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Panthers, Tigers open section playoffs with wins

Taylor Chase put up a jump shot during Nevis' 81-61 win over Swanville in a Section 5A playoff game Thursday night.

     Both the Park Rapids and Nevis boys basketball teams opened tournament play with victories Thursday night.

     Park Rapids avenged two Mid-State Conference losses during the regular season with a 60-57 victory at Pequot Lakes in a Section 8AA playoff game while Nevis opened the Section 5A tournament with an 81-61 victory over Swanville at the Tiger Arena. Menahga saw its season come to an end with a 90-53 loss at Browerville.

     Park Rapids saw its season end in subsection semifinal action Saturday afternoon as Crosby-Ironton rallied for a 54-50 win at Bemidji State University.

Panthers top Patriots to advance

     During the regular season, Pequot Lakes posted wins of 59-51 and 69-59 over the Panthers.

     Those two wins gave Pequot Lakes the higher seed as Park Rapids entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed in the North half of the section while Pequot Lakes received the No. 4 seed.

     The Panthers were able to avenge those losses on Pequot Lakes’ home floor Thursday night.

     Tyler McCollum and Chris Goplerud opened the game with baskets as the Panthers claimed a 4-0 lead. Park Rapids would not trail the rest of the game.

     Four baskets by Kyle Goplerud and three baskets by Rilee Johnson gave the Panthers an 18-11 lead with 7:17 to play in the first half. Two baskets by Zach Jewison and 3-pointers by Jordan McCollum and Tyler McCollum gave the Panthers a 30-25 lead at the half.

     Tyler McCollum hit a jumper, a 3-pointer and four free throws while Chris Goplerud scored twice inside as the Panthers pushed their lead to 46-38 with 11:47 to play.

     Two baskets by Johnson and a basket by Zach Jewison made it 56-51 with 3:57 remaining before Pequot Lakes closed the gap to 58-57 with 18 seconds to go. Jordan McCollum sealed the win by hitting two free throws with 13 seconds left.

     Tyler McCollum finished with 14 points and five rebounds while Johnson, Kyle Goplerud and Chris Goplerud scored 10 points each. Mason Long led the way with eight assists and three steals.

     Jordan Redmond scored 24 points before fouling out to lead the Patriots, who ended the season with an 11-16 record.

     “We thought we were going to go there and win. We put a good game plan together and the kids executed it,” said Park Rapids head coach Matt Brandt. “The kids played strong for all 36 minutes. They played with determination and hit some key free throws down the stretch. It was absolutely phenomenal.”

PARK RAPIDS: Long 0 2-4 2, T. McCollum 4 4-4 14, Johnson 5 0-1 10, K. Goplerud 4 2-4 10, C. Goplerud 4 2-2 10, J. McCollum 1 2-2 5, Gartner 1 0-0 2, Jewison 3 1-2 7. Totals: 22 for 45 (FG), 13 for 19 (FT).

PEQUOT LAKES: Redmond 10 4-9 24, Peterson 2 2-2 8, Tappe 2 2-2 7, Jacobson 3 1-2 7, Mumm 2 1-2 6, Beltz 1 0-0 3, Ryan 0 2-2 2. Totals: 20 (FG), 12 for 19 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 30, Pequot Lakes 25. Three-point field goals: T. McCollum 2, J. McCollum 1, Peterson 2, Beltz 1, Mumm 1, Tappe 1. Team fouls: Park Rapids 20, Pequot Lakes 18. Fouled out: Redmond. Rebounds: Park Rapids 22 (T. McCollum 5, Johnson 4, C. Goplerud 4, Jewison 4, J. McCollum 2, K. Goplerud 2, Long 1). Assists: Park Rapids 21 (Long 8, J. McCollum 4, T. McCollum 3, K. Goplerud 2, C. Goplerud 2, Johnson 1, Gartner 1). Steals: Park Rapids 11 (Long 3, J. McCollum 2, K. Goplerud 2, T. McCollum 1, Johnson 1, Gartner 1, C. Goplerud 1). Turnovers: Park Rapids 12.

Tigers eliminate Swanville

     Taylor Chase tallied 18 points, five assists and four rebounds in leading the Tigers past Swanville at the Tiger Arena.

     Gavin Becker added 18 points and three steals, Jake Keranen had 15 points, six rebounds and three assists, and Courtland Chase grabbed five rebounds for the Tigers, who led 40-32 at the half.

     “We played one of our best games all season,” said Nevis head coach Scott Kramer. “We really dug in defensively in the second half and we executed our offense as well as we have all year. It was a total team effort on both ends.”

     Swanville ended the season with a 15-8 record.

Browerville ends Menahga’s season

     Menahga’s season came to an end with a 90-53 loss at Browerville Thursday night.

     Browerville entered as the No. 2 seed in the West half of Section 5A while the Braves were the No. 7 seed.

