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Pequot Lakes’ Emilee Buell (top) forced a jump ball with Park Rapids’ Megan Grimes during Thursday afternoon’s game.

Patriots top Panthers in regular-season finale

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     Park Rapids received the No. 6 seed in the north and will open the Section 8AA girls basketball tournament at No. 3 Crosby-Ironton Thursday night at 7.

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     The Panthers enter the playoffs with an 11-14 record while Crosby-Ironton is 14-11. Crosby-Ironton defeated the Panthers twice during the regular season by scores of 51-41 and 61-57.

     No. 8 Bagley (15-11) hosted No. 9 Badger/Greenbush (10-15) Monday night with the winner traveling to No. 1 Pequot Lakes (19-6) Thursday night. The other north quarterfinal games pit No. 2 East Grand Forks (13-13) hosting No. 7 Warroad (14-11) and No. 4 Roseau (17-7) hosting No. 5 Crookston (10-16).

     The north semifinals will be played at Bagley Saturday afternoon with the north title game next Tuesday at Bagley. Concordia will host the Section 8AA title game on March 14.

     In the south half, No. 1 Hawley (18-6) hosts No. 8 Wadena-Deer Creek (4-19), No. 2 Breckenridge (12-10) hosts No. 7 Frazee (14-12), No. 3 Pelican Rapids (19-6) hosts No. 6 Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton (8-14) and No. 4 Barnesville (17-7) hosts No. 5 Perham (11-14) in Thursday night’s quarterfinals.

Patriots share Mid-State title

     Pequot Lakes gained a share of the Mid-State Conference title with an 85-71 win over the Panthers in the regular-season finale Thursday night at the Area High School gym.

     Bria Wolff’s four inside baskets, a 3-pointer and layup by Katie Klein, and a jumper by Charity Ridlon gave Park Rapids a 15-11 lead with 12:40 to play in the first half.

     After Pequot Lakes took a 16-15 lead, a layup by Klein, a jumper by Justine Rittgers and a jumper by Gabie Johnson gave the Panthers a 21-19 lead at the 8:43 mark.

     Layups by Haley Wiebolt, Emilee Buell and Kelsey Hart and four straight layups by Vanessa Lane gave the Patriots a 33-25 advantage with 3:51 to play in the first half. Pequot Lakes would lead the rest of the game.

     Jumpers by Klein, Megan Grimes and Wolff cut the gap to 37-33 before two more inside baskets by Lane gave Pequot Lakes a 42-35 edge at the half.

     After the Patriots pushed the lead to 46-35 on layups by Buell and Kayla Miller, the Panthers used a jumper by Ridlon, two free throws by Grimes and a 3-pointer by Rittgers to slice the gap to 50-42 with 14:40 to go.

     Baskets by Miller and White gave the Patriots a 58-42 advantage at the 12:58 mark before Grimes scored off a rebound, Wolff went in for a layup and Ridlon hit a pair of jumpers as Park Rapids pulled to within 58-50 with 11:39 left.

     Wiebolt countered with back-to-back 3-pointers for a 64-52 lead with 10:03 to play before Ridlon scored off a rebound and Klein drove in for a layup to make it 64-56 with 8:56 remaining.

     Lane’s two layups, White’s inside basket and a layup by Buell gave the Patriots a 74-61 advantage with 4:32 showing before a jumper by Gabie Johnson, two free throws by Klein, a basket off a rebound by Gabie Johnson and a layup by Ridlon pulled the Panthers to within 77-69 with 2:54 left.

     But two free throws apiece by White and Wiebolt and layups by Miller and Caitie Ryan extended the lead to 85-69.

     Lane finished with 26 points and 11 rebounds while Wiebolt hit four 3-pointers and had 20 points and seven assists to lead the Patriots. White (12) and Buell (10) also double figures as Pequot Lakes tied Detroit Lakes and Staples-Motley atop the conference standings with 8-2 records. The Patriots improved to 18-6 overall.

     Ridlon scored 20 points, Klein had 13 points and five assists, Wolff had 13 points and four steals, and Grimes added 10 points and nine rebounds as the Panthers fell to 1-9 in conference play and 11-14 overall.

PEQUOT LAKES: Ryan 2 0-0 4, Wiebolt 6 4-4 20, Hart 2 0-0 4, Lane 10 6-10 26, Buell 5 0-1 10, White 3 6-6 12, Miller 4 1-4 9. Totals: 32 (FG), 17 for 25 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: H. Johnson 0 0-0 0, Grimes 4 2-2 10, Klein 5 2-2 13, Ridlon 8 4-4 20, Wolff 6 1-2 13, Rittgers 3 0-0 7, G. Johnson 4 0-0 8. Totals: 30 for 58 (FG), 9 for 10 (FT).

Halftime: Pequot Lakes 42, Park Rapids 35. Three-pointers: Wiebolt 4, Rittgers 1, Klein 1. Team fouls: Pequot Lakes 14, Park Rapids 19. Rebounds: Park Rapids 28 (Grimes 9, Ridlon 6, G. Johnson 5, Wolff 4, Klein 3, Rittgers 1). Assists: Park Rapids 11 (Klein 5, Ridlon 2, G. Johnson 2, H. Johnson 1, Grimes 1). Steals: Park Rapids 12 (Wolff 4, Grimes 3, Klein 2, Rittgers 1, Ridlon 1, G. Johnson 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 1 (Wolff). Turnovers: Park Rapids 23.

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