Bemidji girls basketball failed to stay in touching distance of Sartell after trailing by just five at the half, as a slew of turnovers contributed to a 65-45 road loss on Monday evening at Sartell High School.
Shooting struggles put the Lumberjacks behind in the opening minutes, with a transition layup from Mya Vincent their only bucket from the field during a stretch where they went behind 12-4.
Things started to turn around with help from several trips to the free throw line during a foul-plagued opening eight minutes of the game. The Jacks pieced together a 12-2 run to go in front for the first time, capping the burst with a finish off the glass from Beth Bolte and a three-pointer by Katelyn Milbrandt.
The teams traded the lead in the closing minutes of the first half, but the Sabres opened up an advantage at the break with the help of the outside shooting of guard Avery Templin.
Her third three of the first half–a catch-and-shoot jumper off a sideline inbound with seconds remaining–came after a late turnover by the Jacks and helped the hosts lead 29-24 at the break.
Bemidji opened the second half with buckets from Brynn Peterson and Bolte that helped keep the Lumberjacks down by just five.
Bolte was influential again with a putback through a foul that drew Bemidji within 36-32 despite her miss of the ensuing free throw.
From that point, Sartell used its full court pressure, transition finishing, and Templin’s outside shooting to explode for a 14-1 run within the larger 20-4 stretch. Kate Corradi’s make from beyond the arc was Bemidji’s lone make from the field during that time, as Bemidji suddenly trailed 56-36 by the end of the burst.
Bolte posted 15 points to lead the Lumberjacks in scoring, while Milbrandt added 11.
Bemidji (1-1) will have a week off before hosting Grand Rapids on Dec. 6.
Postgame interview with Bemidji head coach Darin Schultz: