Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.
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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.
Allie Heifort made her debut in net and the 16-save performance by the sophomore helped the Bemidji girls hockey team nip International Falls 5-4 Tuesday in the border city. With Emily Denzer out with an injury and Laura Thompson absent from school because of illness Bemidji found itself without a goalie.
Greta Steever scored the winning basket off an inbounds pass at the buzzer Tuesday to give the Bemidji girls basketball team a 52-50 victory at Moorhead. With the score knotted at 50-50 the Spuds tried to stall the final 42 seconds for the last shot. With less than 10 seconds to play, however, Bemidji stole the ball and had an in-bounds pass under its basket with 1.5 seconds on the clock. "It was a set play with an up-and-down screen where Jess (Yost) screens for Greta," said BHS coach Rick Kehoe.
After misfiring in the first half the Bemidji boys basketball team found the range in the final 18 minutes and the result was an 81-48 home victory over Sauk Rapids-Rice Tuesday night. "We didn't finish our shots in the first half but we improved on that in the second," said BHS coach Jeff Brown whose team will take a 5-0 record into the opening game at the Chisago Lakes Invitational on Dec. 28. "We had to make some adjustments and we did. I didn't realize how well we played at the start of the second half.
The Big Bear wrestling tournament hosted by BCLBI in Cass Lake highlighted last week's area action and Fergus Falls took top honors in the 36-team event. The host team tied for 22nd with 65 points and Bagley Fosston finished 28th with 47.5 points. Fergus Falls captured the team title with 180 points. The Otters also had three individual champions, the most of any team in the tournament. BGMR placed second with 167.5 points and Thief River Falls was third with 166.5.
The Bemidji wrestling team overpowered Bertha-Hewitt-Verndale 58-21 and captured seventh place in Saturday's eight-team tournament in Frazee. BHS opened the day with a 49-10 loss to Minneota which entered the invitational ranked third in the state Class A poll. The Lumberjacks then dropped a 50-28 decision to Border West but fared much better in the seventh-place match, winning 10 individual matches, including four by forfeit. Brian Maas started the Jacks on their way to victory when he pinned Marshall Willis in 2:13 in the 112-pound match.
Karleigh Wolkerstorfer scored her second goal of the game 14:31 into the third period to help the Bemidji girls hockey team rally for a 4-4 overtime tie Saturday afternoon against Brainerd-Little Falls in Brainerd. The Flying Warriors had battled back from a 3-1 deficit and took a 4-3 lead at 14:22 when Hailey Joyce scored.
The pre-Christmas phase of the boys hockey season came to a successful conclusion Saturday as the Lumberjacks dominated Fergus Falls 4-0 at Nymore Arena. Saturday's victory upped Bemidji's record to 7-0-1 and was its third shutout of the winter. The Lumberjacks can now take a breather as they have 10 days off before heading to Denfeld Dec.
Rick Kehoe and his girls basketball players can enjoy the rest of the weekend after the Bemidji girls basketball team snapped its four-game losing streak to begin the winter by stopping St. Cloud Apollo 62-41 Saturday at the BHS gym. "This win certainly makes the weekend much better," Kehoe said. "And the best part is we've been getting better in every game." During the season opener two weeks ago against Sauk Rapids the Lumberjacks committed 42 turnovers. Saturday they only had 21. "We're making better decisions," the coach said.
A steady wind from the northwest did not deter the high school skiers who began their 2010-2011 campaigns Saturday at the Montebello Relays hosted by Bemidji at the middle school. "The course was hard-packed and fast," said BHS coach Mark Walters who devised the format which featured two-person teams alternating laps of classical and skating techniques. The Lumberjacks, Little Falls and Brainerd each raced six teams (two boys, two girls and two mixed) and when their combined times were tabulated Little Falls was the winner with a total time of 2:59:15.65.