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Polars outrace Bemidji

Monte Draper | Bemidji Pioneer Bemidji’s Jens Huseby grabbed this rebound during Saturday’s game against Minneapolis North.

BEMIDJI — The Bemidji boys basketball team continued to test itself against stiff competition Saturday when the Lumberjacks hosted Minneapolis North.

The Polars (5-4) entered the game rated second in the Minnesota Class A QRF rankings and their racehorse style of play resulted in a 104-84 victory.

As has been the custom of late, the Lumberjacks (1-10) fell behind in the first half and played their opponents on even terms in the second stanza. But they have not been able to fully recover.

“We were down 62-41 at half and we couldn’t close the gap,” said BHS assistant coach Travis Peterson. “We got caught in their type of game, especially in the first half. North is very athletic and when we tried to press they were able to get the ball behind us for the layup. North also had success scoring on the offensive rebounds.”

Saturday’s 84 points was far and away Bemidji’s best offensive output of the season but defensively the Jacks had trouble containing North.

“The coaches were okay with our offense,” Peterson said. “But we just couldn’t handle North’s transition game.”

Spearheading that part of the game for the Polars were Iamih Jackson, D.J Hunter and Tyler Johnson. Jackson had 16 points by intermission while Hunter scored 12 and Johnson 10.

During the first half the Lumberjacks were led by James Hendricks who tallied 10 by the break and Jens Huseby who had eight.

Hendricks finished with 17 points and Collin Rutledge scored 16, including 13 in the second stanza.

Jaylen Ingalls contributed 12 and AJ Anderson had 10.

“We want to play teams like Minneapolis North because they give us a variety of different styles,” Peterson said. “It was a good experience for us to have them come to Bemidji.”

Saturday’s game was the final outing for the Jacks this year. BHS will return to action Jan. 2 at Moorhead.

The next home appearance will be Jan. 7 against Thief River Falls.

Minneapolis North (104): Hunter 7, 2-3, 18; Rodgers 3, 0-2,6; Jackson 9, 0-0, 21; Johnson 6, 4-9,16; Fowler 5, 1-2, 11; Sanders 2, 0-0, 4; Walker 2, 0-0, 4; Johnson 3, 4-4, 11, Wilson 5, 34, 13. Totals: 42, 14-24, 104.

Bemidji (84): Hendricks 4, 6-14, 17; Rutledge 6, 4-7, 16; Strong 3, 0-0, 8; Ingalls 5, 2-6, 12; Huseby 2, 3-5, 8; Cervenka 2, 3-4, 7; Anderson 3, 4-4, 10; Salander 3, 0-0, 6. Totals; 28, 2240, 84

3-point FG: North 6, BHS 6 (Hendricks 3, Strong 2, Huseby 1)

Fouls: North 28, BHS 20

Halftime: North 62, BHS 41

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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