Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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A pair of men's junior curling teams with Bemidji ties won their first games at the Minnesota State Junior Curling Championships Thursday at the Bemidji Curling Club. Thursday's action continued with the 7 p.m. draw but, because of the storm, the Pioneer's deadline was moved ahead for the safety of the route drivers.
Everything is in place for another successful Paul Bunyan International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament which will be held this weekend at four different Bemidji venues. The Sanford Center will be today's showcase location as the facility will be home to the 9:30 a.m. opening ceremony and the first-round match-up between Bemidji and Fort Frances. Hockey action is also scheduled for the Community Arena, the Nymore Arena and the City Arena.
State tournament appearances by the girls basketball and football teams plus many individual Lumberjacks highlighted a very successful 2010 for the Bemidji High School sports programs. And 2011 could be equally exciting as the boys hockey and basketball teams entered their holiday tournaments unbeaten and many of the spring and fall sports teams appear ready to challenge for state berths. Last spring the girls basketball team thumped Hibbing 76-54 in the section championship game and lived up to its pre-season goal: taking the next step. The trip to the state meet was the program's first si
Offensive balance and defensive execution lifted the boys basketball team to a 92-54 victory over St. Paul Highland Park Wednesday in the championship game of the Chisago Lakes Invitational. The win kept BHS unbeaten at 7-0. In Tuesday's semifinal the Lumberjacks disposed of Chisago Lakes 67-53. "We played very well this week," said Bemidji coach Jeff Brown.
Tuesday's above-freezing temperatures tested the waxing skills of the Bemidji Nordic skiers but both the boys and girls teams handled the changing conditions well as they finished second at the 5-kilometer Deer River Invitational at Blueberry Hills Ski Area. "Waxing was tricky but the course held up well," said Lumberjacks coach Mark Walters. Grand Rapids captured the girls title with 380 points but BHS was a close second with 365. Trailing the leaders were Brainerd with 360 and Detroit Lakes with 357. Individually Bailey Drewes was Bemidji's top finisher as she placed second in 20:54.
The Bemidji girls hockey team closed the book on the 2010 portion of its schedule in grand style Tuesday as the Lumberjacks dominated Detroit Lakes 10-0 at Nymore Arena. BHS seldom allowed the Lakers out of their defensive zone in the opening period and the result was a 14-4 edge in shots and a 3-0 advantage in goals. Erin Booth scored twice in the stanza and Allie Lapp notched the other.
The Bemidji wrestling team heads to the Fargodome today and Thursday for the Rumble on the Red tournament. The event features varsity and junior varsity competition and BHS coach Rance Bahr has decided to enter the bulk of his squad in the JV event. Jake Crosby at 125 and heavyweight Alex Johnson will compete in the varsity tournament but the remainder of the Jacks will wrestle in the junior varsity division. "The JV brackets are typically 60 to 70 wrestlers and they will give our kids quality matches," Bahr said.
Carey Woods scored 22 points Tuesday to lead the Bemidji boys basketball team to a 67-53 win over Chisago Lakes and into tonight's championship game of the Chisago Lakes Invitational. BHS will meet North St. Paul in today's 7:45 p.m. title game. In Tuesday's semifinal North St. Paul stopped Highland Park. Woods connected on nine field goals, four of them from 3-point land.
Tuesday's six-hour bus ride to Bemidji from southern Minnesota didn't seem to last too long as the Bemidji girls basketball team hit the road following a 63-45 victory over the host team in the third-place game of the Albert Lea Invitational. The victory gave Bemidji a 1-1 record at the tournament and upped the Lumberjacks' overall mark to 3-5. "There were smiles on the girls' faces after the game," said BHS coach Rick Kehoe. "Win or lose, when you play well it feels good.
The unbeaten streak of the Bemidji boys hockey team came to an end Tuesday as the Lumberjacks lost 4-3 to Cloquet-Esko-Carlton in the opening round of the Duluth Invitational. BHS had opened the winter with a 7-0-1 record but CEC road the strength of a 2-goal second period to hand the Lumberjacks their first loss of the year. "We were flat. We didn't have much jump," said BHS coach Wade Chiodo.