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BOYS BASKETBALL: Khai Branham nets winner as Bemidji knocks off Grand Rapids

Khai Branham delivered the game-winning bucket with the final points of a 60-59 win at Grand Rapids, helping the Lumberjacks salvage a game in which they led by as many as 17.

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Bemidji Lumberjacks

GRAND RAPIDS -- Khai Branham’s backdoor basket in the final moments of Thursday’s game was just what the Bemidji High School boys basketball team needed.

Branham delivered the game-winning bucket with the final points of a 60-59 win at Grand Rapids, helping the Lumberjacks salvage a game in which they led by as many as 17.

Daniel Clusiau backed up Branham by hauling in a critical defensive rebound with 2.6 seconds left. That came on a missed shot from the Thunderhawks (2-4) that would have flipped the advantage back to the home team. Instead, BHS (4-3) ran out the clock for the one-point win.

Bemidji raced out to a 27-10 start in the first half, and the Jacks held off a Grand Rapids run to take a 33-26 lead into halftime.

But the Thunderhawks came back in the second half, leading as big as 54-48 and ultimately holding a 59-58 edge in the final 30 seconds. But Branham produced the final say of the night to send BHS into Christmas on a high note.

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Branham finished with eight points for Bemidji, all in the second half. Isaac Severts tallied a team-high 21 on the night, while Ethan Biehn (11 points) and Sam Wilson (10) also hit double-digits.

The Jacks will return to action at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 7, against Hibbing at the BHS Gymnasium.

Bemidji 60, Grand Rapids 59

BHS 33 27 -- 60

GR 26 33 -- 59

BEMIDJI (4-3) -- Severts 21, Biehn 11, Wilson 10, Branham 8, Luksik 7, Lish 3.

GRAND RAPIDS (2-4) -- Samela 13, Rychart 12, Metzgar 11, Hanson 10, Roy 7, Markovich 6.

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