Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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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.
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
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.
The boys swimming and diving team will own the home spotlight today as Bemidji entertains Grand Rapids starting at 5 p.m. BHS has won its two dual meets this winter, blitzing Thief River Falls 126-54 at Bemidji and edging Park Rapids 95-91 on the road. Both of those meets were held in mid-December. During the holiday break the Lumberjacks participated in the Brainerd Invitational and placed fourth of six teams. In that meet Dylan Hoven won the 50 free and 100 free and also swam a leg in the wining 200 free relay.
Steve Heller scored 7:20 into overtime to lift the Bemidji boys hockey team to a 3-2 victory over St. Cloud Tech Tuesday at Nymore Arena. Last February the Tigers and Lumberjacks staged a classic 6-overtime marathon in the 8AA quarterfinals and Tech eventually outlasted BHS 3-2.
Jeff Brown wasn't sure what to expect when his Bemidji boys basketball team hosted Crookston Tuesday night. The Lumberjacks would have an edge in speed and quickness but Crookston's starting cast included 6-9 senior William Pankow, 6-5 senior Tim Desrosier and 6-3 senior Chris Larson. "I was worried about their size," Brown admitted. "We tried to counter that by using a variety of presses and zone defenses." The different defenses worked to perfection as the Lumberjacks roared to a 41-24 halftime edge and coasted to an 86-48 victory.
The Bemidji boys Nordic ski team captured the title at Tuesday's Detroit Lakes Invitational at Maplelag Ski Area. Although official team points were not available to the coaches, BHS and Brainerd initially tied for first place, according to Lumberjack coach Mark Walters. Bemidji, however, awarded the team victory after comparing the results of each team's fifth finisher. "What a difference a few days, cooler temperatures and better snow can make," Walters said, referring to the rain and soggy snow that the skiers battled at Brainerd on Dec.
The holiday break is over and the Bemidji High School winter sports teams all are busy this week, especially the boys basketball team which will be home today, Friday and Saturday. The boys hockey team will also be home tonight while the other home event this week will come Thursday as the boys swimmers and divers entertain Grand Rapids. Boys BB team entertains Pirates Bemidji's boys cagers begin a three-game homestand 7:30 p.m.