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Carson Lee Christenson (left) looked to drive to the basket during Thursday night's game against Frazee.

Defense leads way for Panthers in 46-33 home win over Frazee

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While both were satisfying, the last two wins for the Park Rapids girls basketball team couldn't have been more different.

The Panthers relied on offense to prevail in a thrilling 74-70 double-overtime victory over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley on Feb. 11. The 74 points were the most scored by a Park Rapids girls basketball team since a 98-37 win over Red Lake in a Section 8AA playoff game in February of 2005.

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Thursday night at the Area High School gym, the Panthers relied on defense and led from start to finish in a 46-33 victory over Frazee. The 33 points allowed were the fewest by a Park Rapids girls basketball team since a 47-29 win over Perham in a Section 8AAA playoff game in March of 2006.

While the formulas for success were different, the outcomes of both games were equally satisfying.

"The kids came out and executed defensively. That was the best team defense we've played all year," said Park Rapids head coach John Schumacher. "Offensively the kids looked as confident as they've looked all year. Everything clicked. It was a nice win for us."

The Panthers took control early by jumping out to an 11-3 lead. Hannah Wolff opened the game by hitting a 3-pointer before Olivia Vaadeland scored twice off offensive rebounds. A 3-pointer by Alyssa Carlson and a free throw by Wolff gave Park Rapids an 11-3 lead with 13:17 to play in the first half.

Three-pointers by Carlson and Sophie Shogren, three free throws by Vaadeland, and two jumpers by Wolff pushed the Panthers' lead to 24-10 with 2:55 left in the first half.

A 3-pointer by Wolff at the 2:21 mark gave Park Rapids a 27-12 advantage at the half.

Two free throws by Wolff, a 3-pointer by Carlson and a jumper by Shogren extended the Panthers' advantage to 34-14 with 11:50 to play.

Park Rapids maintained a double-digit cushion the rest of the way.

After Frazee pulled to within 34-20 with 8:43 remaining, two free throws by Hailey Lundin and baskets off rebounds by Wolff and Lundin made it 40-22 with 5:39 remaining.

A jumper and layup by Carson Lee Christenson and two free throws by Anna Grimes in the final 3:08 sealed the win.

Wolff led the Panthers with 15 points while Carlson (9) and Vaadeland (7) combined for 16 more points. The win lifted Park Rapids to 3-18 on the season.

No player hit double fig-ures for Frazee, which fell to 6-17.

Park Rapids traveled to Perham Monday night and will close out the regular season by hosting Detroit Lakes in the Mid-State Conference finale Friday night.

FRAZEE: Smith 1 0-0 3, Tappe 3 0-0 7, McCorquodale 1 1-3 3, Tangen 4 0-0 8, Stender 1 1-1 3, Bachmann 3 0-0 9. Totals: 13 (FG), 2 for 4 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Wolff 5 3-4 15, Lundin 1 2-2 4, Domino 0 0-0 0, Carlson 3 0-0 9, Vaadeland 2 3-5 7, Christenson 2 0-1 4, Shogren 2 0-0 5, Pierce 0 0-0 0, Haas 0 0-0 0, Grimes 0 2-2 2, Rittgers 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 (FG), 10 for 14 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 27, Frazee 12. Three-point field goals: Smith 1, Tappe 1, Bachmann 3, Wolff 2, Shogren 1, Carlson 3. Total fouls: Frazee 13, Park Rapids 13.

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