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Fouls cost Panthers in OT loss to Staples-Motley

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In the end, fouls caught up with the Park Rapids boys basketball team Thursday night.

The Panthers led for most of the game, but having five players foul out helped Staples-Motley prevail 57-50 in overtime in a Mid-State Conference battle at the Area High School gym.

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After Zach Borders opened the game with a layup to give Staples-Motley a 2-0 lead, jumpers by Kyle Goplerud and Tyler Ridlon, a layup by Tanner Otterness and another jumper by Goplerud gave the Panthers a 10-3 advantage with 11:52 to play in the first half.

Park Rapids would maintain the lead until late in the second half.

A 3-pointer by Tyler McCollum, a basket off a rebound by Scott Wolff, a jumper by Ridlon, a jumper by Wolff, a layup by Ridlon and a jumper by Goplerud gave the Panthers a 23-15 edge with 4:50 to play in the first half.

The Panthers managed only a jumper by Wolff and a free throw by McCollum the rest of the way, but still carried a 26-21 advantage into the intermission.

A basket by Andy Waller, two baskets by Goplerud and a basket by Ridlon kept the Panthers in front 35-27 before a 3-pointer by Grant Longbella and layups by Dennis Vasquez and Borders tied the game at 36-36 with 6:05 to play in regulation.

Park Rapids responded with layups by Otterness and Chris Goplerud to claim a 42-36 lead with 4:22 to play, but the Cardinals took their first lead of the game since early in the first half on 3-pointers by Vasquez and Longbella. Two free throws by Vasquez with 2:40 remaining gave Staples-Motley a 45-42 lead.

After Wolff scored off a rebound, two free throws by Longbella gave the Cardinals a 47-44 lead with 57 seconds to play. A 3-pointer by McCollum tied the game at 47-47 with 18 seconds left.

Ridlon's jumper 19 seconds into overtime gave the Panthers a 49-47 edge, but the Cardinals responded with a pair of jumpers by Seth Auger for a 53-49 lead with 2:08 to play.

Ryan Peterson hit a free throw with 1:54 remaining to cut into the deficit, but Staples-Motley sealed the win on a layup by Jalen Busker with 51 seconds to go and two free throws in the final 24 seconds.

Longbella scored 12 points to lead the Cardinals, who prevailed despite missing 20 of 41 free throws. Borders (11), Auger (11) and Vasquez (10) also hit double figures as Staples-Motley improved to 1-1 on the season.

Kyle Goplerud and Ridlon finished with 11 points each for the Panthers, who turned the ball over 32 times, missed 20 of 28 free throws and had five players - Kyle Goplerud, Chris Goplerud, Wolff, Waller and Peterson - foul out. McCollum led the Panthers with eight rebounds while Wolff grabbed seven rebounds and had three blocked shots. Kyle Goplerud led the way with three assists and three steals as the Panthers fell to 0-3 on the season.

STAPLES-MOTLEY: Vasquez 2 5-7 10, Z. Borders 3 5-11 11, Longbella 3 4-8 12, Huber 1 0-0 2, Busker 2 3-4 7, Auger 4 2-4 11, Coughlin 0 0-2 0, Suess 0 0-1 0, Wick 0 2-2 2, Schmitz 1 0-0 2, Nurnberger 0 0-2 0. Totals: 16 (FG), 21 for 41 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Otterness 2 2-4 6, Ridlon 5 1-2 11, K. Goplerud 5 1-2 11, Peterson 0 1-4 1, Wolff 4 0-0 8, Johnson 0 0-2 0, C. Goplerud 1 1-2 3, Waller 1 1-7 3, Carlson 0 0-3 0, McCollum 2 1-2 7. Totals: 20 for 49 (FG), 8 for 28 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 26, S-M 21. End of regulation: Park Rapids 47, S-M 47. Three-point field goals: Vasquez 1, Longbella 2, Auger 1, McCollum 2. Team fouls: S-M 28, Park Rapids 33. Fouled out: Huber, K. Goplerud, C. Goplerud, Wolff, Peterson, Waller. Rebounds: Park Rapids 35 (McCollum 8, Wolff 7, K. Goplerud 6, Waller 6, Otterness 2, Ridlon 2, Carlson 2, Johnson 1, C. Goplerud 1). Assists: Park Rapids 8 (K. Goplerud 3, Otterness 2, Wolff 1, Carlson 1, McCollum 1). Steals: Park Rapids 11 (K. Goplerud 3, Otterness 2, Peterson 2, Wolff 2, Waller 1, McCollum 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 5 (Wolff 3, K. Goplerud 2). Turnovers: Park Rapids 32.

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