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Entering Saturday’s finals of the Section 8A wrestling tournament at Glyndon, Park Rapids had eight wrestlers in contention to earn trips to the state Class A tournament. Five of those secured state trips while two others were denied true-second matches as the Panthers qualified five for state for the second year in a row.
For the first time in Pete Stahnke’s 13 years as head coach, the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team failed to advance to the Section 8A quarterfinals. Goaltender Jackson Soliah made 37 saves to record his first shutout of the season in leading Kittson Central to a 3-0 upset win over the Panthers in a section play-in game Tuesday night at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena.
Detroit Lakes is one step away from repeating as the state Class A gymnastics champions. The Lakers captured the Section 8A title last Saturday at Fergus Falls with a 149.625. Perham was second in this nine-team meet with a 147.425 while Park Rapids-Nevis took eighth with a 108.00.
Menahga and Nevis will open the Section 5A North boys basketball playoffs at home. Menahga (9-14) received the No. 8 seed and will host No. 9 Laporte (6-20) Monday night at 7 in a play-in game. The winner will travel to No. 1 Pine River-Backus (17-6) Thursday night at 7. The other North quarterfinal games Thursday night find No. 2 Nevis (20-5) hosting No. 7 Sebeka (10-13), No. 3 Verndale (16-8) hosting No. 6 Cromwell (13-10) and No. 4 McGregor (17-7) hosting No. 5 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (14-9).
The Park Rapids girls basketball team tied a school scoring record in a 98-21 win over Bagley Tuesday night at the Area High School gym. Park Rapids also hit that mark in a 98-37 victory over Red Lake in 2005.
If the past two weeks were any indication, Todd Fritze thought the Park Rapids boys swimming and diving team would capture the Mid-State Conference title Friday night at the Area High School pool. A week before, the Panthers won the Last Chance Invitational in the same pool with 878 points as Detroit Lakes took second with 800 points. Perham was a distant third with 271 points.
Matt Clark knew the Park Rapids wrestling team needed a perfect performance to reach the Section 8A finals Saturday at Thief River Falls. After defeating No. 6 United North Central 54-20 in the quarterfinals, the No. 3-seeded Panthers were denied a spot in the finals with a 52-18 loss to No. 2 Badger/Greenbush-Middle River in the semifinals. That loss ended the Panthers’ dual-meet season at 17-6. Park Rapids entered the section tournament rated No. 14 while BGMR was rated No. 12 in the state Class A poll.
Mackenzie Korf scored 20 points to surpass 2,000 in her career as Pelican Rapids defeated the Park Rapids girls basketball team 78-67 Thursday night at the Area High School gym. Korf was held to a pair of jumpers before ending the half with a jumper and 3-pointer as Pelican Rapids carried a 37-29 lead into the break. Korf opened the second half with another jumper as the Vikings led by double digits for most of the second half to improve to 11-4 against Section 8AA teams and 15-7 overall.
Cierra Ahlf recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds as the Menahga girls basketball team defeated Wadena-Deer Creek 59-40 in a Park Region Conference game Thursday night at Wadena. Aimee Lake added 16 points and Alyssa Peterson scored 14 points. Lindsay Hendrickson chipped in six rebounds and five steals while Jen Stifter had five assists as the Braves improved to 7-4 in the conference and 12-10 overall.
Splitting games with Red Lake and Blackduck left the Nevis boys basketball team in a tie for third place in the Northland Conference standings. Rob Beaulieu’s 22 points helped Red Lake avenge a 78-66 loss to the Tigers earlier in the season with a 62-53 win last Tuesday night at Red Lake. The win lifted Red Lake, which is rated No. 10 in the latest state Class A poll, to 10-3 in the conference with one game remaining and 20-4 overall.