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BOYS BASKETBALL: Buffalo races past Bemidji 81-51

Bemidji’s Joe Strong (13) takes a three-pointer while guarded by Buffalo’s Jonathon Senger Saturday afternoon. Strong had nine points but Buffalo won 81-51. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer1 / 2
Bemidji's James Hendricks, left, drives into the hoop for a lay-up against Buffalo defender Cory Thielman on Saturday afternoon. Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer2 / 2

BEMIDJI — After slipping past Moorhead 82-80 Friday night in Moorhead for its first victory in three starts, the Buffalo High School boys basketball team showed no sign of tired legs Saturday when the Bison headed to Bemidji to tangle with the Lumberjacks.

Buffalo continually raced down the court and effectively worked the ball around and through Bemidji’s defense and the result was an 81-51 victory over the Jacks.

The visitors also enjoyed a size advantage with a front line going 6-5, 6-4 and 6-4. That edge was exploited as the three big guys combined for 48 points, including 21 by 6-5 Collin Olmscheid.

The game’s first four baskets all were from 3-point land. Unfortunately, Buffalo logged three of the long-range buckets while Bemidji’s 3-pointer was courtesy of James Hendricks who drained his shot from the left wing.

Before the Lumberjacks would score again, the Bison would rattle off 11 straight points to take a commanding 20-3 lead five minutes into the action.

With six minutes to play in the half the visitors had expanded their lead to 40-15 and it appeared that Buffalo would be able to name the final score.

But the Jacks battled back in the final minutes of the half and a 15-2 BHS run sliced the deficit to 42-30 with a minute to play.

The spurt began with Collin Rutledge’s rebound hoop and, after a Buffalo basket, Jens Huseby hit a free throw and a 3-pointer from the right wing. Hendricks followed with a basket off an inbounds pass and Jaylen Ingalls capped the rally with an inside bucket.

The visitors scored the final five points of the half and owned a 47-30 lead at the break.

They continued to own the momentum in the early going of the second half as the Bison fashioned an 11-2 run to regain a comfortable lead at 58-32. The margin stayed in the 25 to 30-point range the rest of the game.

Hendricks was the lone Lumberjack in double figures as he scored 10 points. Josh Cervenka added nine and Joe Strong had eight.

Bemidji (1-5) is off until next weekend when it heads to Rogers on Friday night and to Monticello on Saturday afternoon.The next home game will be Dec. 19 against East Grand Forks.

Buffalo (81): Senger 2, 0-0, 5; High 2, 0-0, 5; Ortmann 4, 1-1, 10; Thielman 4, 0-0, 8; Bean 7, 4-5, 19; Olmscheid 9, 0-0, 21; Dahl 4, 0-0, 11; Sonju 1, 0-0, 2. Totals: 33, 5-6, 81

Bemidji (51): Hendricks 3, 2-2, 10; Rutledge 2, 2-4, 6; Peterson 0, 0-0, 0; Strong 3, 0-0, 8; Ingalls 3, 0-1, 7; Huseby 1, 1-2, 4; Beaulieu 0, 2-2, 2; Cervenka 3, 2-2, 9; Anderson 1, 0-0, 2; Snell 1, 1-1, 3; Ramirez 0, 0-0, 0; Salander 0, 0-0, 0. Totals: 17, 9-14, 51

3-point FG: Buffalo 10, Bemidji 7 (Hendricks 2, Strong 2, Ingalls 1, Huseby 1, Cervenka 1)

Fouls: Buffalo 15, Bemidji 6

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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