Panthers defeat Lakers, end Mid-State skid
Senior Night turned out to be a memorable night for Hailey Lundin and Hannah Wolff.
Lundin and Wolff, the two seniors on this year's Park Rapids girls basketball team, had never won a Mid-State Conference game during their varsity careers.
That streak ended Friday night at the Area High School gym as the Panthers snapped a 31-game losing streak in conference games with a 53-47 victory over Detroit Lakes.
Led by Wolff's game-high 24 points and four 3-pointers by Alyssa Carlson in the second half, the Panthers rallied for their first conference win since defeating Wadena-Deer Creek 63-61 in February of 2007.
"The girls played well," said Park Rapids head coach John Schumacher. "This was a huge win for us."
A layup, 3-pointer and jumper by Wolff gave the Panthers a quick 7-1 lead with 15:26 to play in the first half before a three-point play by Wolff made it 10-7 with 13:57 remaining. Jumpers by Sophie Shogren and Carson Lee Christenson kept Park Rapids in front 14-13 at the 11:58 mark.
Three baskets by Jenny Matter sparked a 12-0 run as Detroit Lakes claimed a 25-14 advantage with 4:44 to go in the first half. Two jumpers by Christenson pulled the Panthers to within 29-19 at the intermission.
After Carlson opened the second half with a 3-pointer, the Lakers used a 3-pointer by Courtney Hedstrom and two baskets by Ashlyn Jasken to build the biggest lead of the game at 38-24 with 14:23 to go. Christenson hit a jumper for Park Rapids during that stretch.
Park Rapids responded with a 10-0 run behind two free throws and back-to-back 3-pointers by Wolff and a basket off a rebound by Olivia Vaadeland to close the gap to 38-34 at the 11:32 mark.
A 3-pointer by Rachel Shane gave the Lakers a 41-34 lead with 11:11 to play before the Panthers used two free throws by Vaadeland, a layup and jumper by Wolff, and a 3-pointer by Carlson to claim a 43-41 lead with 6:24 to go.
A 3-pointer by Jasken gave the Lakers a 45-43 edge with 5:25 remaining before Carlson hit a 3-pointer at the 2:48 mark to give the Panthers the lead for good. Carlson hit another 3-pointer with 1:41 left and Shogren hit two free throws with 1:13 remaining to provide a 52-45 advantage.
Wolff capped off the win with a free throw with 22 seconds to go as the Panthers closed the game with a 10-2 run.
Wolff also led the Panthers with nine rebounds. Carlson had 12 points and four assists and Lundin had six rebounds for the Panthers, who made 7 of 15 3-pointers and had only 13 turnovers. Park Rapids improved to 1-9 in the conference and 4-19 overall with its third victory in the last six games.
Matter scored 17 points and Jasken finished with 10 points to lead the Lakers, who made 5 of 23 3-pointers in falling to 3-7 in the conference and 5-20 overall with their fifth straight loss.
The Panthers opened the Section 8AA playoffs at Frazee Monday night. The winner of that game plays at Hawley Thursday night.
DETROIT LAKES: Jasken 4 0-0 10, Gray 2 1-2 5, Hedstrom 3 0-0 8, Matter 6 5-6 17, Muckenhirn 2 0-0 4, Shane 1 0-0 3. Totals: 18 for 61 (FG), 6 for 8 (FT).
PARK RAPIDS: Wolff 8 5-7 24, Lundin 0 0-1 0, Domino 0 0-0 0, Carlson 4 0-1 12, Vaadeland 1 3-4 5, Shogren 1 2-2 4, Christenson 4 0-0 8. Totals: 18 for 42 (FG), 10 for 15 (FT).
Halftime: Detroit Lakes 29, Park Rapids 19. Three-point field goals: Jasken 2, Hedstrom 2, Shane 1, Wolff 3, Carlson 4. Rebounds: Park Rapids 28 (Wolff 9, Lundin 6, Vaadeland 4, Carlson 3, Domino 2, Christenson 2, Shogren 2). Assists: Park Rapids 12 (Carlson 4, Wolff 3, Shogren 3, Lundin 1, Vaadeland 1). Steals: Park Rapids 1 (Carlson). Turnovers: Detroit Lakes 8, Park Rapids 13.