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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Cards swarm Jacks 61-35 to end Bemidji’s season

ST. CLOUD -- The Bemidji High School girls basketball team got the start it needed for an upset bid against Alexandria in St. Cloud Saturday, but the momentum didn’t last in a 61-35 loss in the Section 8-3A semifinals, marking the end of the Lumberjacks’ season.

BHS led for the first five minutes, going ahead 6-1 off an inside score by Kennedy Mills. But the top-seeded Cardinals (22-5) proved its rank afterwards, answering back with nine straight points as part of an ensuing 15-2 run.

The spurt had Bemidji doubled up at 16-8, and another 9-0 Alexandria run made way for a 35-19 game at the break.

Scoring didn’t come easy for the Jacks to start the second half, either. After Ryssa Whelan knocked down a 3-pointer, Alex tallied 11 in a row to take a commanding 57-24 advantage. Whelan stayed hot until game’s end, working up to 14 second-half points, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Cards in the season-ending 61-35 loss.

Whelan finished with 18 points on the night to lead Bemidji, while Mills added nine as the only other Lumberjack with more than two points.

On the Alexandria side, Ella Grove scored 14 points, and Courtney Gould joined her in double figures with 11.

Bemidji finishes the year with a 9-19 record and graduates four seniors in Samantha Edlund, Ciara Cermak, Mills and Whelan.

No. 1 Alexandria 61, No. 5 Bemidji 35

BHS 19 16 -- 35

AHS 35 26 -- 61

Bemidji scorers: Whelan 18, Mills 9, Edlund 2, Cermak 2, Alto 2, Hildenbrand 2.

Alexandria scorers: Grove 14, Gould 11, Duwenhoegger 9, McGrane 8, Strand 6, Paschka 5, Schmidt 4, Bloom 2, Jones 2.