Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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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.
Offensive balance and defensive execution lifted the boys basketball team to a 92-54 victotry 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.
Junior curlers will take center stage at the Bemidji Curling Club this weekend as the facility hosts the Minnesota regional beginning Thursday and extending through Sunday. The top two junior men's and top two junior women's teams from this weekend's tournament will advance to the national championship meet which will be Jan. 29-Feb.
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.
Tyler George, a junior guard from Bagley, shared last week's Pine to Prairie boys basketball Player of the Week honors with Garrett Carlin of Fosston. Tara Evje of Fosston claimed the girls basketball award. George helped the Flyers defeat Waubun, Clearbrook-Gonvick and Mahnomen in mid-December. Bagley extended that winning streak to four games last Tuesday when it thumped Fertile-Beltrami 73-51 to improve to 4-1. The Flyers are averaging 71.4 points per game and yielding 49.2.
The lone home appearance by a Bemidji High School winter sports team this week will be tonight when the Lumberjacks girls hockey team hosts Detroit Lakes 7 p.m. at Nymore Arena. It will be the only action for the squad this week as BHS won't return to duty until Jan. 8 at Fergus Falls. Detroit Lakes is 3-8 with its only victories coming at the expense of River Lakes (4-1), Long Prairie (7-3) and Pequot Lakes (7-4).
The Bemidji girls basketball team will play in today's third-place game of the Albert Lea Invitational as the Lumberjacks dropped a 47-43 opening-round decision to Hayfield Monday afternoon. Albert Lea (1-6) and Concordia Academy (4-2) met Monday night in the other first-round matchup and BHS will take on the loser 1:30 p.m. today.
The Bemidji winter sports teams enter the final week of the year on winning streaks, and the squads are eager to resume their schedules and try to build upon their early-season success. "The kids are excited to be involved in a bracket-play tournament," said BHS boys hockey coach Wade Chiodo, whose team heads to Duluth on Tuesday for first-round action of the Central-Denfeld Invitational. "It's been a week since we've played and the kids are ready to go." Tournament play also awaits the girls and boys basketball teams and the wrestlers this week.
There are many reasons why the Bemidji boys hockey team is 7-0-1 heading into next week's tournament at Duluth Denfeld. Offensively the Lumberjacks have outscored their opponents 34-9, including 18-0 in the first period.