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Panthers eliminated in playoffs

Taylor Kimball, shown going up for a layup in the regular-season finale against Hawley, scored 11 points in his final high school game as Frazee eliminated the Panthers 72-61 in the first round of the Section 8AA playoffs Tuesday night.

Christian Ridlon scored a career-high 29 points, but it wasn't enough as Frazee eliminated the Park Rapids boys basketball team from the South Section 8AA tournament with a foul-plagued 72-61 victory Tuesday night at Frazee.

Frazee, the No. 8 seed, made 12 free throws down the stretch to preserve the win and avenge a 63-59 loss to the No. 9-seeded Panthers earlier in the season.

This playoff game featured 53 fouls and 82 free throws. Park Rapids was whistled for 21 fouls in the second half alone, which led to 35 Frazee free throws. However, the Hornets missed 19 of those and didn't put the game away until the final minute.

Despite the Hornets' struggles at the line, Park Rapids couldn't mount a comeback after facing a 39-25 deficit at the half.

Chris Goplerud opened the game with a basket to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Frazee then went on a 13-0 run to claim the lead for good.

Cory Wokasch hit two jumpers, Beau Hanson made four free throws and Daniel Janu hit a 3-pointer to give the Hornets a 13-2 lead.

Tyler Ridlon's 3-pointer and Christian Ridlon's basket off a rebound ended that run. Christian Ridlon followed with three inside baskets while Taylor Kimball hit a pair of free throws and a jumper and Goplerud scored off a rebound as the Panthers stayed within 29-20 with 3:10 to play in the first half.

The Hornets would maintain that cushion the rest of the game as a basket by Janu, two free throws and a 3-pointer by Zack Ziegler, and a basket by Storm Green would give Frazee a 39-25 lead at the break. Christian Ridlon and Tyler Ridlon had baskets for the Panthers to end the half.

Baskets by Janu, Wokasch and Green extended Frazee's lead to 45-27 to start the second half.

The Panthers made a run as Christian Ridlon scored twice inside and made six free throws, Goplerud scored inside and hit four free throws, and Kimball scored inside to make it 56-46 with 8:06 to play.

Five more free throws by Christian Ridlon, a 3-pointer by Kimball and a basket off a rebound by Goplerud closed the gap to 66-47 with 3:46 to go.

Frazee, which missed 18 free throws in the final 5:30, sealed the win by making six free throws down the stretch. A free throw by Kimball with 2:46 left, Christian Ridlon's basket with 1:49 to play and Goplerud's free throw with 1:18 remaining accounted for the Panthers' only points.

Goplerud (15) and Kimball (11) also hit double figures for the Panthers, who end the season with a 1-24 record.

Janu (18), Wokasch (12), Hanson (11), Green (11) and Cody Nordquist (10) scored in double figures to lead a balanced attack for the Hornets, who improved to 3-24 on the season.

PARK RAPIDS: C. Ridlon 8 13- 18 29, C. Goplerud 4 7-11 15, Kimball 3 4-7 11, T. Ridlon 2 0-0 5, Wolff 0 1-2 1. Totals: 17 (FG), 25 for 38 (FT).

FRAZEE: Janu 7 3-7 18, Wokasch 5 2-7 12, Hanson 2 6-10 11, Green 4 3-6 11, Nordquist 4 1-2 10, Ziegler 1 2-2 5, Burt 0 3-6 3, Bachmann 0 1-2 1, Nelson 0 1-2 1. Totals: 23 (FG), 22 for 44 (FT).

Halftime: Frazee 39, Park Rapids 25. Three-point field goals: Kimball 1, T. Ridlon 1, Janu 1, Hanson 1, Nordquist 1, Ziegler 1. Team fouls: Park Rapids 25, Frazee 28. Fouled out: C. Ridlon, Janu, Nordquist.