A 10-0 run to begin the second half took Bemidji boys basketball safely away from Cloquet in a 84-61 victory on Senior Night Friday evening at the Bemidji High School Fieldhouse.
Five of Bemidji’s six seniors got the start and had to contend with a back-and-forth pace to the game’s opening minutes. Making his first start of the season, Colby Carlson got a layup to go inside during the early exchanges.
It was clear early that Bemidji would have chances to run in transition and senior Colton Jensen ensured they turned into points. He corralled a number of runouts for layups, benefitting from good passing courtesy of Quincy Wilson, Ben Hess, and Silas Hess.
After trailing 11-9, the home Jacks took the lead for good on a 8-0 run. Senior Nick Snell played a pivotal role in the swing, knocking down two early threes to get his night going.
Snell put in some good work on the other end of the floor as well, picking up a steal that led to a Jensen runout to push the lead to 17-11.
Cloquet stayed in touching distance during the midway point of the first half, but long-range shooting allowed Bemidji to build the lead up again. Snell knocked down his third triple of the half and Wilson also connected twice from beyond the arc as the lead grew to 10.
Cloquet trimmed the margin to 35-28 at the half, but a 10-0 run to open the second half put the game away for good. Jensen continued to dominate on the baseline, finishing through contact early in the half.
Snell kept his big night rolling as well, knocking down two more threes in the second half to increase the advantage.
There was still more to come for Jensen, who finished with a game-high 33 points. The second half was a showcase of his ability to both reverse from under the basket and finish through contact, as he scored three times while being fouled in the half and benefitted from outstanding ball-movement among the guards.
Snell’s five threes gave him a 15-point night, while Silas Hess contributed 11 and Wilson scored 10. In total, Bemidji’s seniors scored 71 of the team’s 84 points in the contest.
The win snapped a two-game losing skid at home for the Jacks, who have won two straight to improve to 15-6 this season. They will return to the Fieldhouse tomorrow for an early-afternoon meeting with Duluth Denfeld. Tipoff is scheduled for 1:00pm with pregame at 12:45 on KBUN-FM 104.5 and KBUN1 online.
Postgame interview with Bemidji head coach Travis Peterson: