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Pat Miller: This week at Bemidji High School - On to state for Truedson, Sagedahl

The regular seasons are winding down and this week three of the Bemidji High School winter sports teams will begin their section playdowns.

The boys and girls Nordic skiers head to Detroit Lakes today for their section meet and it is difficult to accurately gauge the strengths and weaknesses of the competition because the extreme January cold limited every team’s schedule.

BHS is hoping to advance a number of skiers to the state meet, including Jenna Truedson and Morgan Sagedahl who qualified for last winter’s state competition The boys team doesn’t return any state qualifiers as the 2013 state entrants, Kyle and Tony Sagedahl, have graduated.

Monday night the girls hockey team closed its regular season with a makeup game at Moorhead. BHS took an 8-10-4 record into that contest and the Lumberjacks probably will receive the sixth seed in the section tournament.

If that is the case Bemidji will begin its postseason 7 p.m. Saturday, most likely at either Buffalo or Roseau.

Those teams were neck-and-neck for third place in the QRF rankings as of Monday afternoon as Buffalo (12-12-1) owned an 86.1 QRF and Roseau stood at 85.9. Buffalo’s regular season ended over the weekend with a 4-0 loss to Dodge County while Roseau (13-11-0) hosted Warroad Monday night in a rescheduled contest.

Sartell, which finished the year 18-4-3, leads the Section 8-2A seedings with a 94.2 QRF. St. Cloud (17-4-1) began the week with a 93.7 QRF and has two games this week. On Monday it visited Alexandria and on Wednesday it will host River Lakes. Buffalo and Roseau are in the hunt for third while North Wright County (12-9-3) should finish fifth and Bemidji sixth. Trailing the pack are River Lakes (13-9-1) in seventh, Moorhead (7-13-1) in eighth and Brainerd-Little Falls (2-21) in ninth.

The section tourney begins Thursday when the No. 9 seed will travel to the No. 8 seed for a play-in game. The quarterfinals are Saturday at the higher seeds and the semifinals will be Feb. 11 at the high seeds. The championship game is Feb. 14 at a neutral site.

The regular season also ended Saturday for the BHS gymnasts when the Lumberjacks scored a school-record 140.00 points in a dual meet at Detroit Lakes. The home team won with 147.875 but Bemidji’s 140 represented the first time in the history of the program that the Jacks have recorded a score above 139.

“The girls are excited and so am I,” said BHS coach Don Papreck. “At Saturday’s meet the judges said that they could not find any flaws in our form. They also said that we need to build up our difficulty and our combinations. Those are things we have been working on and that work is paying off.”

At Saturday’s meet Alyssa Allen placed fifth in the vault (9.2) and the bars (8.825). Emily Howard was third on the beam (8.75) and Haley Gregg was third on the floor (9.4). Gregg also was third in the all around (35.025).

On Saturday the boys hockey team was at the top of its game as it belted River Lakes 5-2 at the Community Arena. The Jacks fired 52 shots on the River Lakes net and only an excellent game by the Stars goaltender prevented BHS from turning the game into a blowout.

Monday night the Jacks (9-10-1) hosted East Grand Forks in a makeup contest and on Thursday they will entertain Warroad. Saturday finds BHS at St. Cloud Tech.

Bemidji’s girls basketball team also had a makeup game Monday as it hosted Thief River Falls. On Saturday the Lumberjacks (3-14) will welcome Alexandria.

The boys basketball team played well Saturday at home in a 97-88 loss to Moorhead. The Jacks (2-16) visit Duluth East on Thursday and host Alexandria Saturday.

The swimmers will have the home advantage Thursday when they welcome Duluth East in their final regular-season action. The section meet is Feb. 21-22 at Alexandria.

Bemidji took a partial team to Saturday’s wrestling invitational at Fertile-Beltrami and the Jacks returned with three individual champions.

Brian Maas remained unbeaten on the winter as he claimed three more victims on way to the 113-pound title. Robert Treuer also went 3-0 during his climb to the 138-pound crown and Kade Johnson collected three more pin victories to capture the 182-pound championship.

The Lumberjacks, 12-4 in dual meets, host Pine River Thursday and face Moorhead and St. Cloud Tech Friday in Moorhead.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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