Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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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.
Junior curlers will take center stage at the Bemidji Curling Club this weekend as the facility hosts the Minnesota regional beginning Thursday and extending through Sunday. The top two junior men's and top two junior women's teams from this weekend's tournament will advance to the national championship meet which will be Jan. 29-Feb.
The Bemidji wrestling team heads to the Fargodome today and Thursday for the Rumble on the Red tournament. The event features varsity and junior varsity competition and BHS coach Rance Bahr has decided to enter the bulk of his squad in the JV event. Jake Crosby at 125 and heavyweight Alex Johnson will compete in the varsity tournament but the remainder of the Jacks will wrestle in the junior varsity division. "The JV brackets are typically 60 to 70 wrestlers and they will give our kids quality matches," Bahr said.
The Bemidji girls basketball team will play in today's third-place game of the Albert Lea Invitational as the Lumberjacks dropped a 47-43 opening-round decision to Hayfield Monday afternoon. Albert Lea (1-6) and Concordia Academy (4-2) met Monday night in the other first-round matchup and BHS will take on the loser 1:30 p.m. today.
The lone home appearance by a Bemidji High School winter sports team this week will be tonight when the Lumberjacks girls hockey team hosts Detroit Lakes 7 p.m. at Nymore Arena. It will be the only action for the squad this week as BHS won't return to duty until Jan. 8 at Fergus Falls. Detroit Lakes is 3-8 with its only victories coming at the expense of River Lakes (4-1), Long Prairie (7-3) and Pequot Lakes (7-4).
Tyler George, a junior guard from Bagley, shared last week's Pine to Prairie boys basketball Player of the Week honors with Garrett Carlin of Fosston. Tara Evje of Fosston claimed the girls basketball award. George helped the Flyers defeat Waubun, Clearbrook-Gonvick and Mahnomen in mid-December. Bagley extended that winning streak to four games last Tuesday when it thumped Fertile-Beltrami 73-51 to improve to 4-1. The Flyers are averaging 71.4 points per game and yielding 49.2.
The Bemidji winter sports teams enter the final week of the year on winning streaks, and the squads are eager to resume their schedules and try to build upon their early-season success. "The kids are excited to be involved in a bracket-play tournament," said BHS boys hockey coach Wade Chiodo, whose team heads to Duluth on Tuesday for first-round action of the Central-Denfeld Invitational. "It's been a week since we've played and the kids are ready to go." Tournament play also awaits the girls and boys basketball teams and the wrestlers this week.
There are many reasons why the Bemidji boys hockey team is 7-0-1 heading into next week's tournament at Duluth Denfeld. Offensively the Lumberjacks have outscored their opponents 34-9, including 18-0 in the first period.
Allie Heifort made her debut in net and the 16-save performance by the sophomore helped the Bemidji girls hockey team nip International Falls 5-4 Tuesday in the border city. With Emily Denzer out with an injury and Laura Thompson absent from school because of illness Bemidji found itself without a goalie.
After misfiring in the first half the Bemidji boys basketball team found the range in the final 18 minutes and the result was an 81-48 home victory over Sauk Rapids-Rice Tuesday night. "We didn't finish our shots in the first half but we improved on that in the second," said BHS coach Jeff Brown whose team will take a 5-0 record into the opening game at the Chisago Lakes Invitational on Dec. 28. "We had to make some adjustments and we did. I didn't realize how well we played at the start of the second half.