After coming back from a 13-point second half deficit, Bemidji girls basketball could not hang on to a four-point lead with 1:30 remaining in the game, losing to Detroit Lakes 64-63 at the Ralph Anderson Gymnasium on Friday.
The game was a stark contrast from the dominant 29-point win the Jacks had on home floor against the Lakers back in December, and a tight first half reflected the difference. Bemidji’s first lead came courtesy of back-to-back three-pointers midway through the half from Jackie Johnson and Lindsey Hildenbrand.
Despite 16 first-half turnovers, the Lakers used a steady stream of inside scoring and constant offensive rebounding to maintain a 28-26 advantage at halftime. Emily Wade picked up a late bucket inside to briefly tie things up prior to the halftime deficit.
The second half started very slowly for Bemidji, as a slew of turnovers helped DL build a 47-34 lead with around 10 minutes to play in the game. Trailing by 10 shortly thereafter, Bemidji got a big lift on a triple from Hildenbrand to start slimming down the margin.
Katie Alto added to the run with her first field goal of the night before Bemidji’s defense forced a five-second inbound violation on the Lakers.
The rally was completed by back-to-back threes from Ashley Hofstad and Taylor Wade, the latter giving Bemidji the lead after a 17-2 run.
Alto was on the mark for another three a few minutes later, as Bemidji edged into what would be its largest lead of the night at four.
Out of a timeout in the final two minutes, Ashley Hofstad was able to scoop in a layup to push the lead to 63-59, followed by a block from Emily Wade on the other end of the floor.
But the final 90 seconds saw the game slip away at both ends of the floor for Bemidji. After two free throw misses by the Lumberjacks, Detroit Lakes’ Sarah Tangen hit two free throws to bring the Lakers back within two. Two more missed free throws from Bemidji gave the Lakers a chance to tie or take the lead, and a layup from Sophie Gunderson knotted the score at 63 with under 30 seconds to play.
A travel call cost the Jacks an opportunity to hold for the final shot, while Gunderson earned a foul call for the Lakers in the post with less than three seconds remaining. She made the front end of her two free throws and the Lumberjacks turned over the ensuing rebound as time expired.
Taylor Wade scored 11 of her 13 points in the second half for Bemidji, while Hofstad also scored 13 and Hildenbrand provided 10 before fouling out with three minutes remaining in the game.
Gunderson led all in scoring with 21 for Detroit Lakes. Tangen also had 15 points and Alex Bettcher reached double figures with 14. The Lakers won despite 30 turnovers, largely thanks to big advantage in rebounding.
The loss was Bemidji’s tenth straight on the road in Detroit Lakes, five of which have come by one possession. The Jacks drop to 14-7 overall and are right back on the court today in Zimmerman for a 1:30pm game.
Postgame interview with Bemidji head coach Steve Schreiber: