Nothing was going to overshadow DeLaSalle’s dominance on Wednesday morning. The Islanders made sure of that.
In its long-awaited return to the state tournament, the Bemidji High School boys basketball team had a shot at the top-ranked team in the Class 3A state quarterfinals. But instead, DLS put on a sweltering shooting clinic to roll to a 76-45 win.
“They’re well known as a premier basketball team, not just in Minnesota, but beyond our state borders,” BHS head coach Travis Peterson said. “They’re just a very high-level team. They shoot the ball well, and they’ve got the inside guys to really take it at you inside, as well.”
DeLaSalle (25-5) started 15-for-20 from the floor, which included an 8-for-10 clip from behind the 3-point line.
“We knew that we had to close out on shooters,” Lumberjack junior Colten Jensen said. “We knew that (Tyrell) Terry and (Jamison) Battle were going to be big-time shooters. They just came out hot. … It’s hard because then we can’t get into our offense, we can’t push the ball, we can’t run. They hit threes and slowed us down.”
Bemidji (23-5) came to play, using a Quincy Wilson corner three and a Spencer Konecne putback to jump ahead 5-2 in the opening minutes.
The lead was short-lived, however, because Terry drained three early triples and then found Julian Wright for another 3-pointer that put the Islanders in a 22-9 advantage.
Konecne and Jensen scored inside soon after for BHS, but a silencing 11-0 run in response had DLS ahead 33-13 and well on its way to a 40-19 halftime advantage.
Things got worse for the Jacks at the onset of the second half. DeLaSalle broke loose with the first 13 points of the final frame, capped by an Andrew Irvin three that made for a 53-19 drubbing.
Still, Peterson said he was proud of the no-quit attitude from his team from then on.
“We didn’t give up, and guys were busting their tails,” he said. “They would go on a run and score two, three, four possessions in a row, and it’d be easy to hang it up. But we kept fighting on every possession and did the best we could.”
BHS will look to keep its season alive when the Lumberjacks play fifth-seeded Mahtomedi in the consolation semifinals at 2 p.m. Thursday at Concordia-St. Paul.
BHS 19 26 -- 45
DLS 40 36 -- 76
BEMI (23-5) -- Jensen 12, Beberg 10, Konecne 8, Burley 8, Snell 3, Wilson 3, S. Hess 1. Totals 18-42, 4-6, 45.
DLS (25-5) -- Battle 21, Terry 15, Givens 10, Travis 10, Greer 9, Irvin 3, Whitlock 3, Wright 3, White 2. Totals 31-57, 1-1, 76.