Cass Lake-Bena, Bagley boys fall just short of their goals
The Bemidji area boys basketball teams came up short in their bids to reach the state tournament but Bemidji, Bagley and Cass Lake-Bena all were in the hunt until the final stages.
The Lumberjacks lost to Moorhead in the Section 8-4A title game while Bagley was edged Friday 47-42 by defending state champion Perham in the 8-2A final.
Last Tuesday Cass Lake-Bena dropped a 62-59 decision to Fosston in the Section 8A title game.
Bagley gave the highly-favored Yellowjackets all they could handle and, with a break here or a call there, the Flyers could have been on the winning side of the score.
Although it lost, Bagley played a great game. There was no quit in any of the Flyers and when the final buzzer sounded the Perham players knew they were in the fight of their lives.
“We played the No. 1 team in the state and we gave ourselves an opportunity to win the game and go to state,” said Bagley coach Chuck Anderson after the game. “Over the last two years we went 50-10. Our guys put together a great career. They worked very hard and I’m proud of them.”
The players who helped fashion that enviable record include seniors Austin Bellefy, Tyler George, Kris Skersick, Lorenzo Pemberton, Allen Deshane, Chase Netland, Tim Conger and Kaine Lundmark.
Perham will begin its quest for a second straight title 6 p.m. Wednesday at Target Center against Worthington. The Yellowjackets (27-2) are the top seed in the Class 2-A field while Worthington (21-6) is unseeded.
Wednesday’s other first-round games match Watertown-Mayer against Litchfield, Plainview-Elgin-Millville against St. Peter and St. Croix Lutheran against Braham.
When Kyle Arneson’s desperation heave banked off the backboard and through the net as time expired Fosston had a 62-59 victory over the Panthers in the Section 8A final.
For the second time in as many seasons the Greyhounds stopped CL-B’s state-tournament quest in the sub-section final.
“Our mouths and hearts all dropped at that second of the game,” Panther coach Brian Michaelson said about Arneson’s prayer.
“It was a tough loss to end our season but, as hard as it may be, I try to remember the good things we accomplished including winning the Crosby-Ironton holiday tournament, being awarded the Northland Conference championship and having a 25-4 record this season.”
Fosston (24-4) is unseeded among the state field and drew No. 2 ranked Southwest Minnesota Christian in its 3 p.m. Thursday opener at Williams Arena.
Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa (30-0) is the top seed and will tangle with Lakeview Christian Academy of Duluth (25-5) in Thursday’s 11 a.m. Class A opener.
The other Class A games see Mountain Lake-Butterfield-Odin (24-5) facing No. 4 Browerville (27-2) and Prairie Seeds Academy of Brooklyn Park (23-2) battling No. 3 Rushford-Peterson (24-5).
Cass Lake-Bena will graduate eight players from its tournament roster including Caleb Fisher, A.J. Johnson, Dylan Morris, Wesley Moe, Dakotah Brunelle, Jake Ellis, Cody Wind and Roberto Gomez.
“We will be graduating a lot of seniors resulting in many open spots next year,” Michaelson said. “But we have a nice bunch of talented underclassmen who will be competing for these positions and I expect to have another good season next year.”