Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Trips to the state meet will be on the line today as the Bemidji Nordic ski teams head to Camp Ripley for the 8AA competition. "It should be an exciting day," said BHS coach Mark Walters. "The skiers are as ready as they can be." A year ago Bemidji finished second to Little Falls in both the boys and the girls team races. The Flyers are favored again this year but Walters believes the Lumberjacks could challenge Little Falls for the boys title. "I'm an optimistic person," the coach said.
The top spot in the Northland Conference will be up for grabs today as the Cass Lake-Bena boys basketball team hosts Blackduck. The Drakes will take a 7-1 conference mark into the game while CL-B and Nevis both are 7-2. Trailing the leaders are Kelliher-Northome and Pine River-Backus at 3-6, Red Lake at 2-6 and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley at 1-7. Blackduck's lone league setback came on Jan. 28 when the Drakes fell 66-56 at home to CL-B.
The Bemidji boys hockey team has played 22 games while Moorhead has tested itself 21 times. Despite logging all of that ice time the Lumberjacks and Spuds have not been able to separate themselves in the Section 8AA and Mariucci Conference standings. A gap could be created today, however, as BHS will host Moorhead 7:30 p.m. at the Community Arena. Tonight's contest is the feature home game of the week for Bemidji sports fans, who also can watch the Lumberjacks 5:15 p.m.
Katie Jensen captured the all-around with a 33.55 and Jessica Bergquist was second with 32.9 to lead the Bemidji gymnastics team to a 130.40-120.70 victory over Detroit Lakes Saturday at the Gym Bin. "The kids pulled through nicely," said BHS coach Don Papreck. "Detroit Lakes didn't bring its full varsity team because it competed Friday night at Perham but we competed well and it was a nice win." Lumberjacks Alyshia Moe and Brooke Beck tied for third place in the all-around with scores of 31.8. BHS swept the top four spots in the vault and Jensen set the pace with 8.75.
The Bemidji hockey team capped a successful weekend Saturday with a workmanlike 5-1 victory over Fargo North at the Nymore Arena. Saturday's win came off the heels of Friday's 6-0 victory at Roseau and upped the Jacks overall record to 19-2-1. BHS will be home Tuesday when it entertains Moorhead at the Community Arena. The Lumberjacks prevailed Saturday despite missing two key players.
The Bemidji boys basketball team is at a distinct disadvantage in terms of team height compared to many of its opponents and Saturday afternoon at the BHS gym St. Cloud Apollo used its size to full advantage, handing the Lumberjacks a 76-68 loss. Saturday's setback was Bemidji's second in 17 games while the Eagles improved to 13-4. "Apollo is the best complete team we've faced all year in terms of a strong inside and outside game," said Jacks coach Jeff Brown. "In the first half we weren't physical or aggressive enough to match Apollo's inside game.
Dylan Hoven won the 50 free and 100 free to lead the Bemidji swimmers and divers at Saturday's Hibbing Invitational. Bloomington Jefferson took the team title with 316 points while the Lumberjacks were eighth in the nine-team field with 178. Hoven set a pool record on his way to the 50 free championship as he finished in 21.89.
The Bemidji High School wrestlers captured fifth place at Saturday's Blaine Invitational, dropping their opener to Rosemount 51-12 but stopping Spring Lake Park 63-11 and Irondale 39-30. Saturday's victories gave the Lumberjacks a 14-9 dual-meet record. Tuesday they have a chance to collect two more as they head to Fosston to face BCLBI and Bagley-Fosston. Brian Maas, Craig Maas and Colton Doty earned Bemidji's lone victories against Rosemount.
When the season began Bemidji wrestling coach Rance Bahr challenged his athletes to double last year's dual-meet victory total of six. Friday night at St.
With the regular seasons winding down, Bemidji High School sports fans should take advantage of the limited remaining opportunities to follow their teams. Today finds three Lumberjack squads enjoying the home spotlight as the gymnasts entertain Detroit Lakes at 1 p.m. at the Gym Bin, the boys basketball team hosts St. Cloud Apollo at 2:45 p.m. and the boys hockey team entertains Fargo North 7:30 p.m.