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Jacks basketball captures title

Offensive balance and defensive execution lifted the boys basketball team to a 92-54 victotry over St. Paul Highland Park Wednesday in the championship game of the Chisago Lakes Invitational.

The win kept BHS unbeaten at 7-0.

In Tuesday's semifinal the Lumberjacks disposed of Chisago Lakes 67-53.

"We played very well this week," said Bemidji coach Jeff Brown. "We did a good job executing our press and Wednesday we forced 27 turnovers.

"Offensively we had balanced scoring both games and that is what I am hoping to see."

Cody Rutledge and Ryan Rude each scored 19 points Wednesday and joining them in double figures were Carey Woods with 18 and Mitch Brown with 16.

Bemidji dominated from the outset and forged a 47-27 lead at the break. The Lumberjacks continued to extend the margin in the second stanza.

"We had great effort on a tough road trip against teams that played two different styles," Brown said. "Chicago Lakes was tall and physical while Highland Park was quick and fast.

"The nice thing is that we were able to adapt to both styles," the coach added.

BHS returns to action Jan. 4 at home against Crookston.

Bemidji's junior varsity lost 65-60 to North St. Paul Wednesday and finished second in the junior varsity tournament.

Bemidji (92): Hengel 2, 2-2, 7; Rude 8, 1-4, 19; Kroening 0, 0-0, 0; Rutledge 7, 5-6, 19; Brown 4, 6-10, 16; Woods 6, 5-6, 18; Cervenka 1, 0-0, 2; Vonasek 0, 0-0, 0; Richardson 1, 3-3, 5; Declusin 1, 2-2, 4; Fodness 1, 0-1, 2; Sullivan 0, 0-0, 0. Totals: 31, 24-34, 92.

Highland Park (54): St. Martin 1, 0-0, 2; Bradley 2, 1-2, 6; Jackson 3, 1-2, 7; Williams 1, 1-2, 4; Kiel 1, 0-4, 2; Hill 6, 6-8, 19; Washington 5, 1-2, 11; Fitzpatrick 1, 1-4, 3. Totals: 20, 11-24, 54.

Fouls: Bemidji 14, Highland Park 21

Halftime: Bemidji 47, Highland Park 27

The Bemidji boys hockey team bounced back from Tuesday's 4-3 loss to thump Andover 6-2 Wednesday in the consolation semifinals of the Duluth Invitational.

Wednesday's win vaults the Lumberjacks (8-1-1) into today's 12:30 p.m. consolation title game against either Buffalo or New Prague.

Providing the kick-start for Wednesday's victory were Jake White and Max Hazelton.

Despite dominating the action Bemidji didn't take a lead until 15:28 of the opening period when White converted feeds from Eric Hernesman and Easton Halbert.

With six seconds remaining in the period the Jacks scored a back-breaker as Hazelton connected with help from Tyler Tatro and John Forseth.

Cameron Dahhedl scored at 5:26 and Halbert at 8:11 to give the Lumberjacks a 4-0 edge after the second period.

Each team scored a pair of goals in the final 17 minutes. Matt Serratore capped a textbook 3-on-1 break with Forseth and Hazelton midway through the stanza and Hernesman added the finishing touches to the win at 15:20.

Bemidji 2 2 2 - 6

Andover 0 0 2 - 2

First period: 1. B, White (Hernesman, Halbert) 15:28; 2. B-Hazelton (Tatro, Forseth) 16:54

Second period: 3. B, Dahedl (Eichstad, Bofferding) 5:26; 4. B, Halbert (J.Heller) 8:11

Third period: 5. A, Jokinen (Tollette) 3:00; 6. B, Serratore (Forseth, Hazelton) 7:52; 7. A, Tollette (unassisted) 12:08 PP; 8. B, Hernesman (White) 15:20

Saves: Schram (B) 4-5-11-20; Stong (A) 10-5-4-19

Penalties/minutes: Bemidji 6 for 12; Andover 5 for 10

Bemidji heavyweight Alex Johnson went 2-1 during Wednesday's opening rounds of the Rumble on the Red wrestling tournament at the FargoDome and remained alive in the wrestlebacks.

Johnson pinned Dylan Opatz of Lisbon in 3:45 in his opener but fell by a pin to Tanner Lowe of Coon Rapids. Johnson remained alive, however, with a 6-2 decision victory over Jacob Lagasse of Detroit Lakes.

The only other Lumberjack competing in the varsity division of the tournament is Jake Crosby at 125. Crosby dropped both of his matches, losing 4-3 to Matt Metcalf of Northfield and 6-4 to Eric Schmidt of Albany.

The remainder of Bemidji's athletes wrestled in the junior varsity division.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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