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Park Rapids' upper weights almost pulled off a major comeback Thursday night at the Area High School gym. Grand Rapids built a 36-6 lead before hanging on for a 39-36 win over the Panthers in a dual meet between two Class AA wrestling teams. The Thunderhawks won seven of the first eight matches to take control early. Grand Rapids almost won the first eight matches, but Kobe Burton rallied from an 8-2 deficit for a pin in the 126-pound bout. Burton trailed 8-2 after the first period before a takedown set up a pin at the 2:56 mark as the Panthers faced a 15-6 deficit.
The Nevis boys basketball team and the Menahga girls basketball team are rated in the top 10 in this week's Minnesota state Class A polls. Nevis remained in the No. 3 spot in the state Class A boys basketball poll behind North Woods and Springfield. Cass Lake-Bena moved up to the No. 4 spot while Cleveland, Mayer Lutheran, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton, Hinckley-Finlayson, Cedar Mountain-Comfrey and Norman County East/Ulen-Hitterdal returned to the top 10. Perham was rated No. 6 in the state Class AA poll.
Cierra Ahlf and Alyssa Peterson scored 17 points apiece as the Menahga girls basketball team overcame a poor shooting night to remain undefeated on the season with a 55-39 Park Region Conference win at Verndale Tuesday night. Ahlf and Megan Hendrickson hauled down eight rebounds apiece while Martha Peterson had three steals for the Braves, who led 21-10 at the half. Menahga prevailed despite making only 3 of 20 3-pointers and 10 of 25 free throws. The win lifted Menahga to 4-0 in the conference and 8-0 overall.
Fergus Falls, Detroit Lakes and West Fargo combined to hold the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team to only two goals in three games during the Fergus Falls Holiday Tournament Dec. 27-29 at the Fergus Falls Community Arena. Fergus Falls used a 32-13 advantage in shots to spark a 4-0 victory in the tournament opener on Dec. 27 while Detroit Lakes used a 33-14 advantage in shots to spark a 2-0 victory on Dec. 28. Park Rapids held a 2-1 lead before West Fargo rallied for a 4-2 victory in the tournament finale on Dec. 29.
The Park Rapids girls basketball team was able to rally from a halftime deficit to defeat Breckenridge, but couldn't overcome a halftime deficit in a loss to Pelican Rapids in the Valhalla Division of the Pelican Rapids Tournament on Dec. 28-29. Park Rapids trailed Breckenridge 37-34 at the break before rallying for a 65-63 victory in a semifinal game on Dec. 28. In the championship game, Pelican Rapids built a 35-14 halftime lead and coasted to a 70-47 victory on Dec. 29.
Despite having its most productive offensive showing of the season, the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team couldn't return to the win column. Park Rapids opened the Crookston Holiday Classic with a 3-0 loss to Grand Forks on Dec. 27 and followed with a 7-4 loss to Jamestown on Dec. 28.
Cass Lake-Bena made seven 3-pointers in the first half to take control in an 88-59 victory over the Menahga boys basketball team in a semifinal game of the Park Rapids Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27.
Gabe Bagstad hit three 3-pointers to spark a 15-4 run to start the game and hit another 3-pointer to cap a 22-8 run to open the second half in leading the Park Rapids boys basketball team to a 62-37 win over Menahga in Thursday afternoon's third-place game of the Park Rapids Holiday Tournament.
Cass Lake-Bena and Mahnomen-Waubun prevailed in Wednesday's semifinals and will play for the title of the Park Rapids Holiday Boys Basketball Tournament. Cass Lake led 49-25 at the half in an 88-59 victory over Menahga while Cass Lake-Bena followed a 24-8 run with a game-ending 10-1 run for a 57-42 victory over Park Rapids.
Park Rapids' Megan Olson and Lydia Kantonen competed in the two biggest meets of the season for the University of North Dakota women's cross-country team this fall. Kantonen capped off her freshman season as UND's No. 2 runner at the Big Sky Conference Championship and the No. 3 runner at the NCAA Division I West Regional Championship while Olson concluded her sophomore season as the Fighting Hawks' No. 7 runner at both meets.