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Paul Dirks (13) grabbed a rebound during Park Rapids' 75-58 Section 8AA South playoff victory over Frazee Monday night.

Panthers rout Frazee in playoff opener

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Missed free throws cost the Park Rapids boys basketball team a victory in the first meeting against Frazee this season.

The Panthers made sure missing clutch free throws down the stretch wouldn't be a factor in the rematch Monday night.

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Back in December, the Panthers missed 20 of 32 free throws in a 74-73 double-overtime loss to Frazee.

In the Section 8AA South playoff opener Monday night at the Area High School gym, the Panthers missed 15 of 39 free throws. However, some clutch shooting from the field - highlighted by five 3-pointers by Taylor Kimball - sparked Park Rapids to a 75-58 victory.

Park Rapids, the No. 8 seed in the south half of the section, trailed only once in the game at 1-0. Max Brown's jumper at the 17:14 mark gave the Panthers the lead for good.

Two free throws by Paul Dirks, a layup by Dillon Theis on a feed from Roth Mattson and a 3-pointer by Kimball extended the lead to 9-3 at the 13:21 mark.

Dirks hit two free throws and scored on a layup on a pass from Mitch Long before Mattson scored inside as the Panthers led 15-8 at the 6:59 mark.

Two free throws by Kimball and a layup by Mattson kept Park Rapids in front 19-13 with 5:07 remaining in the first half.

The Panthers carried a 27-19 lead into the break as two free throws apiece by Kyle Goplerud and Christian Ridlon and a layup by Dirks sparked an 8-3 run down the stretch.

Two free throws by Dirks, a jumper by Long and a layup by Ridlon led to a 33-28 Park Rapids lead with 12:54 to play.

Kimball then hit four 3-pointers to spark a 17-8 run as the Panthers took control.

Kimball's 3-pointer at the 12:29 mark started the run. Brown hit a jumper on a pass from Dirks, Kimball hit a 3-pointer, Dirks scored on a layup off a steal, and Kimball hit two more 3-pointers as Park Rapids held a 50-36 lead with 7:59 to play.

A jumper by Long, a layup by Ridlon, two jumpers and a layup by Dirks, a layup and two free throws by Long, and a basket off a rebound by Dirks pushed the Panthers' lead to 66-43 with 4:08 to go.

Park Rapids' reserves sealed the win as Tyler Ridlon, Ryan Peterson and Chris Goplerud combined to hit seven free throws in the final 3:16. Goplerud also scored off a rebound during that stretch.

Dirks finished with 20 points and Kimball added 17 points as the Panthers improved to 2-23 on the season. Eleven different players scored for Park Rapids.

Beau Hanson scored 14 points and Dylan Stender added 10 points for Frazee, which ended the season with a 1-26 record.

FRAZEE: Green 2 1-2 6, Stender 2 5-8 11, Hanson 3 6-8 14, Nordquist 2 1-3 5, Burt 2 0-0 5, Janu 3 2-2 8, Brower 3 3-7 9. Totals: 17 (FG), 18 for 30 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Long 3 2-2 8, Dirks 7 6-6 20, Mattson 2 2-7 6, Brown 2 0-0 4, Theis 1 0-0 2, Randall 0 0-0 0, Kimball 5 2-3 17, T. Ridlon 0 3-6 3, Hays 0 0-0 0, C. Goplerud 1 1-2 3, Peterson 0 3-4 3, C. Ridlon 2 3-7 7, K. Goplerud 0 2-2 2. Totals: 23 (FG), 24 for 39 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 27, Frazee 19. Three-point field goals: Green 1, Stender 2, Hanson 2, Burt 1, Kimball 5. Total fouls: Frazee 27, Park Rapids 24. Fouled out: Stender, Janu, Brower, Theis, K. Goplerud.

Panthers fall to Hawley

Taylor Harms scored 24 points and Mike Hanson added 20 points in leading Hawley to an 88-43 victory over the Panthers in the regular-season finale last Friday night.

Hanson and Harms combined to hit seven 3-pointers and scored 38 points as Hawley built a 55-28 lead at the half.

Jacob Bjornson also hit double figures with 14 points as the Nuggets improved to 19-5.

Dirks led the Panthers with 13 points while Theis (7), Mattson (6) and Christian Ridlon (6) combined for 19 more points.

PARK RAPIDS: Long 0 0-0 0, Dirks 6 0-1 13, Mattson 2 0-0 6, Brown 2 0-1 4, Theis 3 1-2 7, Randall 1 0-0 2, Kimball 1 0-0 2, T. Ridlon 0 0-0 0, Hays 0 0-0 0, C. Goplerud 1 0-0 2, Peterson 0 1-2 1, C. Ridlon 3 0-0 6, K. Goplerud 0 0-4 0. Totals: 19 (FG), 2 for 10 (FT).

HAWLEY: Hanson 8 0-0 20, Severson 3 0-2 6, Spaeth 2 4-5 9, Bjornson 4 4-4 14, Harms 8 5-6 24, VanHavermaet 2 1-2 5, Olson 1 0-0 2, Moe 1 2-2 4, Hinrichs 1 2-2 4. Totals: 30 (FG), 18 for 23 (FT).

Halftime: Hawley 55, Park Rapids 28. Three-point field goals: Dirks 1, Mattson 2, Hanson 4, Spaeth 1, Bjornson 2, Harms 3. Total fouls: Park Rapids 17, Hawley 9.

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