Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Most winter high school sports programs schedule their events for indoor venues and, as long as teams can make it to the facility, the games or meets will be played. The lone exceptions, however, are the Nordic ski squads which continually brave the elements with outdoor practices and competitions. Cold temperatures are commonplace for the skiers but Minnesota State High School League officials have placed a cap on cold-weather competition. If the temperature is 4-below-zero or colder sanctioned high school meets are not supposed to be held.
Warroad lived up to its billing Thursday as the top-ranked Class A girls hockey team blanked Bemidji 6-0 at the Community Arena. The shutout was Warroad's second against the Lumberjacks this winter as the Warriors blanked BHS 6-0 Nov. 30 in Warroad. "Warroad made it tough for us to make plays," said Bemidji coach Matt Menne. "We had three or four chances but through the neutral zone and on our breakouts Warroad made it difficult for us." The visitors held a decisive advantage in territorial play and continually manufactured solid scoring opportunities.
A second half surge delivered by the defense enabled the Bemidji girls basketball team to stage a comeback but the Lumberjacks couldn't maintain the pace in the final few minutes and dropped a 50-46 home decision Thursday to Brainerd. BHS did little right in the opening half and trailed 27-13 at the break.
High school hockey fans are in for a treat this weekend as the Bemidji boys squad will be hosting Brainerd 5:30 p.m. today and Hermantown 4 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be played at Nymore Arena. The Lumberjacks, 14-1-1, finally cracked the top-15 in the Let's Play Hockey Class AA poll as they moved up a few positions to that No. 15 spot in Thursday's poll. Brainerd isn't ranked but the Warriors own a 12-4 overall record. BHS is 4-0-1 against Section 8AA foes while Brainerd is 2-2. Moorhead is 3-1-1 in the section while St.
The Bemidji High School girls hockey team will test itself against an elite opponent today when it hosts Warroad at 7 p.m. at the Community Arena. According to the Let's Play Hockey experts who vote on the state polls, Warroad is the best team in Class A girls hockey and one of the three best teams in either class. BHS will take a 6-10-2 record into tonight's action while Warroad is a gaudy 16-3-0.
The Bemidji boys basketball team made another statement Tuesday as the Lumberjacks headed to Little Falls and handed the defending section champion a 73-58 defeat. Tuesday's triumph was Bemidji's 11th in 12 starts while the Flyers fell to 8-5. "If you can come here and get a win like we did you have had a good night," said Lumberjacks coach Jeff Brown. "Little Falls is a tough place to play and they are a good basketball team. This was a very good win for us." BHS took charge early with an 11-0 run to begin the game and owned a 38-23 lead at the break.
The Bemidji boys swimming team had no trouble with Thief River Falls Tuesday as the Lumberjacks breezed to a 105-64 dual-meet victory at Thief River Falls. BHS won nine of the 11 events and setting the tone was the 200 medley relay squad of Tyler Hemp, Matt Arndt, Dylan Hoven and Seth Olson which won the event in 2:00.09. The Prowlers took the 200 free but the Jacks captured the next six events to end any suspense. "There was no diving because the pool is too shallow and the meet took only about an hour," said Bemidji coach Woody Leindecker.
Crookston converted 26 of its 28 free throw attempts and that efficiency from the line enabled the Pirates to post a 66-58 victory over the Bemidji girls basketball team Tuesday in Bemidji. Bemidji managed only a brief lead as Caitlin Hadrava's rebound bucket with 5:34 to play in the opening half gave the Jacks a 16-15 advantage. Crookston answered with a three-point play, however, and Bemidji never caught up again. At intermission the visitors forged a 30-26 cushion and they widened the gap to 45-35 early in the second stanza.
Bemidji scored twice in the opening period but Cloquet -Esko-Carlton struck for three goals in the middle stanza and hung on for a 3-2 victory over the Lumberjacks girls hockey team Tuesday in Cloquet. "We played well in the first period but we played horribly in the second," said BHS coach Matt Menne.
The reconstruction of the University of Minnesota football program is underway and Bemidji High School senior Ernie Heifort Jr. will be part of that process. After spending the weekend at the U of M and meeting Gophers head coach Jerry Kill and his assistants, Heifort verbally committed to the Gophers.