Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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Despite a 6-14-2 record heading into Thursday's home game against Crookston the Bemidji girls hockey team has been in the majority of its contests. As often as not the Lumberjacks have actually outplayed their opponent but would come away empty in a close game. Thursday, however, Crookston erupted for three goals within the first five minutes and Bemidji never was in contention. The Pirates finished with four more goals and blanked BHS 7-0. "I feel badly for the girls," said Bemidji coach Matt Menne. "Crookston came out smelling blood in the water while we came out flat.
Dylan Hoven won the 200 butterfly to lead the Bemidji boys swimming team at Thursday's Moorhead Triangular. Fargo South won the meet with 396 points while Bemidji scored 337 and Moorhead 211. The meet featured only seven events and they reflected the distances which would be found at a collegiate meet. "It's a long season and the Moorhead coach came up with something different," said BHS coach Woody Leindecker. "Everybody enjoyed the change.
A defensive performance which allowed only 11 points in the second half complimented a productive offense and lifted the Bemidji boys basketball team to an 89-50 victory at Cloquet Thursday. "We were very nonchalant defensively in the first half and we addressed that at halftime," said Lumberjacks coach Jeff Brown.
The Bemidji girls basketball team will take a 4-10 record into tonight's game at West Fargo (8-3) and the Lumberjacks will be trying to snap a three-game losing streak. In its most recent outing BHS dropped a 61-47 decision Tuesday at Little Falls. A lack of offense has plagued the Lumberjacks this winter as they are averaging only 47 points per game. Jess Yost is the lone player scoring in double figures as the sophomore averages 17.1 points per contest.
The Bemidji High School wrestlers closed their home campaign Thursday by hosting Badger-Greenbush/Middle River and the visitors won the final six matches to hand the Lumberjacks a 46-21 defeat. Despite the loss, which dropped Bemidji's dual record to 9-6, BHS coach Rance Bahr was pleased with what he saw on the mat. "Greenbush is one of the best teams in the state and we competed with them. We showed that we are a good team as well," the coach said. "The kids wrestled well and gave 100 percent.
Early in Tuesday's overtime against Grand Rapids Bemidji High School boys basketball senior captain Ryan Rude drove the lane and forced the fifth foul on Thunderhawks forward Zac Skelly. Rude made one of the free throws to give the Lumberjacks a 54-51 lead. After the visitors missed a shot Rude and Carey Woods raced down court, worked a perfect give-and-go and capped the play with Rude's fast-break lay-up. "We play together very well," Rude said of the 2011 Lumberjacks.
A busy Thursday is in store for the Bemidji High School winter sports teams as the girls hockey and wrestling squads are at home while the boys basketball team and the swimmers take to the road. The wrestlers, fresh off Tuesday's victories over Bertha-Hewitt and Alexandria, will entertain BGMR. The junior varsity matches will begin at 5:30 p.m. and the varsity action will follow. Bemidji's girls hockey team was a 2-0 victim at Grand Rapids-Greenway Tuesday and will try to snap a four-game losing streak when it entertains Crookston 7 p.m.
Bailey Drewes continued her success on the cross country ski trails Tuesday as the Bemidji senior finished second at the Bemidji Invitational at Buena Vista. Tuesday's pursuit format featured five kilometers of classical skiing in the morning and five kilometers of skate skiing in the afternoon. Drewes completed both legs in 34:15 and trailed only Manon Grammon-Dearing of Little Falls who was clocked in 34:02. In the varsity boys competition Bemidji was led by Tony Sagedahl who was seventh in 30:36.
All winter the Bemidji boys basketball team has been able to score from just about anywhere on the court and continually pad the scoreboard. Tuesday against Grand Rapids, however, baskets and successful free throws were hard to come by as the defenses rose to the occasion for both teams. The Lumberjacks eventually overcame their shooting woes and made enough free throws down the stretch to escape Grand Rapids 63-58 in overtime. "I thought we played a good game and defensively it was one of our better efforts," said BHS coach Jeff Brown whose team improved to 13-1.
The Bemidji girls hockey team outplayed and outshot another opponent Tuesday but, once again, the Lumberjacks were not rewarded for their efforts as they lost 2-0 at Grand Rapids-Greenway. "Our team effort was tremendous," said BHS coach Matt Menne. "But we couldn't get any lucky bounces. We outplayed Grand Rapids but lost 2-0. Last Saturday we outplayed Sauk Rapids and lost 2-1 in overtime. It's been that kind of a season." The home team scored late in the first period and early in the third on way to its win over the Jacks.