     Tanner Schwartz had 23 points and eight rebounds while Bob Lusti (8) and Austin Rudquist (6) combined for 14 points. Rudquist and Levi Schwartz pulled down five rebounds apiece and Austen Schwartz had three assists as the Braves ended the season with a 14-12 record.

     Browerville, the No. 6-ranked team in the latest state Class A poll, improved to 23-2.

MENAHGA: T. Schwartz 9 2-2 23, Lusti 3 0-0 8, Rudquist 2 2-2 6, Burkman 2 0-0 5, A. Schwartz 1 1-2 3, L. Schwartz 1 1-1 3, Johnson 1 0-0 3, Junes 0 2-2 2, Kicker 0 0-0 0, Taylor 0 0-0 0, Skoog 0 0-0 0, Aho 0 0-0 0, Meyer 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 for 48 (FG), 8 for 9 (FT).

Three-point field goals: T. Schwartz 3, Lusti 2, Burkman 1, Johnson 1. Rebounds: Menahga 25 (T. Schwartz 8, Rudquist 5, L. Schwartz 5, Taylor 3, Burkman 2, Lusti 1, Johnson 1). Assists: Menahga 12 (A. Schwartz 3, T. Schwartz 2, Lusti 2, Johnson 2, Burkman 1, L. Schwartz 1, Junes 1). Steals: Menahga 9 (T. Schwartz 2, Lusti 1, Burkman 1, A. Schwartz 1, L. Schwartz 1, Johnson 1, Junes 1, Taylor 1). Blocked shots: Menahga 2 (T. Schwartz 1, Taylor 1). Team fouls: Menahga 20. Fouled out: L. Schwartz. Turnovers: Menahga 17.

Rangers end Panthers’ season

     A scoreless stretch of almost eight minutes in the second half ended up costing the Panthers a shot at playing for the subsection title.

     During the regular season, C-I defeated the Panthers by scores of 72-58 and 67-46.

     In the second round of the playoffs, the Panthers dominated C-I in the first half, building a 33-17 lead before settling for a 33-23 lead at the half.

     Riley Jacobs and Will Goodwin opened the game by hitting 3-pointers as C-I claimed a quick 8-4 lead.

     Two baskets by Chris Goplerud and four fastbreak baskets by Johnson gave the Panthers a 16-14 lead before jumpers by Jewison and Jordan McCollum, back-to-back 3-pointers by Tyler McCollum, baskets by Chris Goplerud and Jordan McCollum, and another 3-pointer by Tyler McCollum pushed the lead to 33-17 with 1:21 to play in the first half. Two baskets by Daniel Hudrlik pulled the Rangers to within 33-23 at the break.

     Johnson’s basket with 17:11 to play gave the Panthers a 35-23 lead. Neither team scored again until Goodwin hit a jumper at the 11:27 mark. Jacobs and Caleb Baker followed with 3-pointers as C-I tied the game at 39-39 with 7:19 to play.

     Four free throws by Johnson gave the Panthers a 43-41 lead with 5:49 to play before Jacobs hit a jumper and 3-pointer to give the Rangers a 48-43 advantage with 3:07 remaining.

     Tyler McCollum responded with a 3-pointer and Chris Goplerud hit two free throws as the Panthers trailed 51-49. Two free throws by Goodwin with 30 seconds to go sealed the win.

     Goodwin, Baker and Jacobs all scored 14 points and Hudrlik added 12 points to lead the Rangers, who improved to 23-4 on the season with their 15th win in a row.

     Johnson finished with 17 points and Tyler McCollum scored 13 points as the Panthers ended the season with a 9-18 record.

     “We knew going in what we needed to take away. Hudrlik hurt us in the first two games and we took care of him,” said Brandt. “We just had a bad stretch in the second half where we missed some opportunities. The kids played extremely hard. They were disappointed we didn’t win, but they were excited about how well they played. It was a fun game.”

PARK RAPIDS: Long 0 0-0 0, T. McCollum 4 1-2 13, Johnson 6 5-8 17, K. Goplerud 1 0-0 2, C. Goplerud 2 2-2 6, J. McCollum 3 0-0 6, Gartner 0 0-0 0, Jewison 3 0-0 6. Totals: 19 for 33 (FG), 8 for 12 (FT).

CROSBY-IRONTON: Goodwin 4 5-6 14, Baker 4 5-8 14, Jacobs 5 0-0 14, VanHorn 0 0-0 0, Hudrlik 5 2-4 12, Tesdahl 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 (FG), 12 for 18 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 33, C-I 23. Three-point field goals: T. McCollum 4, Goodwin 1, Baker 1, Jacobs 4. Team fouls: Park Rapids 18, C-I 16. Fouled out: C. Goplerud. Rebounds: Park Rapids 20 (K. Goplerud 6, Johnson 5, Long 3, T. McCollum 3, C. Goplerud 2, J. McCollum 1). Assists: Park Rapids 3 (T. McCollum 2, Johnson 1). Steals: Park Rapids 6 (J. McCollum 2, C. Goplerud 2, T. McCollum 1, Johnson 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 1 (K. Goplerud).