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Late free throw leads Frazee to 44-43 win over Panthers in third-place game

Kyle Goplerud (24) put up a jump shot in Park Rapids' game against Frazee.

At last year's Park Rapids Holiday Tournament, the Park Rapids boys basketball team edged Frazee 63-59 in the third-place game.

That would prove to be the Panthers' only win of the season.

Last Wednesday night, Park Rapids and Frazee met again for third place in this holiday tournament. This time the Panthers were denied their first win of the season as Frazee held on for a 44-43 victory at the Area High School gym.

After Tyler Ridlon opened the game with a 3-pointer, Frazee went on a 15-2 run to claim a 15-5 lead with 10:55 to play in the first half.

A jumper by Kyle Goplerud, a 3-pointer by Tyler McCollum and a basket off a rebound by Scott Wolff pulled the Panthers to within 15-14 at the 9:46 mark before a 3-pointer by Beau Hanson gave the Hornets an 18-14 edge at the 9:30 mark.

The Panthers followed with a 9-0 run to claim a 23-18 advantage with 3:20 remaining in the first half. A jumper by Wolff started the run before Kyle Goplerud hit a jumper and 3-pointer and scored inside.

Layups by Chris Goplerud and Kyle Goplerud pushed the lead to 27-20 with 1:13 to go before Matt Tangen hit three free throws to pull Frazee to within 27-23 at the break.

Cory Wokasch opened the second half with a layup as the Hornets trailed 27-25, but Park Rapids responded with three layups by Kyle Goplerud to build a 34-25 lead with 13:57 to play.

A pair of 3-pointers by Daniel Janu sparked an 11-2 run as Frazee tied the game at 36-36 with 8:01 to play.

After Wolff hit a jumper to put the Panthers back in front at the 7:41 mark, Cody Nordquist and Janu hit jumpers to give Frazee a 41-38 advantage with 4:57 left.

The Hornets missed three straight free throws, but a layup by Janu provided a 43-40 edge with 47 seconds remaining.

McCollum drained a 3-pointer to tie the game at 43-43 with 39 seconds to go before Nordquist hit a free throw with 23 seconds remaining to give Frazee the lead.

The Panthers couldn't convert on their final possession as Frazee hung on for the win.

Janu finished with 18 points to lead the Hornets, who improved to 2-6 on the season. Heritage Christian Academy defeated Frazee 81-55 in last Tuesday's semifinal game.

Kyle Goplerud scored 17 points while McCollum grabbed nine rebounds for the Panthers. Ridlon and Chris Goplerud had seven rebounds each as Park Rapids fell to 0-8 on the season.

FRAZEE: Tangen 2 3-4 7, Nordquist 2 2-4 6, Ziegler 0 0-0 0, Janu 6 4-6 18, Wokasch 4 2-4 10, Hanson 1 0-0 3, Nelson 0 0-1 0. Totals: 15 (FG), 11 for 19 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Ridlon 1 2-4 5, K. Goplerud 8 0-0 17, Peterson 0 0-1 0, C. Goplerud 3 1-4 7, Waller 0 0-0 0, Long 0 0-0 0, Wolff 3 0-0 6, McCollum 3 0-0 8. Totals: 18 for 51 (FG), 3 for 9 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 27, Frazee 23. Three-point field goals: Janu 2, Hanson 1, Ridlon 1, K. Goplerud 1, McCollum 2. Team fouls: Frazee 15, Park Rapids 17. Fouled out: K. Goplerud. Rebounds: Park Rapids 35 (McCollum 9, Ridlon 7, C. Goplerud 7, K. Goplerud 5, Waller 3, Wolff 3, Peterson 1). Assists: Park Rapids 11 (Long 4, Peterson 2, Ridlon 1, K. Goplerud 1, C. Goplerud 1, Waller 1, McCollum 1). Steals: Park Rapids 12 (K. Goplerud 2, Peterson 2, C. Goplerud 2, Waller 2, McCollum 2, Ridlon 1, Wolff 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 3 (Ridlon 2, McCollum 1). Turnovers: Park Rapids 13.