Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Mitch Brown made seven of his eight free throws in the final 1:48 and those points proved essential as the Bemidji boys basketball team edged Detroit Lakes 78-74 Tuesday night in Detroit Lakes. The Lumberjacks improved to 18-3 with the important Section 8-3A victory while the Lakers dropped to 15-6. After taking a seemingly comfortable 31-17 lead in the first half BHS saw the home team whittle away at its deficit and by intermission the Lakers were within 38-32.
For much of the winter the Bemidji Nordic ski teams have had to keep an eye on the thermometer hoping that the mercury would rise above 4-below-zero so a meet could begin. Thursday at Giant's Ridge a trio of Lumberjacks and their state-meet peers will be monitoring the weather once again. This time, however, the skiers will be hoping for cold instead of warmth. "Our greatest concern will be the condition of the course," said BHS ski coach Mark Walters.
The Bagley and Cass Lake-Bena boys basketball teams continued their winning ways last week while the Blackduck girls posted a pair of victories and improved to 8-12 overall. The Panthers, Blackduck and Nevis all were looking to make a move in the Northland Conference standings as last week began but when the dust settled, CL-B won its key game against Blackduck, Nevis stopped Walker-Hackensack-Akeley and Blackduck also fell to Pine River-Backus. Heading into this week Cass Lake-Bena and Nevis shared the top spot with 8-2 league marks and Blackduck dropped to third at 7-3.
Cody Rutledge scored 21 points and Ryan Rude added 17 to lead the Bemidji boys basketball team to a 61-47 victory Saturday at Alexandria. "This was a high-quality win for us against a very good team," said BHS coach Jeff Brown.
Hockey coaches always preach putting pucks on the net because the path of the puck is unpredictable and bad bounces or mishandled shots by the goaltender can occur at any time. Saturday night at The Sanford Center the Bemidji boys hockey team was the recipient of one of those bounces and the result was a 3-2 overtime victory over Warroad. After regulation the teams were deadlocked 2-2 and prepared for the 8-minute overtime.
The season ended for the Bemidji girls hockey team Saturday as North Wright County wore down the Lumberjacks, scoring four unanswered in the third period and downing the Jacks 8-2 in the quarterfinals of the Section 8AA tournament in Monticello. BHS and the River Hawks were tied 2-2 midway through the second period but the home team started to take control in the waning stages of the stanza as it scored 10:56 and 16:45 into the session. The trend continued in the third period as NWC found the net four more times. Bemidji opened the scoring 2:46 into the contest when Allie Heifort tallied a
Alex Johnson pinned Theo Wurst 1:16 into the heavyweight match to cap a 44-32 Bemidji win over St. Cloud Tech Friday in Moorhead and the Lumberjacks cruised past Rocori 51-21 to finish the regular season with an 18-9 record. Prior to the campaign BHS coach Rance Bahr challenged his wrestlers to double last year's dual-meet victory total of six.
The Bemidji boys hockey team will shoot for an undefeated home campaign 5:15 p.m. today when it hosts Warroad at The Sanford Center. BHS is 8-0-1 at its three home venues and 19-2-2 overall. Warroad will bring a 16-7 record into tonight's contest. The girls hockey team faces a win-or-go-home scenario today as it battles North Wright County in the quarterfinal round of the Section 8AA tournament in Monticello. Both BHS basketball teams will be in Alexandria today as the girls take on the Cardinals at 6 p.m.
Another second-half rally by the Bemidji girls basketball team came up short as the Lumberjacks dropped a 55-45 decision at Alexandria Saturday. BHS trailed 32-12 at intermission but battled back to a seven-point deficit with three minutes to play. A series of turnovers, however, prevented the Lumberjacks from closing the gap any further and the home team finished with a 10-point triumph. "In the second half we started to play the way we are capable of playing and we took care of the basketball," said Bemidji coach Rick Kehoe.
During the pre-season practices the Bagley boys basketball players decided that this year's goal was to finish the season undefeated. They felt that their experience and talent could take them all the way to a state championship and that winning every game was possible. That goal, however, proved unattainable as Bagley lost 65-60 to Ulen-Hitterdal in its season opener. "The players felt bad after losing the first game because they wanted to go undefeated," said Flyers coach Chuck Anderson.