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Jeff Anderson is expecting the Park Rapids boys golf team to continue improving. The Panthers ended last season by carding their best round of the season with a 338 at the Pre-Section 8AA tournament and followed with a 350 for fourth place at the North Section 8AA tournament. Those scores didn't meet Anderson's main goals of breaking 320 as a team and advancing to the Section 8AA tournament, but did provide a solid base for this spring.
It was a historic season for the Nevis boys basketball team. The Tigers put together a 23-game winning streak, captured the Northland Conference title with a 14-0 record, won the Section 5A championship to advance to the state Class A tournament for the second time in school history and ended the season with a 28-3 record to break the school record for wins in a season. Despite losing both games at state, head coach Scott Kramer was ecstatic about how his team handled the pressure all season.
Bemidji won all seven matches in straight sets in a 7-0 victory over the Park Rapids boys tennis team Thursday afternoon at Bemidji. Connor Shaw, Nick Porozinski, Zach Nelson and Peter Van Batavia played singles for the Panthers while Jacob Guis and Ashton Clark, Nolan Booge and Evan Booge, and Kenny David and Casimir Simonson comprised the doubles teams. It was Park Rapids' first dual meet of the season while Bemidji improved to 2-1 in dual meets. Bemidji 7, Park Rapids 0 No. 1 singles: Spencer Konecne, B, over Connor Shaw 6-1, 6-0.
It could be tough for the Park Rapids girls golf team to duplicate the success of a year ago. Last spring, the Panthers carded rounds under 400 seven times, repeated as the Northern Pines Conference champs and advanced to the Section 8AA tournament. Leading the way to that successful season were the senior trio of Mariena Dearstyne, Alyza Edevold and Dana McDonald.
Cody Pulju thought the Menahga girls basketball team exceeded expectations in his first year as head coach. The Braves won the Park Region Conference title for the first time in 11 seasons with a 12-2 record and ended the season with a 23-6 overall record to tie the school record for most victories in a season.
Tuesday's Mid-State Conference season openers for the Park Rapids baseball and fastpitch softball teams and the home opener for the Park Rapids track and field teams have been rained out. Park Rapids was scheduled to host Staples-Motley in a baseball doubleheader while the Panthers were scheduled to play a softball doubleheader at Staples today. Those games will be rescheduled for a later date.
Both Park Rapids golf teams opened the Northern Pines Conference season by sweeping titles Tuesday at Blueberry Pines. