BEMIDJI -- Quincy Wilson’s 3-pointer on the first postseason possession for the Bemidji High School boys basketball team should come as no surprise. Wilson’s got no more time to waste.
“We came out playing like it was our last game,” the senior point guard said. “I just want to play as many games as I can with the guys I’ve been playing with since I was young.”
Wilson, who missed six weeks due to injury this season, is back in full force. And so is his team.
“He’s got a focus about him, that’s for sure,” head coach Travis Peterson said. “He’s got a determination and leadership that we really need. It’s so nice to have him back and playing with us down the stretch here and into the playoffs.”
The Lumberjacks blitzed Little Falls on Tuesday night at the BHS Gymnasium, rolling 76-49 in the quarterfinals for the first step in their Section 8-3A Tournament defense.
“I thought it was an A-plus effort,” Peterson said of the win. “Everyone who got in the game gave a really good effort. We need that. We need everybody to give 100 percent. They did that tonight.”
Wilson’s three was the start of an opening 16-0 run from second-seeded Bemidji (19-6). Nick Snell put on the finishing touches, first knocking down a three off a Ben Hess no-look feed and then turning a steal into an and-one layup.
“I think that set the tone because the atmosphere was already in our favor,” Wilson said of the run. “We just ran away with it after that.”
Gavin Luksik assisted James Williams just before halftime, redirecting Matt Arel’s full-court inbounds heave with 1.2 seconds remaining and leading Williams to a buzzer-beating layup on the extra pass.
With 1.2 on the clock, and without calling a timeout beforehand, Bemidji executes a really nice play for an extra two points from James Williams before halftime.— Micah Friez (@micahfriez) March 4, 2020
They counted it, but you be the judge: Did he get it off in time? pic.twitter.com/kOCFx8LkjZ
The Jacks sprinted into the break holding a 47-22 advantage, and the mountain of a lead was never threatened from then on.
Colten Jensen opened the second half on a fast-break layup, and, with 16 minutes still remaining, Wilson’s ensuing layup served as the ultimate game-winning basket.
But it wasn’t just the typical names who made their presence felt for BHS. Colby Carlson produced seven points off the bench with strong, high-energy minutes, while Isaac Severts and James Williams did much of the same as others sat due to early foul trouble.
“I love the balance. I think that’s what makes us tough,” Peterson said. “We don’t need to rely on Colten to score 25 on a given night. We can win with other guys chipping in four, five, six points, and then a few guys in double-digits.”
With the win never in doubt, much of the second half played out like an obligatory formality. But Severts provided the highlight of the frame with a slick no-look dime to a cutting Williams, who brought the home crowd back to life with the finish off the glass.
Wilson led all Lumberjacks with 15 points, five assists and five steals on the night, while Luksik finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, all offensive. The supporting cast of Jensen (nine points), Snell (nine), Carlson (seven) and Williams (seven) brought on the balance.
Luke Kush’s 18 points paced the seventh-seeded Flyers (10-16).
Bemidji will next host third-seeded Alexandria in a rematch of its 69-48 home win from Jan 2. The semifinal rematch will tip off at 7 p.m. Friday, March 6, inside the BHS Gymnasium.
And, if anything is certain, it’s that Wilson knows what mindset to carry going in.
“Play like it’s going to be our last game,” he said. “Because it could be.”
No. 2 Bemidji 76, No. 7 Little Falls 49
LF 22 27 -- 49
BHS 47 29 -- 76
LITTLE FALLS (10-15) -- Kush 18, Wenzel 12, Gwost 7, Neu 6, Loukinen 3, Poser 2, Gold 1.
BEMIDJI (19-6) -- Q. Wilson 15, Luksik 14, Jensen 9, Snell 9, Carlson 7, Williams 7, S. Wilson 5, Severts 4, S. Hess 3, B. Hess 2, Branham 1.