Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Bemidji returned from this weekend's Hibbing Invitational with three victories in four matches. Friday the Jacks lost to Chisago Lakes but dominated Virginia. Saturday they thumped Nashwauk-Keewatin-Greenway 47-24 and blistered Deer River 42-30. Jake Crosby was a double winner Saturday as he recorded a decision and a pin at 125.
Event championships by Dylan Hoven, Adam Falk and the 200 free relay team powered the Bemidji swimmers and divers to second place at Saturday's Detroit Lakes Invitational. The Lumberjacks scored 344 points and trailed only Detroit Lakes which had 416. Park Rapids, which defeated BHS 95-91 in a dual meet prior to the holiday break, was third with 260.
Saturday's game between Bemidji and Moorhead at the BHS gym had all the ingredients required for an entertaining and competitive boys basketball battle. A packed gym, two unbeaten teams and athletes on both sides of the floor who employ an aggressive brand of basketball were on display and when the crowd made their way into the frigid parking lot everyone headed toward their cars buzzing about what they had just witnessed. For the record, Moorhead outlasted the Lumberjacks 84-78 by converting its free throws and outscoring Bemidji 7-2 in the final 1:14.
The busiest day of the winter for the Bemidji high School sports programs is at hand as eight of the nine teams are in action today. Lumberjack fans, however, have only one home game on today's docket and that will begin at 7:15 when the boys basketball team hosts Moorhead. Hitting the road are the gymnasts, swimmers, boys and girls hockey teams, skiers and wrestlers. The lone BHS team that has today off is the girls basketball squad. Skiers head to Giants Ridge The skiers travel to Giants Ridge for the Mesabi East Invitational.
After losing a heartbreaking 41-39 match to Chisago Lakes in the opening round of the Hibbing Invitational Friday afternoon the Bemidji wrestling squad thumped Virginia 48-34 in the loser's bracket round. Today the Lumberjacks will conclude the tournament by facing Deer River at 11 a.m.
The Bemidji boys basketball team tuned up for tonight's matchup against unbeaten Moorhead by dismantling Brainerd 83-42 Friday at the BHS gym. The Lumberjacks, who began the weekend ranked fourth in the Minnesota Class 3A poll, improved to 9-0 while the Spuds will head east with a 6-0 record. Brainerd fell to 2-7 after Friday's outcome. Among the losses were 69-47 and 74-60 setbacks at the hands of Moorhead. Bemidji had no trouble with the Warriors as the Lumberjacks used an 11-0 run to forge a 15-5 advantage and never looked back.
Bemidji won seven of the 12 events but the lack of seconds and thirds proved costly as Grand Rapids handed the Jacks swimming and diving team a 103-82 loss Thursday in Bemidji. "We had enough first places but we had too many fourths and not enough seconds and thirds," said BHS coach Woody Leindecker. "We also couldn't win the relays at the end of the meet.
The Bemidji boys basketball team will put their unbeaten status on the line today when they entertain Brainerd at 7:30 p.m. BHS (8-0) will also be home Saturday when Moorhead comes to town for a 7:15 p.m. contest. In its most recent outing Bemidji blistered Crookston 86-48 Tuesday night. The Pirates held a huge size advantage over the Jacks but couldn't match Bemidji's speed and quickness.
Detroit Lakes outscored the Bemidji girls basketball team 12-2 during the final four minutes to hand the Lumberjacks a 49-46 defeat Thursday in Detroit Lakes. BHS took a 35-33 lead eight minutes into the second half when Caitlin Hadrava connected on a field goal and the Jacks eventually pushed the margin to 41-33 when Hadrava drained a 3-pointer. Bemidji, however, would score only five more points while the Lakers took full advantage of their opportunities down the stretch to score 16. "How many games have we had a late lead and then have things crumble," said Bemidji coach Rick Kehoe.
Snow enthusiasts are thoroughly enjoying the winter as the white stuff came early and is being replenished inches at a time on a regular basis. Currently the area front yards, woods and fields are blanketed with almost 20 inches of powder while the piles along the edges of the roads created by the snowplows are shoulder-high in many locations. The thermometer also indicates that the Bemidji area is in the throes of an old-fashioned winter as it dipped to -25 earlier this week and daytime highs have struggled to reach double-digits above zero. If the trend continues there could be some negat