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Tyler McCollum drove in for a layup during Park Rapids' win over Frazee in a semifinal game of the Park Rapids Holiday Tournament.
Tyler McCollum drove in for a layup during Park Rapids' win over Frazee in a semifinal game of the Park Rapids Holiday Tournament.

Panthers reach title game

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Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

Fastbreak layups and 3-point shooting led the Park Rapids boys basketball team past Frazee and a spot in the championship game of the Park Rapids Holiday Tournament.

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The Panthers led almost the entire game in a 65-50 victory over Frazee on Dec. 27, but had to settle for runner-up honors as Heritage Christian Academy overcame an early 8-0 deficit en route to a 66-57 victory in the championship game on Dec. 28.

The split left the Panthers with a 3-6 overall record.

Panthers control Frazee

The Panthers faced an early 5-4 deficit before taking control to defeat Frazee and advance to the title game.

A layup by Kyle Goplerud and a jumper by Rilee Johnson gave the Panthers an 8-5 lead with 14:13 to play in the first half. The Panthers would not trail the rest of the game.

A layup by Johnson and two baskets by Chris Goplerud pushed the Panthers' lead to 15-7 at the 11:04 mark.

After a jumper by Kyle Goplerud and a 3-pointer by Tyler McCollum made it 20-12, Cory Wokasch hit a 3-pointer, scored inside and converted a three-point play as Frazee tied the game at 22-22 with 3:15 to go in the first half.

The Panthers closed the half with an 8-0 run as layups by Chris Goplerud and Johnson, a basket off a rebound by Kyle Goplerud and a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Zach Jewison gave Park Rapids a 30-22 cushion.

Tyler McCollum opened the second half by hitting a 3-pointer and Kyle Goplerud followed with a jumper. Johnson then hit four free throws, scored on a layup and converted a three-point play to give the Panthers a 44-30 edge with 11:11 to play.

Another layup by Johnson, back-to-back 3-pointers by McCollum and a layup by Andy Waller pushed the lead to 54-35 with 7:53 remaining.

Park Rapids maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way behind three layups by Kyle Goplerud and a pair of layups by Chris Goplerud.

Kyle Goplerud posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while Chris Goplerud had 11 points and eight rebounds. McCollum hit four 3-pointers and finished with 16 points and five assists while Johnson added 13 points and four steals. Waller also had four steals while Mason Long and Kyle Goplerud dished out four assists each as the Panthers had 22 assists on 26 field goals.

Wokasch hit three 3-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Hornets, who fell to 1-7 on the season.

FRAZEE: Olson 2 0-0 4, Nelson 5 2-4 13, Tangen 2 0-0 4, Torma 1 2-3 4, Wokasch 7 6-13 23, Bellefueille 1 0-0 2. Totals: 18 (FG), 10 for 22 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Long 0 0-0 0, T. McCollum 6 0-0 16, K. Goplerud 8 1-2 17, C. Goplerud 5 1-3 11, Waller 2 0-1 4, Massie 0 0-0 0, J. McCollum 0 1-3 1, Johnson 4 5-7 13, Porozinski 0 0-0 0, Gartner 0 0-0 0, Carlson 0 0-2 0, Jewison 1 0-0 3. Totals: 26 for 52 (FG), 8 for 18 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 30, Frazee 22. Three-point field goals: Nelson 1, Wokasch 3, T. McCollum 4, Jewison 1. Rebounds: Park Rapids 35 (K. Goplerud 10, C. Goplerud 8, J. McCollum 4, Waller 4, T. McCollum 2, Jewison 2, Johnson 2, Long 1, Massie 1, Carlson 1). Assists: Park Rapids 22 (T. McCollum 5, Long 4, K. Goplerud 4, J. McCollum 3, Johnson 3, Gartner 2, Waller 1). Steals: Park Rapids 15 (Johnson 4, Waller 4, K. Goplerud 2, Long 1, J. McCollum 1, T. McCollum 1, C. Goplerud 1, Jewison 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 4 (K. Goplerud 3, Long 1). Team fouls: Park Rapids 17. Turnovers: Park Rapids 15.

Heritage tops Panthers for title

After facing an early deficit, Heritage went on a 14-0 run to take the lead for good to defeat the Panthers in the championship game.

Long set up layups by Chris Goplerud and Johnson before a layup off a steal by Johnson and two free throws by McCollum gave the Panthers a quick 8-0 lead with 14:54 to play in the first half.

After a layup by Kyle Goplerud gave Park Rapids a 10-2 lead at the 13:50 mark, the Eagles used seven consecutive layups to take a 16-10 lead with 8:28 to play in the first half. Spenser Bland and Drew Kleinschmidt had three layups apiece during that run as the Eagles took the lead for good.

A 3-pointer by Tyler McCollum and layups by Waller, Jordan McCollum and Johnson pulled the Panthers to within 22-19 at the 5:12 mark, but a 3-pointer by Cole Peterson capped a 9-0 run as Heritage took a 31-19 lead with 3:28 to play in the opening half. Layups by Tyler McCollum and Johnson cut the gap to 31-23 at the half as neither team scored in the final 2:19.

Two layups apiece by Kleinschmidt and Zach Weld pushed the Eagles' advantage to 39-27 with 16:12 to play.

Heritage held a 51-38 lead with 9:27 to play when the Panthers went on a 13-6 run. Jumpers by Jewison, Johnson and Tyler McCollum and layups by Kyle Goplerud and Chris Goplerud cut the gap to 57-51 with 3:14 to go.

Layups by Bland and Weld sealed the win as Heritage led 63-51 with 1:05 remaining.

Jordan McCollum's jumper and Tyler McCollum's 3-pointer cut the deficit to 64-57 with 33 seconds left before two free throws by Christian Pieper with 30 seconds to go concluded the scoring.

Tyler McCollum scored 17 points and had four steals while Johnson added 16 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Panthers.

Kleinschmidt finished with 20 points and Bland added 14 points for the Eagles, who improved to 8-0 on the season. Heritage entered the tournament rated No. 3 in the state Class A poll.

HERITAGE CHRISTIAN: Pieper 0 3-4 3, Hamilton 1 0-0 2, Bland 7 0-2 14, Kleinschmidt 9 2-3 20, Basco 4 2-2 11, Peterson 2 0-0 5, Weld 3 5-7 11. Totals: 26 (FG), 12 for 18 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Long 0 0-0 0, T. McCollum 5 4-6 17, Johnson 7 2-4 16, K. Goplerud 1 1-2 3, C. Goplerud 3 1-3 7, J. McCollum 3 2-3 8, Gartner 0 0-0 0, Waller 2 0-0 4, Jewison 1 0-1 2. Totals: 22 for 57 (FG), 10 for 19 (FT).

Halftime: Heritage Christian 31, Park Rapids 23. Three-point field goals: Basco 1, Peterson 1, T. McCollum 3. Rebounds: Park Rapids 30 (Johnson 6, T. McCollum 5, K. Goplerud 5, C. Goplerud 5, Long 3, Jewison 3, J. McCollum 1, Gartner 1, Waller 1). Assists: Park Rapids 17 (Johnson 4, Long 3, J. McCollum 2, K. Goplerud 2, Gartner 2, C. Goplerud 2, T. McCollum 1, Jewison 1). Steals: Park Rapids 13 (T. McCollum 4, C. Goplerud 3, Johnson 2, Waller 2, K. Goplerud 1, Jewison 1). Team fouls: Park Rapids 19. Fouled out: Johnson. Turnovers: Park Rapids 16.

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