Bemidji HS preview: Basketball teams play home double header
Bemidji High basketball fans will be treated to a rarity tonight.
For perhaps the first time in the long basketball tradition of Bemidji, there will be a girls-boys double header on tap facing separate teams.
The girls will lead off the card at 6 against West Fargo.
The boys will follow at 7:30 hosting Little Falls.
The girls JV game will start at 4:30 in the main gym.
The boys JV game starts at 5:45 in the auxiliary gym and the freshmen will follow immediately at the same site.
Meanwhile, the boys hockey team heads to the North Border to take on Lake of the Woods High at Baudette.
The swim team, has a home meet with Thief River Falls to complete a home and home series.
The girls basketball team figures to have few problems with the Packers, who bring a weak 1-7 mark into the game and are in last place in the Eastern Dakota Conference at 0-4.
It is the first meeting in history between the two teams and should serve as a warm-up for Thursday's game at Brainerd, a far stronger opponent.
Saturday, Bemidji winds up a busy week at winless Sauk Rapids.
It takes a fine 12-1 mark into play after a 62-52 win over a strong Sartell quintet Saturday. Bemidji is currently ranked fourth in the state 3A standings.
It has been bolstered in recent games by the freshman tandem of Jess Yost and Kenzie Kane, who have combined for 28, 20, 18, 22 and 15 points in their last five starts.
Coupled with Erika Weimann's steady nine points a game, the trio give Bemidji an added scoring boost to go with standout junior Kayla Hirt, who has profited from the scoring balance to have more freedom to maneuver.
And maneuver she has done, scoring from all parts of the court including a growing number of treys to further baffle opponents defensive plans.
She is 37 shy of the 300 mark, a figure she is not likely to reach tonight with limited playing time but could against Brainerd.
Kelsey Heisler and Abby Hendricks will join the starting cast.
Megan Huseby and Caitlin Gangelhoff, who have missed the past three games with injuries, might return tonight.
Bench strength will be provided by Selina Gilbertson, Jenna Sagedahl and Grace Felling.
The JV takes a 5-6 mark to its opener.
The boys will face a far stronger test against the Flyers who reached 9-3 Saturday with a 54-48 win over Willmar.
They stand 5-2 in the CLC and include Apollo as one of their victims while pressing 4A state leader Tech in a 57-51 loss.
The others were to Rocori and Robbinsdale Cooper.
Alex Scott and 6-10 center Dan Kornbaum are the scoring leaders.
Last year the Flyers drilled Bemidji 78-58 with Czar Woods netting 15 and Ryan Rude 10 for the Jacks.
That pair will be joined by Carey Woods, Dan Frost and Grant "Big Country" Richardson on the starting line.
Josh Kane, Harley Kroening, Mitch Brown and Cody Rutledge will be the top reserves.
Carey Woods and Rude have been the most consistent scorers, Woods with 174 points and Rude 175 in 10 starts, six of them wins.. Czar Woods entered triple figures with eight against Thief River and now shows 101.
Richardson and Frost have produced strong rebounding along the baseline.
Bemidji still relies on a run and gun attack and is at its best when it can get an opponent to run with them.
Except for its last start, it has topped 60 points in every outing with a high of 80 against St. Cloud Cathedral.
And when Thief River resorted to a slowdown game, Bemidji's defense held the day in a 51-36 6 decision.
The B Team is also 6-4. The freshmen are 1-6 but have topped 55 points in three of their last four starts.
The Jacks entertain Detroit Lakes Thursday night and join the girls at Sauk Rapids Saturday afternoon.
The hockey team heads north wary of the Bears who can prove very tough to beat on their home ice.
Bemidji is enjoying a fine year at 10-6 with an impressive 6-3 win over Duluth Marshall in its last start in a game that was not nearly that close.
Last year, however, they well remember being pressed to the limit in a 3-2 decision at the Community Arena, the first game ever played by the high school team at the Youth Hockey facility.
That rink will eventually become the new home of the Lumberjacks.
Baudette is 7-6-1 against a less testing schedule.
But the Bears have been beaten badly only by Warroad 8-0 and held Crookston and EGF to 4-3 wins and Alexandria to a 2-0 decision.
They have won their last three ending with an 8-0 whitewash over Coleraine.
Mike Rees had two of the goals in last year's game.
Jesse Nemgar has reached the 30 point mark to lead the scoring attack, Rylee Curb has 22 to surpass his 2009 total. Steve Heller has added 17, Max Hazelton 14, Kevin Larson 11 and Joe Welle and Jordan Heller 10 .
Rees, John Forseth and Isaac Bitter will join the double figure corps with their next point.
Miah Graves will tend goal tonight with Welle and Larson as one blue line pair with Tyler Tatro, Bitter and Matt Hietala alternating in.
Nemgar will center Forseth and Jordan Heller, Phillips will go between Rees and Curb and Hazelton will be flanked by Brady Devescovi and Steve Heller with Will Bruestle, Luke Bums and Tyler Follis a fourth unit.
The B Team brings a solid 15-1 mark to its opener.
The Jacks end their week hosting Roseau Saturday afternoon at Nymore Gardens.
Close swim meet
The swimmers are expecting another close battle with Thief River, a team it beat 88-82 in the Prowlers pool in their first meeting on the final event.
The Jacks will get added points tonight in diving.
The Prowlers pool does not permit the event and presumably the team has no divers with Bemidji likely to add a 13-0 bulge in that event.
Bemidji swam to a strong second place finish at its own invitational where it rolled up 225 points but again was hurt by a lack of depth failing to score in the medley relay and earning only marginal points in the back and breaststroke and diving.
But it saw Matt Wilcox break the meet record in the 100 free and the 200 free relay lower its own record.
Wilcox led the way with 48 points while Dylan Hoven had 45, Paul Voss 44, Adam Falk 39 and Nick Nyberg 26.
Those five are likely to lead the way again tonight.
Voss took the 200 free, Hoven won the 50 and the 400 relay also was victorious last Friday.
Tonight's meet will be the final warm-up for the True Team section meet Saturday at Detroit Lakes. Bemidji has shifted to 3A this year from 8AA and figures to make a run for the title against Fergus Falls and Hutchinson.