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Jaiden McCollum drove to the basket during Park Rapids’ 69-66 loss to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Tuesday night.

Panthers’ furious comeback falls short in loss to W-H-A girls

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     A furious second-half comeback fell short as the Park Rapids girls basketball team dropped a 69-66 decision to Walker-Hackensack-Akeley Tuesday night at the Area High School gym.

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     The Panthers trailed 46-22 with 11:24 to play before making things interesting.

     A layup by Katie Klein, a 3-pointer by Hope Johnson, jumpers by Bria Wolff and Klein, and 3-pointers by Johnson and Klein cut the gap to 52-41 with 7:59 remaining.

     A jumper by Kayla Schneider and two free throws by Brooke Lund pushed W-H-A’s lead to 56-41 with 7:17 to go before a 3-pointer by Klein, three jumpers by Charity Ridlon and two free throws by Jaiden McCollum made it 60-52 with 3:45 to play.

     After two free throws and a layup by Meagan Nordby gave the Wolves a 65-52 advantage, a jumper by Klein, a basket off a rebound by Gabie Johnson, a 3-pointer by Hope Johnson, two free throws by Klein and a basket off a rebound by Wolff cut the deficit to 67-63 with 12 seconds to go.

     Lund hit two free throws for a 69-63 lead with :06 showing before Klein ended the scoring with a 3-pointer before the buzzer.

     The Panthers jumped out to the early advantage as a 3-pointer by Justine Rittgers, a jumper and two free throws by Klein, a layup by Wolff, a basket off a rebound by Gabie Johnson, and a 3-pointer by Ridlon produced a quick 14-4 lead with 13:03 to play in the first half.

     Center Maxine Smith took over with four inside baskets that sparked a 14-0 run for W-H-A. Lund’s layup off a steal and Nordby’s 3-pointer gave the Wolves an 18-14 advantage at the 8:54 mark.

     Gabie Johnson scored off a rebound to end that spurt, but another layup by Smith, two baskets off rebounds by Schneider and a jumper by Lund gave W-H-A a 27-17 advantage at the half.

     Two baskets by Smith, a 3-pointer by Nordby, back-to-back 3-pointers by Emma Young, and layups by Lund and Amber Gapinski pushed the Wolves’ lead to 46-22 before the Panthers mounted their comeback.

     Smith’s 22 points, Nordby’s 14 points and Lund’s 11 points led the Wolves, who improved to 16-3 by winning for the 10th time in the last 11 games.

     Klein’s 21 points and Hope Johnson’s 11 points led the Panthers, who fell to 8-12. Gabie Johnson pulled down 15 rebounds, Klein had four assists and Wolff had three steals.

WALKER-HACKENSACK-AKELEY: Nordby 5 1-2 14, Young 2 2-2 8, Nistler 0 1-4 1, Lund 2 7-12 11, Smith 9 4-6 22, Gapinski 2 1-4 5, Schneider 4 0-0 8. Totals: 24 (FG), 16 for 30 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Rittgers 1 0-0 3, Klein 7 4-5 21, Ridlon 4 0-0 9, Wolff 3 3-7 9, G. Johnson 4 1-3 9, Waggoner 0 0-0 0, H. Johnson 4 0-2 11, Dean 0 0-0 0, McCollum 0 4-4 4. Totals: 23 for 67 (FG), 12 for 21 (FT).

Halftime: W-H-A 27, Park Rapids 17. Three-pointers: Nordby 3, Young 2, Klein 3, Ridlon 1, H. Johnson 3. Team fouls: W-H-A 18, Park Rapids 24. Fouled out: Ridlon. Rebounds: Park Rapids 29 (G. Johnson 15, Ridlon 5, Wolff 5, Rittgers 2, McCollum 2). Assists: Park Rapids 7 (Klein 4, Wolff 2, Ridlon 1). Steals: Park Rapids 9 (Wolff 3, H. Johnson 2, Klein 2, G. Johnson 2). Turnovers: Park Rapids 10.

Panthers rout Northland

     The Panthers used a balanced scoring attack for a 77-38 win at Northland Monday night.

     Ridlon’s 21 points and Gabie Johnson’s 19 points, 14 rebounds and six assists led the Panthers, who jumped out to a 36-21 halftime lead. Wolff also hit double figures with 14 points while Megan Grimes pulled down 18 rebounds.

     Chloe Wolski scored 16 points for Northland, which fell to 3-14.

PARK RAPIDS: Rittgers 2 2-2 6, H. Johnson 4 0-1 8, Grimes 2 4-6 8, Klein 0 1-3 1, Steffel 0 0-0 0, Ridlon 9 1-2 21, Wolff 5 4-8 14, G. Johnson 9 1-1 19. Totals: 31 for 77 (FG), 13 for 23 (FT).

NORTHLAND: Johnson 1 1-2 3, M. Shepard 1 1-2 3, Wake 4 0-0 8, Gross 1 0-0 2, Wolske 6 2-4 16, Rajdl 2 0-1 4. Totals: 16 (FG), 4 for 9 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 36, Northland 21. Three-pointers: Ridlon 2. Team fouls: Park Rapids 15, Northland 16. Fouled out: Wake. Rebounds: Park Rapids 53 (Grimes 18, G. Johnson 14, Ridlon 7, Wolff 5, Rittgers 3, Klein 3, H. Johnson 2, Steffel 1). Assists: Park Rapids 14 (G. Johnson 6, H. Johnson 3, Klein 3, Grimes 2). Steals: Park Rapids 8 (H. Johnson 2, Grimes 2, G. Johnson 2, Rittgers 1, Ridlon 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 3 (Ridlon 2, Grimes 1). Turnovers: Park Rapids 11.

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