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Bemidji HS girls basketball team hosts Grand Rapids in section semifinals Friday

The Bemidji High girls basketball team begins its second season tonight, hosting Grand Rapids at 7 in the 7-3A semifinals.

Bemidji is making its first venture into the 3A ranks this year with the girls shifted to Section 7.

With only seven schools in that section Bemidji drew a first round bye after being top seeded.

The Rapids opened with a 55-31 win over Denfeld.

Other winners were Hibbing and Hermantown who clash tonight at Hibbing.

The title game will also be at Hibbing March 11 though probably shifted should Hibbing reach the final. It might well be played at Grand Rapids.

Bemidji brings a 23-1 record into play and can match its finest year in history with a win tonight.

Bemidji's last game was at home with the Rapids, a 74-53 decision that completed a home and home sweep. Bemidji took the opener at Grand Rapids 72-42.

Bemidji will again have a decided size advantage with Kelly Niles at 5-11 the only Hawk over 5- in the starting cast.

Its biggest weapon in the two Bemidji games was 5-6 guard Jessi Corrick who hit 15 at the Rapids contest and 20 at Bemidji.

Bemidji will counter with 6-2 Kayla Hirt and Jess Yost up front and 5-11 Kelsey Heisler along the baseline.

Hirt hit 25 and 29 in the two Rapids games. With 20 points tonight, she would break her own single season scoring mark of 648 set last year.

Heisler, Abby Hendricks, Erika Weimann and Megan Huseby will complete the starting five with Kenzie Kane, Selina Gilbertson and Caitlin Gangelhoff joining Yost as first off the bench. The Yost-Kane freshman combo is now at 321 as a unit providing key depth and size to the team.

Joining Corrick and Niles will be Jenna Gilson (5-8). Stacy Perrault (5-9) and Sarah Stejskal (5-7), Stejskal better known for her tennis accomplishments over the past four years.,

Ex-Chisholm High star Dave LaCoe is the girls coach.