Bemidji HS boys basketball team beats St. Cloud Cathedral in Lakes and Woods opener
Host Bemidji and Grand Rapids rolled easily through the opening round of the Lakes and Woods Invitational basketball tournament Friday night.
Bemidji stopped St. Cloud Cathedral 80-66 while the Rapids demolished Cottage Grove Park 62-34.
Today the Rapids and Cathedral clash at 12:30 while Bemidji and Park wind up the meet at 2.
Cathedral never led Bemidji but stayed close enough to cause worries into the closing minutes.
Sophomore Carey Woods had a field day, hitting 29 points to lead the way. Ryan Rude added 15 and eight other players scored.
Joe Burt was the big gun for the Crusaders hitting 26, ten from the free throw line.
Luke Januschka added 15.
It was a tight ball game through the first five minutes with Bemidji leading 18-13.
But the Jacks went on an 11-0 tear at this point to open up the margin to 29-13 and seemed on the verge of blowing the Crusaders out of the building.
But it was not to be.
They steadied at this point to stage a 15-4 run and close the margin to five at 33-28.
'But Bemidji braced and went on a 9-1 surge to retake control and moved to a 49-36 lead at the break.
Woods already had 17 and Rude 12 while Burt was the whole show for the losers with 14.
Bemidji continued the assault through the first six minutes of the second half, eventually moving to a 20 point lead at 64-44.
But the Jacks could never close out the Crusaders entirely as they fought back to slice the deficit to 11 at one point 71-60 before running out of time.
Bemidji widened its lead down the stretch with a barrage of free throws.
Yet free throw shooting was their major weakness of the night, missing 15 of 31 tries.
They held a 51-46 lead off the boards with Woods claiming 10 and big Frank Mays cleaning nine in his most extensive play of the season. Burt led the Crusaders with 10.
Bemidji had 13 turnovers, mostly in the second half when reserves flooded the floor. SCC ended with 15.
The fast paced game drew 46 whistles, 24 on Bemidji with 58 free throws shot and 35 made.
Yet only one player fouled out.
There were 15 treys, eight by Bemidji including three by Woods and two each by Ruder and Dan Frost
Grand Rapids was even more impressive ripping Park apart early in the game and never letting up.
The Hawks jumped to a 13-0 lead at the start and moved to a 36-16 lead by halftime led by Eric Starks 10.
Things got no better for Park after the break as the winners added another eight points to their margin .
Starks ended with 14, the only GR player to reach double figures. But nine other players ended with 2-9.
Craig Brown's 11 was the Woolpack's best.
The tight Grand Rapids defense forced 37 turnovers to make their task easier. They were out rebounded 28-26.
The Jacks B Team dropped a 61-56 setback to Cathedral after leading 28-26 at halftime. Scottie Rucks hit 19 and Grant Wintheiser 12 to pace the win Ben Hengel had 17 and Mitch Hendricks 14 to pace Bemidji. The JV faces Park today at noon.