BEMIDJI -- As soon as Colten Jensen let it fly from the perimeter, he recognized the moment he was creating.
“I was like, ‘Oh, that felt good. That felt really good,’” he said.
Midway through the second half of the Bemidji High School boys basketball team’s 75-51 win over Detroit Lakes on Thursday, Jensen pulled up for a 3-pointer that etched his name into history.
Jensen’s shot was true, cementing him as just the eighth member of the legendary program’s 1,000 Point Club.
“I can’t really put it into words. That’s a crazy milestone,” the senior center said. “My first thought was like, ‘I can’t believe I just did this. I can’t believe it actually happened.’ I just wanted to celebrate with my teammates.”
Jensen has made a name for himself -- primarily the nickname “Big C” -- with his passionate play and an incredibly soft touch around the rim. First debuting as a sophomore, Jensen has now worked himself into a prestigious club alongside members like Jim Jensen (no relation) and Carey Woods.
“He’s a scorer,” head coach Travis Peterson said. “To his teammates’ credit, they’re really good at finding him. Colten helps them get assists by scoring, and he helps us win basketball games by scoring. They help us win basketball games and help him get to 1,000 by finding him.”
Jensen needed 18 points to hit the benchmark entering Thursday’s game, and it was in doubt after a four-point first half. But through a 17-point outburst after halftime, the BHS Gymnasium erupted in jubilation at Jensen’s milestone moment.
“I wasn’t going for the three, I was just open,” Jensen said of his shot that came within the flow of the offense, which Silas Hess assisted. “I hit a three right before, so I was like, ‘I’ve got to shoot. I’m open.’”
The feat probably comes a little sweeter for Jensen in that he did it against a nemesis like the Lakers.
“It’s always a tough one with them,” Jensen said. “They’re known to come at us hard. And last time it was a close game. We had to run and play good defense.”
The Lumberjacks (18-6) did both, and it didn’t hurt that they mixed in a baker’s dozen 3-pointers to boot. Eight different players drained a shot from downtown, which allowed for a 25-10 start that held at 37-29 by halftime.
“It’s definitely a confidence booster,” Peterson said of the 13-for-28 3-point shooting. “We had a number of guys who hit threes tonight, and when you can have guys who are a threat from the perimeter, they have to guard everybody. And it opens things up on the inside.”
Jensen’s 1,000th point capped a personal 7-0 run within one minute, and it set Bemidji ahead 56-35 with 10:32 remaining. The lead was never in danger from then on, and the party rocked on for a memorable 21-point victory.
“We hit our shots,” Peterson said. “(Seven) threes in the first half, and we stayed hot in the second half. That was a big part of it.”
Quincy Wilson produced 12 points to pair with Jensen’s game-high 21. Gavin Luksik chipped in eight points and seven rebounds, while Ben Hess tallied seven points and nine assists to facilitate the offensive efforts.
The Jacks begin postseason play on Tuesday night at home. Seedings will be announced Saturday, Feb. 29.
But whatever comes next for Big C, not much can top Thursday night.
“I was feeling pretty good about the shot,” Jensen said. “Then it went in. Surreal moment.”
Bemidji 75, Detroit Lakes 51
DL 29 22 -- 51
BHS 37 38 -- 75
DETROIT LAKES (11-15) -- Cihak 16, Gunderson 11, Kerzman 6, Oistad 6, Hannien 4, Bryant 3, Yliniemi 3, Mace 2.
BEMIDJI (18-6) -- Jensen 21, Q. Wilson 12, Luksik 8, B. Hess 7, I. Biehn 5, Snell 5, Branham 4, Arel 3, Severts 3, S. Wilson 3, E. Biehn 2, Carlson 2.
Bemidji High School boys basketball 1,000 Point Club
1,763 Jim Jensen
1,629 Carey Woods
1,474 Ray Cronk
1,195 Keith Salscheider
1,148 Jon Solheim
1,138 Ryan Rude
1,098 Linaes Whiting
1,003 Colten Jensen