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Park Rapids' Caitlan Isaacson (left) and Menahga's Shelby Pihlaja went after a loose ball during Tuesday night's game.
Park Rapids' Caitlan Isaacson (left) and Menahga's Shelby Pihlaja went after a loose ball during Tuesday night's game.

Braves prevail in opener

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sports Park Rapids, 56470

Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Tarah Cleveland scored 14 points in each half as the Menahga girls basketball team opened the season with a 68-53 win over Park Rapids Tuesday night at Menahga.

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Cleveland hit a 3-pointer and seven free throws while Jenny Skoog scored 13 points as Menahga claimed a 33-19 lead at the half. Cleveland, Jenny Skoog and Shannon Skoog all hit a 3-pointer during a 17-6 run that turned a 6-6 tie into a 23-12 Menahga lead.

Charity Ridlon hit five free throws, Megan Grimes scored three inside baskets and Bria Wolff hit a pair of jumpers to lead the Panthers in the first half.

A pair of 3-pointers and eight free throws by Cleveland in the second half helped the Braves maintain the lead. Shelby Pihlaja also hit a pair of 3-pointers while Jenny Skoog hit four free throws down the stretch.

Gabie Johnson and Tori Lauderbaugh scored three baskets apiece inside, Wolff hit two more jumpers and Ridlon made five free throws to lead the Panthers after the break.

Cleveland led the Braves with 28 points and eight assists while Jenny Skoog scored 19 points and had 13 rebounds, four steals and four blocked shots. Pihlaja also hit double figures with 12 points.

Ridlon led a balanced attack for the Panthers with 14 points while Johnson finished with 11 points. Grimes, Wolff and Lauderbaugh each finished with 8 points. Lauderbaugh had 10 rebounds, Ridlon and Wolff grabbed nine rebounds each, and Grimes had eight rebounds. Ridlon led the way with three assists and three steals.

"I was very pleased with how the girls stepped out on the court ready to play. They worked hard throughout the whole game and never gave up," said Park Rapids head coach Tina Ridlon. "I feel these girls did very well considering we have only worked on our offensive and defensive schemes for one week. We rebounded well, but we missed many easy shots under the basket. We are taking each game we play and learning from it, whether it be a win or a loss. Overall I am pleased with their performance and I look forward to seeing these girls play a higher level of basketball as the year progresses."

PARK RAPIDS: Grimes 4 0-0 8, Klein 1 0-0 2, Ridlon 2 10-15 14, Wolff 4 0-2 8, G. Johnson 4 3-5 11, Rittgers 0 0-0 0, H. Johnson 0 0-2 0, Isaacson 0 0-0 0, Haggard 0 0-0 0, K. Olson 0 0-0 0, Kniss 1 0-0 2, Lauderbaugh 3 2-2 8, Hilmanowski 0 0-2 0. Totals: 19 for 54 (FG), 15 for 28 (FT).

MENAHGA: Pihlaja 4 2-4 12, Carlson 1 0-0 2, S. Skoog 3 0-0 7, J. Skoog 7 4-5 19, Cleveland 5 15-19, 28, Allebach 0 0-0 0, Stifter 0 0-2 0, Anderson 0 0-0 0, Kako 0 0-0 0, Cusey 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 for 47 (FG), 21 for 30 (FT).

Halftime: Menahga 33, Park Rapids 19. Three-point field goals: Pihlaja 2, S. Skoog 1, J. Skoog 1, Cleveland 3. Total fouls: Park Rapids 21, Menahga 19. Fouled out: Grimes, Klein, S. Skoog. Rebounds: Park Rapids 49 (Lauderbaugh 10, Ridlon 9, Wolff 9, Grimes 8, G. Johnson 6, Klein 3, Hilmanowski 2, H. Johnson 1, Isaacson 1); Menahga 28 (J. Skoog 13, Pihlaja 5, Cleveland 3, Stifter 2, S. Skoog 1, Kako 1, Allebach 1, Anderson 1, Cusey 1). Assists: Park Rapids 5 (Ridlon 3, Grimes 1, Klein 1); Menahga 17 (Cleveland 8, J. Skoog 3, S. Skoog 2, Carlson 2, Pihlaja 1, Stifter 1). Steals: Park Rapids 11 (Ridlon 3, Grimes 2, Klein 2, H. Johnson 1, Isaacson 1, Wolff 1, G. Johnson 1); Menahga 13 (J. Skoog 4, Cleveland 3, Carlson 2, Pihlaja 1, S. Skoog 1, Allebach 1, Anderson 1. Blocked shots: Park Rapids 4 (Lauderbaugh 2, Wolff 2); Menahga 9 (J. Skoog 4, Pihlaja 2, Cleveland 1, Carlson 1, Kako 1. Turnovers: Park Rapids 26, Menahga 13.

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