Bemidji High boys basketball team hits the road for playoffs
The Section 8-4A boys basketball tournament begins today, and to say that any team can beat any other team would be an understatement. Bemidji was seeded sixth and takes a 13-12 record into the post-season. The Lumberjacks open at No. 3 Elk River...
The Section 8-4A boys basketball tournament begins today, and to say that any team can beat any other team would be an understatement.
Bemidji was seeded sixth and takes a 13-12 record into the post-season. The Lumberjacks open at No. 3 Elk River, which is 14-12.
The two teams did not meet this season, but an opening pairing between the No. 1 and No. 8 seeds does feature a rematch. On Jan. 7 Brainerd blistered Buffalo 73-52. Those teams will square off again tonight. The interesting thing about the rematch is that Buffalo is the section's top seed while Brainerd is seeded eighth.
"We could be the only section in the state where that happened," said BHS coach Jeff Brown. "And every team in the section is above .500. That probably is unique to our section as well."
If Bemidji wins Tuesday it will play either No. 2 Rogers (18-8) or No. 7 St. Cloud Tech (15-11) in the semifinals at 11:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Cloud State. Those teams battle tonight in Rogers.
The section's upper bracket openers find Brainerd (13-12) visiting Buffalo (17-9) and Moorhead (15-9) heading to St. Michael-Albertville (20-6).
Saturday's semifinal winners will tangle at 7 p.m. March 15 at a neutral site.
Bemidji fans wishing to take a bus to tonight's game may contact Mary at the high school assistant principal's office. The bus will leave from the high school at 3:15 p.m. Ticket prices are $15 for students and $20 for adults.
Brown believes that the Lumberjacks match up well with Elk River.
"We are similar teams," Brown said. "They have three strong guards like we do and their center is 6-5 while ours is 6-6. Elk River likes to shoot the 3-pointer so it will be important for us to get a hand up and contest those shots.
"The bottom line is we'll have to outwork them," Brown added. "But when you go on the road in the playoffs you know that you have to outwork the other team if you expect to win."
BHS enters the postseason healthy and the coach plans to stick with his customary starting cast of Connor Sullivan, JC Cerenka, Cody Rutledge, Mitch Brown and Carey Woods.
Bemidji finished fourth in the Mariucci Conference with a 5-6 record and the Lumberjacks had three players make the all-conference team.
Tyler Tatro was among four all-Mariucci defensemen while Jordan Heller and John Forseth were among seven forwards on the team.
Dave Morinville of Moorhead and Tim Bergland of Thief River Falls shared coach of the year honors.
Michael Bitzer of Moorhead and Hunter Aubol of East Grand Forks were the all-conference goalies. Joining Tatro on the defensive team were Terry Leabo and Jake Uglem of Moorhead plus Chris Forney of Thief River Falls.
In addition to Heller and Forseth the list of all-conference forwards included Alex Strand of Roseau, Riley Soderstrom of Thief River Falls, Zach Laudermilt of East Grand Forks and Tony Uglem of Moorhead.
Junior defender Allie Heifort was Bemidji's representative on the first team Greater Minnesota all-
Earning spots on the conference honorable mention team were Karleigh Wolkerstorfer and Francesca Huerd.