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BOYS BASKETBALL: Lumberjacks overcome turnovers to top one-win Prowlers 68-52

Bemidji High School senior Tanner Hatfield drives the lane during the Jacks’ Senior Night game Monday against Thief River Falls at BHS. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Bemidji Pioneer)1 / 3
Bemidji High School senior Linaes Whiting releases a 3-pointer Monday during the Lumberjacks game against Thief River Falls at BHS. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Bemidji Pioneer)2 / 3
Bemidji High School junior Kade Peterson pulls up for a floater in the second half of Monday night’s game against Thief River Falls at BHS. (Ryan Pietruszewski | Bemidji Pioneer)3 / 3

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School boys basketball team overcame turnover turmoil on Monday, grinding though it for a comfortable 68-52 win over Thief River Falls at the BHS Gymnasium.

“I think maybe we were just amped up a little bit,” Lumberjacks head coach Travis Peterson said. “(It’s) Senior Night, we tried to play our best, but we definitely lost our handle on the basketball sometimes. And we missed some easy shots. But sometimes we were trying to be a little too tricky, I thought -- making no-look passes that didn’t have to be no-look passes. That stuff looks good, but seeing your teammate and hitting him with a basic pass usually gets the job done.”

The Prowlers (1-20) took advantage of their opportunities early. After Bemidji (15-6) scored the first five points of the night, TRF rattled off seven in a row, then went ahead 13-8 on a 3-pointer from Brevyn Lingen from six feet behind the arc.

BHS settled down from there, though. Linaes Whiting, Ryan Bieberdorf and Quincy Wilson combined for four straight threes, and the Jacks went ahead 20-13 on Bieberdorf’s second triple in as many minutes.

A separate 10-2 run for the Jacks made for a 30-18 lead with 6 minutes, 38 seconds left in the half, which turned into a 38-27 advantage by halftime.

The difference stretched to 20 midway through the second half when Bieberdorf turned a steal into a layup on the other end, and Jacob Beberg then scored from the block to put Bemidji in a 60-38 advantage with a 9-0 run.

“We had a nice run in the second half with one group out there,” Peterson said. “We were able to rotate in a lot of guys with fresh legs. Guys come off the bench and bring exactly that, fresh legs, but also, we like to think a fresh mind, as well. They should be sharp coming off the bench, and maybe hungry. I think that was an advantage for us tonight.”

Lingen hit a pair of 3-pointers soon after in a 9-0 Thief River Falls run, cutting the difference to 12 with six minutes remaining. But the BHS defense locked down from there, only surrendering three points for the rest of the night en route to the 68-52 win.

“We’re trying to get better every day,” Peterson said. “When you play a team that’s struggling to get wins, you still have to do what you do, try to learn from it, and try to get better at the things you do. We’ll take the win, but we learned a lot of things tonight that we can continue to work on. We’ll get started (Tuesday) in practice.”

Whiting hit 24 points to pace the Lumberjacks, while Bieberdorf added 14 and Colten Jensen 10. For the Prowlers, Lingen’s eight 3-point makes led to 27 points on the night.

Bemidji will now prepare for a big-time Section 8AAA showdown with Fergus Falls, which tips off at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, at the BHS Gymnasium.

Bemidji 68, Thief River Falls 52

TRF 27 25 -- 52

BHS 38 30 -- 68

Thief River Falls scorers: Lingen 27, Olson 8, Johnson 6, Manning 4, Kilen 3, Koestner 2, Pekovich 2.

Bemidji scorers: Whiting 24, Bieberdorf 14, Jensen 10, Beberg 7, Hatfield 3, Lindsey 3, Wilson 3, Hubbard 2, K. Peterson 2.

Micah Friez

Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Echo Press in Alexandria. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Alexandria area sports updates and jokes he thinks are funny.

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