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Cierra Ahlf hit clutch 3-pointers to spark two pivotal runs in the second half as the Menahga girls basketball team capped off a perfect regular season with a 65-54 win at Park Rapids Friday night. The Braves relied on a balanced scoring attack to claim a 31-25 halftime lead. Ahlf (7), Megan Hendrickson (7), Alyssa Peterson (5), Tara Hendrickson (5) and Annie Lake (5) led Menahga in the first half.
Nevis, Park Rapids and Menahga will host opening-round games as the section girls basketball tournament begins. Nevis, the No. 7 seed in the North with a 9-17 record, will host No. 10 Laporte (3-22) Monday night (Feb. 26) at 7 in a first-round game. The winner of that game advances to play at No. 2 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (22-4) Thursday night (March 1) at 7. In the other Section 5A North first-round game, No. 8 Browerville (2-23) hosts No. 9 Bertha-Hewitt (2-22) with the winner traveling to No. 1 Menahga (26-0) Thursday night (March 1) at 7.
Four area wrestlers earned trips to state by placing either first or section at section tournaments. Park Rapids' Ashton Clark claimed the Section 8AA title at 113 pounds Saturday at Hawley. During Friday's opening rounds, Clark pinned United Clay Becker's Nathan Sperr in the quarterfinals and posted a 6-0 minor decision over Pierz's Brandon Funk in the semifinals. Clark then defeated Detroit Lakes' Brody Ullyott 7-2 in Saturday's championship match and will carry a 35-0 record to the state Class AA tournament, which begins Thursday at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
It was another successful Section 5A meet for the Park Rapids boys swimming and diving team Saturday at Alexandria.
A 9-0 run late in the game carried Staples-Motley to a 71-64 Mid-State Conference and Section 8AA South win over the Park Rapids boys basketball team Thursday night at the Area High School gym. This game featured four ties and four lead changes in the first half and three ties and four lead changes in the second half before the Cardinals took control at the end.
Austin Jerger made 43 saves in the first two periods to keep the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team in the game in a Section 8A quarterfinal battle at Warroad Thursday night. The top-seeded Warriors then scored three goals in the third period to seal a 4-0 victory at the Gardens Arena. After a scoreless first period in which Warroad held a 20-2 advantage in shots on goal, Keaton Hoffman scored on the power play at the 14:22 mark to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead in the second period. Warroad outshot the Panthers 24-3 in that period.
Cierra Ahlf's 27 points, nine rebounds and three steals sparked the Menahga girls basketball team to a 75-29 victory over Lake Park-Audubon Tuesday night at Menahga.
Menahga maintained the No. 5 ranking in this week's state Class A girls high school basketball poll. The Braves, who remained the only undefeated team among Class A schools, trailed Lyle-Pacelli, Mountain Iron-Buhl, Hayfield and Goodhue as the top five spots stayed the same. Ada-Borup/Norman County West, Minneota, Lac qui Parle Valley, Grand Meadow and Bigfork rounded out the top 10.
The Menahga boys basketball team gave the top team in the Park Region Conference a battle before Henning hung on for a 64-61 victory Tuesday night at Menahga. Charlie Hodge (15), Tristan Aho (13), Zach Floyd (9), Jonah Howard (8), Owen Anderson (8) and Gavin Hillukka (6) led a balanced scoring attack for the Braves. Aho and Howard hauled down six rebounds each while Floyd had four assists. Menahga made 21 of 52 shots, including hitting 6 of 16 3-point attempts.
Tanner Doppler, Logan Pratt and Jake Bettcher combined for 53 points in leading Detroit Lakes to a 75-41 Mid-State Conference victory over the Park Rapids boys basketball team at Detroit Lakes on Feb. 15. Pratt's 6 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots sparked the Lakers to an early 11-1 lead before Doppler hit three 3-pointers and scored 14 points to give Detroit Lakes a 35-13 lead at the half. Bettcher took over in the second half, hitting three 3-pointers and scoring 13 points as the Lakers pulled away.