Micah Friez is a sports reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing. Follow him on Twitter at @micahfriez for Lumberjack and Beaver updates.
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COLLEGEVILLE -- For the third time in four years, the Bemidji High School baseball team had to watch its opponent celebrate a Section 8-3A championship. The No. 2 seeded Lumberjacks reached Wednesday’s title game with a 9-3 win over top-seeded Alexandria at St. John’s University in Collegeville, but No. 3 seed Little Falls stole the show with an ensuing 3-2 victory and tagged BHS with a runner-up finish.
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.
BRAINERD -- Following more than three decades of wandering, the Bemidji High School boys basketball team is destined for the promised land. After a wait of Biblical proportions, 36 minutes was all it took for BHS to earn a 67-58 victory over Sartell-St. Stephen and win the Section 8-3A championship Friday night in Brainerd.
BEMIDJI -- For much of the 20th century, the Bemidji High School boys basketball program stockpiled the trophy case with championships. Twenty-nine region or section titles belong to the Lumberjacks -- most coming from a BHS dynasty of 20 region champions between 1940 and 1965. But ever since 1985, the state tournament berths have stopped. That could change on Friday.
MOORHEAD -- If anyone could hold their breath for 36 minutes, it would have been during the Bemidji High School boys basketball team’s Section 8-3A semifinal game against St. Cloud Apollo on Friday. The Lumberjacks led wire-to-wire, fending off every Eagles push and gutting out a suspenseful 57-47 win in Moorhead.
Rylie Jones had never heard anybody chant her name before. She can’t say that anymore. Game-changing defense from the 6-foot-1 sophomore evoked deserving “Rylie! Rylie!” cheers in the closing minutes of Tuesday’s 71-58 win over Detroit Lakes for the Bemidji High School girls basketball team.
The Alexandria legion baseball team just didn't fold through a memorable tournament run. Alex lost its second game of the Sub-State 14 Tournament, but the five consecutive wins that followed helped Post 87 run the table and secure their spot at the state tourney after Sunday's 7-5 championship win over Moorhead in East Grand Forks. "I think we showed some big resiliency," head coach Jake Munsch said. "We reminded the players that we've done this before. We've lost in the first round and came back to win it. It's possible."
Less than two weeks ago, the Bemidji High School wrestling team was topped by Frazee during the Rick Lee Invitational. But in Thursday’s rematch with the Class A No. 2 Hornets, the Lumberjacks flipped the script for a 33-25 win at the BHS Gymnasium. Robby Strand opened the dual at 106 with a pin of Christian Carlson in the third period, which Bahr said set the tone for the night.
Entering the seventh inning on Thursday, the Bemidji High School softball team was three outs away from a five-run win over Detroit Lakes. However, eight hits, four errors and 10 runs later, the Lumberjacks were tabbed with a 16-11 loss as the Lakers rallied dominantly in the final frame.
Detroit Lakes got a big section victory over Bemidji on the road Thursday bouncing back from a loss to Staples-Motley Tuesday night. A six-point Lumberjack lead at halftime flipped into a nine point deficit thanks to a 15-0 Laker run to open the second half, and Bemidji could not come back despite a desperate push in the game’s final minutes falling to the Lakers 67-59 in Bemidji.