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MINNEAPOLIS -- Red Lake wasn’t surprised by Minneapolis North’s fast start in their Class A quarterfinal game Thursday at Williams Arena. After all, the Polars are the top seed, the defending state champs and averaged more than 100 points-per-game during their section tournament run. No, what surprised the Warriors early was their own inability to hang onto the ball or make shots.
RED LAKE -- When Red Lake played Minneapolis North last year in the Class A state semifinals at Target Center, the Polars beat the Warriors 82-61 on their way to a state championship. Red Lake went on to finish fourth overall, their highest-ever finish at state.
RED LAKE—The line to buy shirts at N8tive De$ignz swelled at about 10 a.m. Wednesday "This is by far our busiest day," said Mia Long, the student manager for Red Lake High School's student-run T-shirt business. "It's been pretty crazy here." The storefront—a couple of cafeteria tables with 15 different shirt designs in Red Lake colors—is set up right in front of the Red Lake gym.
BEMIDJI -- Football season is almost here. Really. The Bemidji State football team is scheduled to begin its spring football season today with a 4 p.m. practice at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Red Lake once again finds Minneapolis North in its path for next week's Class A boys basketball state tournament. The Warriors, fresh off their 71-60 win over Stephen-Argyle for their fourth-straight Section 8A title on Friday, found out on Saturday they would be getting a rematch with the defending Class A champions in the quarterfinals. The unseeded Warriors will take on the top-seeded Polars at 11 a.m. Thursday, March 23, at Williams Arena in Minneapolis.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team left some business unfinished in 2016-17. The Beavers went 22-16-3, won the Western Collegiate Hockey Association championship, took home the MacNaughton Cup and got all the way to the WCHA semifinals before losing to Bowling Green. They fell short of two other goals -- taking home a Broadmoor Trophy by winning the WCHA tournament and making an NCAA tournament berth.
BEMIDJI -- The accolades keep rolling in for Bemidji State goaltender Michael Bitzer. A day after being named the overall Player of the Year in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, Bitzer received more good news on Wednesday. The junior from Moorhead was named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award, which goes to the best player in college hockey.
THIEF RIVER FALLS -- He had the clean steal and a wide open lane to the hoop. There was absolutely no way that Rob McClain Jr. wasn’t going to dunk the basketball.
BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji State men’s hockey team won the MacNaughton Cup in 2016-17 thanks in part to possessing the top defense in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (and one of the best in the country to boot). So it’s fitting that, for the first time since 2010, the WCHA’s Player of the Year award will go to a goaltender on the league champs. And that the WCHA’s Coach of the Year award goes to their leader.
RED LAKE—Despite finishing 24-2, the Red Lake girls basketball team will be unseeded when it begins the Class A girls state basketball tournament this week. The Warriors, who won their first-ever Section 8A title on Friday, will make their state tournament debut at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 16, when they will take on No. 3 seeded Cromwell-Wright at Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis. The Warriors finished the season with just two losses—including once against Mountain Iron-Buhl, who is the tournament's top seed.