BOYS PREP BASKETBALL: Despite 11-point loss, Bemidji takes plenty of positives
BEMIDJI -- It won't go down in the win column, but the way the Bemidji High School boys basketball team performed after a poor first half it almost felt like one.The Lumberjacks lost to St. Cloud Cathedral 56-45 Saturday afternoon in the second g...
BEMIDJI - It won’t go down in the win column, but the way the Bemidji High School boys basketball team performed after a poor first half it almost felt like one.
The Lumberjacks lost to St. Cloud Cathedral 56-45 Saturday afternoon in the second game of the Lake-N-Woods invitational tournament. And although a double-digit loss might not be what the Lumberjacks and first-year head coach Travis Peterson were looking for, it was a solid way for BHS (now 2-2) to bounce back and compete until the very end.
“We’re 2-2 now, with some nice wins,” Peterson said. “And in thed couple games we didn’t win, we’re happy with our effort. Our goal is to be competitive every time out and so far we have been.”
On Saturday, Cathedral (2-1) led the entire way and held the Lumberjacks to just 12 points in the first half. And in truth, neither team played well in the first frame - at one point late in the period the teams went four minutes without scoring.
The Crusaders ended up taking a 24-12 lead into the locker room. Peterson said he was glad his team didn’t let scoring just 12 points get them discouraged.
“We had our opportunities but didn’t execute as well as we’d like in the first half,” he said. When you score that few points in the first half it can be easy to check out but they didn’t. They fought back. They’re motivated.”
The teams essentially traded baskets for most of the second half, but were consistently doing so. For most of the final 18 minutes, the working margin was an 8-12 point lead for the Crusaders.
However, the Lumberjacks made it interesting late. After the Crusaders took a 49-39 lead, BHS chipped away with just more than two minutes to play.
Caden Rolfes started it when he drained two foul shots with 2 minutes, 6 seconds to play, cutting Bemidji’s deficit to 49-41.
Then the Crusaders travelled with about two minutes to play. Although Lineas Whiting threw the ball away on Bemidji’s ensuing possession, he eventually stole the ball back off the inbounds and, after one missed shot, got his own putback and made a basket to make it 49-43 with 1:29 to go.
The Crusaders were out of timeouts, but Max Plombon hit two free throws to give them some breathing room.
They’d need those, because although BHS only scored once more down the stretch the Crusaders kept giving them chances to get back into the game with three missed free throws in the last minute-plus.
Eventually time ran out on the Lumberjacks, but not before they outscored Cathedral 33-32 in the half.
“The kids did a lot better the second half,” Peterson said. “They came out and executed much better. We fought back, and we even outscored them in the second half. But we dug ourselves a hole in the first half.”
Rolfes and Whiting both had 10 points to lead BHS, who again had a balanced scoring attack. Jeremy Beberg added nine points and Nate Snell seven. Rolfes led the way on the boards with eight rebounds.
Plombon had 14 points for Cathedral, who had four players in double figures.
“We clawed back with defense, and defense has been the one thing we’ve been pretty consistent with,” Peterson said. “Our offensive execution was a little lacking in the first half. In second half we had a lot better movement and we scored three times as many points in the second half, but maybe it was too little too late... if we would have made that adjustment halfway through the first half it might have been a different outcome.”
The Lumberjacks continue their homestand Tuesday when they host International Falls at 7:30 p.m. at BHS.
St. Cloud Cathedral 56, Bemidji 45
Cathedral - Buckentine 11, Jangula 6, Max Plombon 14, Mitch Plombon 10, Schramel 12, Strake 3.
Bemidji - J.Peterson 2, Carlson 3, C.Peterson 3, Rolfes 10, Whiting 10, Cervanka 2, Snell 7, Beberg 9.