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Boys basketball: Bemidji plays well but Jacks fall to St. Cloud Cathedral

BEMIDJI — If defense wins basketball games the Bemidji High School boys team will collect its share of victories this season.

Friday in the opening round of the Lumberjack Classic BHS played well without the ball. Unfortunately, so did St. Cloud Cathedral and the Crusaders went on to down the Jacks 66-58.

“Even though Cathedral had 66 points I thought our defense played well and continues to improve,” said Bemidji coach Dan Ninham whose team will take an 0-3 record into today’s 3:30 p.m. second round matchup against East Grand Forks.

“We’re sticking to our half court man pressure defense and we are getting better. At the end we had to trap the ball (to try and get quick possessions) and we made that work as well.

“Overall, I saw some good things.”

Both teams had trouble finding the net in the early going although St. Cloud Cathedral eventually found the hot hand and forged a 9-2 lead. The visitors padded their cushion to 18-9 but the Jacks answered with nine straight points to tie the game at 18-18.

Jaylen Ingalls began the comeback with a 3-pointer from the top of the circle and AJ Anderson followed with an inside bucket. Joe Strong sliced the deficit to 18-16 with a follow and Collin Rutledge completed the rally when he converted a pair of free throws with seven minutes to play in the half.

Bemidji, however, would grow cold the rest of the way and an 11-2 run by the Crusaders gave the visitors a 29-20 lead at intermission.

The Lumberjacks outscored St. Cloud Cathedral 38-37 in the second stanza but were never able to take a lead.

Ingalls and Strong each scored 15 points and Rutledge added 13.

St. Cloud Cathedral (66): O’Hagen 0, 2-2, 2; Theisen 12, 6-7, 33; Neutzling 0, 2-2, 2; Schmit 7, 1-2, 17; Heying 3, 4-5, 10; Burt 0, 2-6, 2. Totals: 22, 17-24, 66.

Bemidji (58): Rutledge 5, 3-6, 13; Strong 6, 1-2, 15; Ingalls 4, 5-5, 15; Huseby 0, 0-0, 0; Cervenka 3, 0-0, 6; Anderson 2, 0-0, 4; Snell 2, 0-0, 4; Salander 0, 1-2, 1. Totals: 22, 10-15, 58

3-point FG: SCC 5, Bemidji 4 (Strong 2, Ingalls 2)

Fouls: SCC 14, Bemidji 16

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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