A seven-point second half lead for Bemidji boys basketball was overturned as the Lumberjacks lost a close 63-60 road game with Grand Rapids on Thursday evening. The loss snapped Bemidji’s five-game winning streak.
John Sutherland piled up 36 points, including 22 in the second half, to pace the Thunderhawks, who picked up their sixth-straight win to improve to 10-3 overall.
Bemidji led 27-23 at halftime, fueled by a 13-point first half from senior guard Nick Snell. He finished as the Lumberjacks’ top scorer, only adding one more free throw in the second half for a 14-point performance. Snell was among four starters in double figures for Bemidji, as Colten Jensen and Silas Hess each had 13 points and Gavin Luksik contributed 12.
Snell got rolling late in the first half, hitting a transition three following a Luksik block for one of his three triples in the half:
The half would finish with Snell cutting down the right side of the lane for a tough finish off the glass to give Bemidji its four-point advantage in the locker room:
Jensen–who entered the night as Bemidji’s leading scorer, averaging 18 points per game–found room on the baseline for a good reverse finish under the basket during the second half:
Despite leading at one point 47-40, Bemidji saw the Thunderhawks go on an 8-0 run to recapture the lead before it changed hands several times down the stretch. Grand Rapids eventually took the lead for good on a three-pointer with about three minutes to play to break a 54-all tie.
The Lumberjacks forced 21 turnovers on defense, including this second-half steal by Ben Hess:
Bemidji falls to 6-4 with the defeat, its third loss this season by four points or less. The Lumberjacks will conclude their home-and-home with Grand Rapids on Tuesday at 7:15pm at the Bemidji High School Fieldhouse.
Postgame interview with head coach Travis Peterson on the Lumberjack Radio Network: