GIRLS BASKETBALL: Jacks fall short in defensive battle

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School girls basketball team came out on the losing end of a defensive battle Thursday night, falling to Park of Cottage Grove 42-28 in the finale of the Bemidji Invitational at Bemidji High School."I thought defensive...

3905843+CP.122917.S.BP_.BHSGBB WEB Samantha Edlund.jpg
Bemidji High School senior Samantha Edlund (13) keeps the ball from Park High School's Molly Wenner (10) in Thursday's game at the Bemidji Invite at BHS. (Jillian Gandsey | Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- The Bemidji High School girls basketball team came out on the losing end of a defensive battle Thursday night, falling to Park of Cottage Grove 42-28 in the finale of the Bemidji Invitational at Bemidji High School.
“I thought defensively we played really well,” BHS (4-7) head coach Steve Schreiber said. “We kind of did what we wanted to do defensively, but man, it was the best defense that we’ve played against. They were super physical. They didn’t let us get into the paint at all. You could tell they were stronger than us. That’s the difference between 3A and 4A basketball.”
The Jacks’ 21-16 deficit at the half was a result of 4-for-11 shooting over the first 18 minutes. Katie Alto had buckets from inside and outside for five points, which was matched by a triple and two free throws from Kennedy Mills. Sam Edlund went 4-for-4 from the line, while Lindsey Hildenbrand added a layup with 20 seconds left to bring it to 21-16.

Bemidji High School sophomore Katie Alto (10) scores in the first half against Park High School in the Bemidji Invite Thursday.

“Every time we tried to drive, there was a girl that was bodying up on us, and then there were other girls that were coming really hard to help,” Schreiber said. “So we were kind of getting ourselves stuck in between two defenders, very physical defenders.”
On the opposite end of the offensive struggles, the Lumberjacks’ defense was nearly as stingy as Park’s, holding the Wolfpack to just 21 points in each half.
“We only gave up 42 points to a team that’s averaging over 60, so defensively we did just fine,” said Schreiber.
Riley Perryman led Park (10-1) with 13 points, Delaney Young added 11 and Taylor Johnson and Chloe Venegas added seven and six, respectively. Bemidji State commit Molly Wenner added five.
Allison Beard ended a 3 minute, 20 second scoreless stretch with a three-pointer with 3:21 left in the contest, and she added an inside field goal a minute later to bring the Jacks within 10 at 36-26.
But the Wolfpack defense held BHS to two points the rest of the way, claiming the 42-28 win.
“That’s the kind of defense that you see in 4A basketball down in the cities where all of the girls are a little bit bigger, a little bit faster, a little bit stronger,” Schreiber said. “It was good for our girls to see it, though, because it’ll make us tougher.”
Alto finished the game with a team-leading eight points, while Mills and Beard each had five and Edlund and Mackenzie Nicklason each had four.
Next, Bemidji will take on another BSU commit in Staples-Motley senior Claire Wolhowe. The Jacks host the Cardinals (1-7) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 4 at BHS.
“That’s the game that I think the girls are going to be excited for after this weekend,” Schreiber said. “I think we played really well yesterday. I know the girls won’t be happy that we lost by 14 today, but I felt like we played well today, as well. Give them a little bit of time off here. They can go and enjoy family, and we’ll get after it next Tuesday.”
Park of Cottage Grove 42, Bemidji 28
PCG 21 21 -- 42
BHS 16 12 -- 28
Bemidji (4-7) -- Alto 8, Mills 5, Beard 5, Edlund 4, Nicklason 4, Hildenbrand 2.
Park of Cottage Grove (10-1) -- Perryman 13, Young 11, Johnson 7, Venegas 6, Wenner 5.

Bemidji JV improves to 10-1
The BHS junior varsity girls basketball team have won four straight games after its 48-31 victory over Park of Cottage Grove Thursday. The Lumberjacks also defeated North St. Paul 56-22 Wednesday on the heels of wins over Thief River Falls (48-39) on Dec. 21 and Detroit Lakes (63-29) on Dec. 19.
Bemidji JV scorers
Dec. 19 vs. Detroit Lakes: T. Wade 16, J. Jones 11, Matheney 10, Kondos 6, A. Takkunen 6, Hofstad 6, E. Wade 4.
Dec. 21 vs. Thief River Falls: Hofstad 15, Kondos 10, T. Wade 7, J. Jones 6, Huberty 6, A. Takkunen 4.
Dec. 27 vs. North St. Paul: E. Wade 15, T. Wade 6, Hofstad 6, Hubbard 6, Matheney 5, Huberty 4, G. Takkunen 4, J. Jones 3, Kondos 2, Peterson 2, A. Takkunen 2, R. Jones 1.
Dec. 28 vs. Park of Cottage Grove: T. Wade 12, Hofstad 7, A. Takkunen 6, G. Takkunen 5, J. Jones 4, Matheney 4, Huberty 3, Kondos 3, E. Wade 2, R. Jones 2.

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