Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Since losing its opening game 65-60 to Ulen-Hitterdahl the Bagley boys basketball team has reeled off 16 consecutive victories. No. 16 came Monday night when the Flyers held off rival Fosston 71-65. Flyer fans remember the state tournament trip of 2007 and they are hoping that this year's squad can duplicate that memorable run. "Last year we started one senior and four sophomores and finished 16-12, losing in the second round of the section playoffs," said Bagley coach Chuck Anderson.
On January 8 Moorhead outlasted the Bemidji boys basketball team 84-78 in a memorable contest that brought out the best of each squad. That outcome is the only blemish on Bemidji's record and Thursday the Lumberjacks (13-1) will have an opportunity to return the favor when they travel to Moorhead for the rematch. "It's always tough to play at Moorhead and we're looking forward to the game but Saturday's home game against St. Cloud Apollo is bigger for us in terms of section seedings," said BHS coach Jeff Brown. "The Apollo game is huge.
The Bemidji wrestlers downed Moorhead but lost to Kimball and Little Falls Saturday at a multi-team meet hosted by Fergus Falls. BHS opened with a 63-14 loss to Kimball but dominated Moorhead 45-23. In their third match of the day the Lumberjacks were nipped 36-35 by Little Falls. The Flyers rallied to win the match by claiming four of the final five individual battles. In Saturday's opener against Kimball BHS posted four victories.
After losing at Grand Rapids 7-2 last Tuesday the Bemidji boys hockey team wanted to prove that the outcome was an aberration and, unfortunately for Alexandria, the Cardinals were next on the schedule. Saturday at Alexandria the Lumberjacks regained their winning ways by dominating the Cardinals 7-2. The Jacks improved to 17-2-1 with the victory and will hope to improve upon that mark Friday when they visit Roseau. "I'm happy with what we did out there today," said BHS coach Wade Chiodo.
Another second-half surge came up short Saturday as the Bemidji girls basketball team dropped to 4-12 after losing 63-45 at Thief River Falls. BHS trailed 34-20 at the break but drew within three points with eight minutes to play. The Lumberjacks, however, could not maintain that pace and the home team padded its cushion down the stretch. "We ran out of energy," said BHS coach Rick Kehoe. "We just can't dig ourselves that big of a hole and expect to get out.
Erin Booth scored with 1:29 remaining to break a 4-4 deadlock and help the Bemidji girls hockey team post a 5-4 victory Saturday afternoon at Alexandria. As has been the custom of late the Lumberjacks dominated play much of the game. In the third period the puck was in the Alexandria end for most of the 17 minutes and the pressure finally paid dividends when Booth converted a rebound of Allie Heifort's shot. "There was a very nice celebration after Erin's goal and after the game," said BHS coach Matt Menne. "It was a great game-winning goal.
The offensive problems continued for the Bemidji girls basketball team Friday as the Lumberjacks scored only 39 points in a 71-39 loss at West Fargo. "We didn't shoot well again," said BHS coach Rick Kehoe whose team dropped to 4-11. "West Fargo is a nice team,the best team we have faced all season, and the bottom line is they hit their shots and we didn't." The outcome was decided in the opening half as BHS converted only six of its 26 field goal attempts and trailed 35-17 at intermission.
The nine-game winning streak for the Bemidji boys hockey team is in the books and today at Alexandria the Lumberjacks will try to start a new run that they hope will carry into and through the section tournament. Grand Rapids stunned BHS 7-2 Tuesday and handed the Jacks only their second loss of the campaign.
Dylan Hoven won the 200 butterfly to lead the Bemidji boys swimming team at Thursday's Moorhead Triangular. Fargo South won the meet with 396 points while Bemidji scored 337 and Moorhead 211. The meet featured only seven events and they reflected the distances which would be found at a collegiate meet. "It's a long season and the Moorhead coach came up with something different," said BHS coach Woody Leindecker. "Everybody enjoyed the change.
Despite a 6-14-2 record heading into Thursday's home game against Crookston the Bemidji girls hockey team has been in the majority of its contests. As often as not the Lumberjacks have actually outplayed their opponent but would come away empty in a close game. Thursday, however, Crookston erupted for three goals within the first five minutes and Bemidji never was in contention. The Pirates finished with four more goals and blanked BHS 7-0. "I feel badly for the girls," said Bemidji coach Matt Menne. "Crookston came out smelling blood in the water while we came out flat.