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Panthers close season with win over Patriots, loss to Rangers in 8AA play

Wyatt Derman (12) put up a jumper during Park Rapids’ 62-53 Section 8AA playoff victory over Pequot Lakes Thursday night.

     For the second year in a row, Crosby-Ironton rallied to eliminate the Park Rapids boys basketball team from the Section 8AA tournament.

     The first round of the section tournament was a repeat from last year as the Panthers defeated Pequot Lakes 62-53 Thursday night at the Area High School gym.

     The second round also proved to be a repeat from a year ago as Crosby-Ironton escaped Bemidji State University Saturday night with a 58-50 victory over the Panthers.

     Park Rapids closed the season with a 16-11 record. The 16 wins are the most for the Panthers since going 17-9 during the 2006-07 season.

Panthers eliminate Patriots

     The Panthers took advantage of opening the playoffs at home by eliminating the Patriots.

     Pequot Lakes, the No. 5 seed in the north half, opened the game with a layup by CJ Borleis.

     That would prove to be the only time the No. 4-seeded Panthers trailed.

     A layup by Jordan McCollum off a steal by Rilee Johnson, a jumper by Tyler McCollum and  a layup by Johnson gave the Panthers a 9-2 lead with 11:49 to play in the first half.

     Two jumpers by Wyatt Derman, a jumper by Derek Porozinski and a three-point play by Bryce Brovitch provided an 18-9 advantage at the 5:41 mark.

     A 3-pointer by Jordan McCollum, layups by Johnson and Jordan McCollum, and a jumper by Johnson gave the Panthers a 29-19 advantage at the half. Hunter Larson hit three 3-pointers to lead the Patriots in the first half.

     A 3-pointer by Jack Kreitz and two layups by Borleis pulled Pequot Lakes to within 31-28 with 14:43 to play before two jumpers by Derman, two layups by Johnson, and layups by Jordan McCollum and Tyler McCollum extended the Panthers’ advantage to 45-35 with 7:26 remaining.

     A pair of 3-pointers by Larson and 3-pointers by Kreitz and Brett Peterson sparked a 14-6 run as the Patriots cut the gap to 51-49 with 4:03 left.

     The Panthers responded by ending the game with an 11-4 run to seal the win. Johnson hit two free throws for a 54-49 lead with 3:04 to go, Jordan McCollum’s layup with 1:37 left made it 57-50 and Johnson’s layup with :48 showing provided a 61-53 advantage.

     Larson hit six 3-pointers for 18 points while Borleis added 14 points as the Patriots ended the season with a 10-17 record.

     Johnson led the Panthers with 18 points, five assists and three steals while Jordan McCollum added 15 points, six rebounds and four assists. Derman scored 11 points and had four assists, Tyler McCollum had six rebounds and Zach Jewison had seven rebounds as the Panthers defeated Pequot Lakes for the third time this season. Park Rapids, which eliminated the Patriots with a 60-57 win last season, defeated the Patriots 69-60 and 79-65 during the regular season.

     “It was a great reward for the seniors this season to earn a home playoff game,” said Park Rapids head coach Matt Brandt. “It was a way for the seniors to get one more game on their home floor. To get the win was even a more memorable moment. It allowed the guys to get one last win on their home floor. The crowd was huge and gave us great momentum.”

PEQUOT LAKES: Davich 1 0-0 2, Kreitz 3 0-0 8, Peterson 1 1-2 4, Craig 1 0-2 3, Jacobson 1 0-1 2, Larson 6 0-0 18, Borleis 6 2-4 14, Johnson 0 2-2 2. Totals: 19 (FG), 5 for 11 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: T. McCollum 2 0-2 4, Johnson 7 4-6 18, J. McCollum 5 4-7 15, Porozinski 2 0-0 4, Jewison 1 5-8 7, Derman 4 3-6 11, Hagan 0 0-0 0, Brovitch 1 1-1 3. Totals: 22 for 48 (FG), 17 for 30 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 29, Pequot Lakes 19. Three-pointers: Kreitz 2, Peterson 1, Craig 1, Larson 6, J. McCollum 1. Team fouls: Pequot Lakes 21, Park Rapids 14. Fouled out: Kreitz. Rebounds: Park Rapids 30 (Jewison 7, T. McCollum 6, J. McCollum 6, Johnson 5, Brovitch 4, Derman 1, Porozinski 1). Assists: Park Rapids 17 (Johnson 5, Derman 4, J. McCollum 4, T. McCollum 1, Hagan 1, Brovitch 1, Jewison 1). Steals: Park Rapids 11 (Johnson 3, Derman 2, T. McCollum 2, Jewison 2, J. McCollum 1, Brovitch 1). Turnovers: Park Rapids 14.

Rangers end Panthers’ season

     The top-seeded Rangers had to rally late to eliminate Park Rapids from the playoffs.

     Riley Jacobs scored 26 points, Will Goodwin scored 14 points and Daniel Hudrlik had 8 points and 10 rebounds to lead C-I, which rallied for a 54-50 win over the Panthers in last season’s section tournament.

     Tyler McCollum’s 13 points and seven rebounds, Jordan McCollum’s 13 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and four steals, and Johnson’s 12 points and four steals led the Panthers.

     The Rangers, who are rated No. 3 in the latest state Class AA poll with a 24-3 record, defeated Park Rapids by scores of 65-58 and 67-41 during the regular season. C-I has now won 15 games in a row.

     “We played a great game against Crosby. The kids played very hard and left everything they had on the floor. It came down to hitting some shots and free throws and we just did not get them to fall,” said Brandt. “Our defense was top notch and we gave them everything we had. Crosby is a good team and we knew going into the game we had nothing to lose. We knew we had a lot to prove that we could play with a team ranked high in the state. It felt like we had them where we wanted them, but could not close it out when we needed to.”

PARK RAPIDS: Derman 1 0-1 2, T. McCollum 4 1-3 13, Johnson 6 0-0 12, J. McCollum 4 4-6 13, Porozinski 0 3-4 3, Brovitch 0 1-2 1, Jewison 2 2-2 6. Totals: 17 for 54 (FG), 11 for 18 (FT).

CROSBY-IRONTON: Jacobs 26, Goodwin 14, Hudrlik 8, Tesdahl 7, Larson 3.

Halftime: Crosby-Ironton 27, Park Rapids 17. Three-pointers: T. McCollum 4, J. McCollum 1. Rebounds: Park Rapids 25 (T. McCollum 7, J. McCollum 7, Jewison 6, Johnson 2, Porozinski 2, Derman 1). Assists:  Park Rapids 8 (J. McCollum 7, T. McCollum 1). Steals: Park Rapids 11 (Johnson 4, J. McCollum 4, T. McCollum 2, Porozinski 1). Team fouls:  Park Rapids 16. Turnovers: Park Rapids 9).