidji State beat writer. He hails from the Great State of Michigan. Read his Bemidji State blog at and follow him on Twitter at @Jackhitts.

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