Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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When Steve and Peggy Heller needed to find their young sons during the winter they knew exactly where to look. "My brother Jordan and I spent every day we could next door at the outdoor rink in Nymore," said Steve Heller, Jr. "It was great growing up in that neighborhood." The Heller boys have never lost their love for skating and for hockey and today they will lace the skates in Roseau as the Bemidji boys hockey team faces the Rams. Steve, a senior, leads the Lumberjacks offense with 12 goals and 27 points.
The Bemidji gymnastics team defeated Park Rapids 128.5-111.8 Thursday in Park Rapids. BHS swept the top-three all-around places as Katie Jensen scored 33.65, Brooke Beck 31.65 and Jess Bergquist 31.25.
Carey Woods tied the game 62-62 with a 3-point basket with 0.05 seconds remaining in regulation and Cody Rutledge scored on a rebound with 10 seconds left in overtime to lift the Bemidji boys basketball team to a 68-67 victory at Moorhead Thursday. The win avenged Bemidji's only loss of the winter as the Spuds defeated the Lumberjacks 84-78 a month ago in Bemidji. As was the case in the previous meeting BHS and Moorhead staged another classic battle.
Bemidji sports fans will have to travel to follow their teams today as three BHS squads will compete on the road. The boys hockey team heads to Roseau for a conference and section contest while the wrestlers visit St. Cloud Apollo for a dual match and the girls basketball team travels to East Grand Forks. Bemidji's hockey team is 17-2-1 and owns a 7-3 home win over the Rams. Roseau has struggled this winter and, after falling 5-4 at home to Warroad in overtime on Tuesday, the perennial state power is only 8-10. "But Roseau is always tough on its home ice," said BHS coach Wade Chiodo.
The Bemidji girls hockey team closed the book on the regular season Thursday as it dropped a 6-3 decision to Roseau at The Sanford Center. BHS trailed 5-0 before staging a furious comeback in the third period and drew within 5-3 with seven minutes to play. The Rams, however, iced the win with a power play tally at 13:39. "After trailing 5-0 going into the third period our goal was to score a couple of goals and win the final 17 minutes," said BHS coach Matt Menne. "We did that and it was exciting to see the kids react on the bench during the comeback. "We begin the playoffs Feb.
The girls hockey team ends its regular season today when it hosts Roseau at The Sanford Center but the day's marquee matchup will be in Moorhead where Bemidji's boys basketball team will try to avenge its only loss of the winter when it tangles with the Spuds. Also on today's docket is a trip by the gymnastics team to Park Rapids. On Jan. 8 Moorhead handed the Lumberjacks their only loss of the season when it posted an 84-78 win in Bemidji.
The Bemidji High School Nordic ski teams tuned for next week's Section 8 meet at Camp Ripley by hosting Detroit Lakes, Trek North and Deer River at the North Star Invitational Tuesday at Itasca State Park. "It was a beautiful day for skiing," said BHS coach Mark Walters. "It was cool and the sun was shining. The kids skied well. I'm pleased with the way they competed." Bemidji captured both varsity races. In the boys event the Lumberjacks nipped Detroit Lakes 382-380.
Bad habits are tough to break and the Bemidji girls basketball team is fighting the habit of stumbling in the first half and trailing by double-digit figures at intermission. In the second stanza the Lumberjacks have a tendency to battle back but the holes have been too deep for the Lumberjacks to fully recover. Tuesday's home game followed that familiar script as BHS allowed Moorhead to forge a 37-19 lead at the break and the Spuds held on for a 78-65 win. Moorhead broke away from the Jacks by draining seven 3-point shots in the opening 18 minutes but most of them were uncontested.
A year ago the Bemidji High School wrestling team went 6-18 in dual meets and the goal of this winter's squad was to double that victory total. The Lumberjacks seem well on their way of accomplishing that feat as they reached 11 wins Tuesday after dumping Roseau 49-25. BHS has three triangulars remaining and the Jacks could reach the 12-victory plateau Friday when they head to St.
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.