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.
“They’re well known as a premier basketball team, not just in Minnesota, but beyond our state borders,” BHS head coach Travis Peterson said. “They’re just a very high-level team. They shoot the ball well, and they’ve got the inside guys to really take it at you inside, as well.”
BHS (23-5) will look to keep its season alive when the Lumberjacks play fifth-seeded Mahtomedi in the consolation semifinals at 2 p.m. Thursday at Concordia-St. Paul.
Fifty years ago Wednesday, Bemidji took the floor at Williams Arena to play in the one-class Minnesota state high school boys basketball tournament. This year’s Lumberjacks hope to have the same success when they tip off this morning in what is now a four-class event.
In 1969, when Bemidji met Gaylord in the last game of the opening round, a crowd of 17,808 and a statewide television audience watched the Jacks pull away in the fourth quarter for a 63-48 victory. That was the 26th Bemidji team to make it to state.
A much smaller crowd and an online streaming audience will follow Bemidji’s 30th state tournament team when it faces Minneapolis DeLaSalle at 10 a.m. Wednesday in the Class 3A quarterfinals.
Broken wrist and all, Ryan Bieberdorf stepped onto the hardwood at Williams Arena in Minneapolis with the rest of his teammates on Wednesday.
The senior guard, who suffered a season-ending wrist injury on Feb. 26, suited up with the Bemidji High School boys basketball team for warmups prior to its Class 3A state quarterfinal game against DeLaSalle.
“It felt like the part of me that was missing was back in its place again,” Bieberdorf said. “I really love this game, and I really missed it. Being with these guys has been awesome.”