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Tyler Ridlon (14) put up a jumper over Wadena-Deer Creek's Matt Paulson during Park Rapids' 62-57 Mid-State Conference win Tuesday night.

Panthers hold off W-DC for first win

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sports Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

A pair of long losing streaks ended when the Park Rapids boys basketball team defeated Wadena-Deer Creek 62-57 Tuesday night at the Area High School gym.

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The win snapped a 34-game losing streak in Mid-State Conference games and a 29-game losing streak. The last time the Panthers defeated a conference rival was with a 64-45 win over W-DC back in March of 2008.

"This win feels great," said Park Rapids head coach Matt Brandt. "The kids executed our game plan. They played hard and played with intensity. They deserved it."

A jumper by Tyler Ridlon, a 3-pointer by Tyler McCollum, a basket by Kyle Goplerud, a 3-pointer by John Massie, a basket by Scott Wolff, a three-point play by Ridlon, a jumper by Goplerud, a jumper by Ridlon and two more baskets by Goplerud gave the Panthers a 27-24 lead at the half.

A basket off a rebound by Kyle Goplerud, a jumper by Ridlon, layups by Chris Goplerud and Andy Waller, and two free throws by Waller extended the Panthers' lead to 37-27 with 9:38 to play.

After a 3-pointer by Ryan Redfield and a three-point play by Ben Birch pulled the Wolverines to within 37-33 with 8:40 remaining, the Panthers responded with back-to-back layups by Tyler McCollum, a layup by Chris Goplerud and a jumper by Kyle Goplerud to reclaim a 45-36 lead with 6:02 left.

Two baskets by Redfield closed the gap to 45-41 with 4:46 remaining before a jumper by Ridlon gave the Panthers a 48-41 lead with 3:19 to go.

A pair of 3-pointers and two free throws by Redfield rallied W-DC to within 52-50 with 2:08 left before the Panthers sealed the win by making 8 of 11 free throws down the stretch.

Kyle Goplerud hit two free throws to provide a 54-40 lead with 1:53 remaining before Chris Goplerud converted a three-point play as the Panthers led 57-54 with 45 seconds left. Chris Goplerud followed with two free throws with 19 seconds showing to provide a 60-54 advantage.

Kyle Goplerud led the Panthers with 16 points, 11 rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots while Chris Goplerud added 13 points and six rebounds. Ridlon chipped in 11 points and three assists for the Panthers, who went 2 for 17 on 3-pointers, but made 18 of 26 free throws to improve to 1-4 in the conference and 1-10 overall.

Birch scored 19 points and Redfield added 16 points for W-DC, which missed 23 of 37 free throws in falling to 1-3 in the conference and 4-7 overall.

WADENA-DEER CREEK: Redfield 5 2-5 16, Birch 6 7-16 19, E. VanErp 4 2-6 11, Sherman 0 2- 2, Paulson 0 0-2 0, A. VanErp 1 1-2 3, Laughlin 3 0-0 6, Salge 0 0-2 0. Totals: 19 (FG), 14 for 37 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Ridlon 5 1-1 11, K. Goplerud 6 4-5 16, Peterson 0 1-2 1, C. Goplerud 4 5-5 13, Waller 1 3-5 5, Long 0 2-4 2, Wolff 1 0-0 2, Massie 1 0-0 3, McCollum 3 2-4 9. Totals: 21 for 53 (FG), 18 for 26 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 27, W-DC 23. Three-point field goals: Redfield 4, E. VanErp 1, Massie 1, McCollum 1. Team fouls: W-DC 23, Park Rapids 28. Fouled out: Ridlon, Peterson, Waller. Rebounds: Park Rapids 33 (K. Goplerud 11, C. Goplerud 6, McCollum 5, Waller 4, Ridlon 3, Wolff 2, Long 1, Peterson 1). Assists: Park Rapids 5 (Ridlon 3, Waller 2). Steals: Park Rapids 9 (K. Goplerud 3, Ridlon 2, Peterson 1, C. Goplerud 1, Waller 1, McCollum 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 4 (K. Goplerud 3, Waller 1). Turnovers: Park Rapids 16.

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