Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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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.
On January 8 Moorhead outlasted the Bemidji boys basketball team 84-78 in a memorable contest that brought out the best of each squad. That outcome is the only blemish on Bemidji's record and Thursday the Lumberjacks (13-1) will have an opportunity to return the favor when they travel to Moorhead for the rematch. "It's always tough to play at Moorhead and we're looking forward to the game but Saturday's home game against St. Cloud Apollo is bigger for us in terms of section seedings," said BHS coach Jeff Brown. "The Apollo game is huge.
After losing at Grand Rapids 7-2 last Tuesday the Bemidji boys hockey team wanted to prove that the outcome was an aberration and, unfortunately for Alexandria, the Cardinals were next on the schedule. Saturday at Alexandria the Lumberjacks regained their winning ways by dominating the Cardinals 7-2. The Jacks improved to 17-2-1 with the victory and will hope to improve upon that mark Friday when they visit Roseau. "I'm happy with what we did out there today," said BHS coach Wade Chiodo.
Another second-half surge came up short Saturday as the Bemidji girls basketball team dropped to 4-12 after losing 63-45 at Thief River Falls. BHS trailed 34-20 at the break but drew within three points with eight minutes to play. The Lumberjacks, however, could not maintain that pace and the home team padded its cushion down the stretch. "We ran out of energy," said BHS coach Rick Kehoe. "We just can't dig ourselves that big of a hole and expect to get out.
The Bemidji wrestlers downed Moorhead but lost to Kimball and Little Falls Saturday at a multi-team meet hosted by Fergus Falls. BHS opened with a 63-14 loss to Kimball but dominated Moorhead 45-23. In their third match of the day the Lumberjacks were nipped 36-35 by Little Falls. The Flyers rallied to win the match by claiming four of the final five individual battles. In Saturday's opener against Kimball BHS posted four victories.
Erin Booth scored with 1:29 remaining to break a 4-4 deadlock and help the Bemidji girls hockey team post a 5-4 victory Saturday afternoon at Alexandria. As has been the custom of late the Lumberjacks dominated play much of the game. In the third period the puck was in the Alexandria end for most of the 17 minutes and the pressure finally paid dividends when Booth converted a rebound of Allie Heifort's shot. "There was a very nice celebration after Erin's goal and after the game," said BHS coach Matt Menne. "It was a great game-winning goal.
The nine-game winning streak for the Bemidji boys hockey team is in the books and today at Alexandria the Lumberjacks will try to start a new run that they hope will carry into and through the section tournament. Grand Rapids stunned BHS 7-2 Tuesday and handed the Jacks only their second loss of the campaign.
The offensive problems continued for the Bemidji girls basketball team Friday as the Lumberjacks scored only 39 points in a 71-39 loss at West Fargo. "We didn't shoot well again," said BHS coach Rick Kehoe whose team dropped to 4-11. "West Fargo is a nice team,the best team we have faced all season, and the bottom line is they hit their shots and we didn't." The outcome was decided in the opening half as BHS converted only six of its 26 field goal attempts and trailed 35-17 at intermission.
A statewide aerial survey conducted in early January revealed that the population of trumpeter swans in Minnesota has more than doubled in the last five years, according to Larry Gillette, wildlife manager for Three Rivers Park District, which organized the survey. The final count in Minnesota was 5,362 trumpeter swans found at 20 locations in 14 counties. In addition, some trumpeters that nest in Minnesota migrate out of state for the winter.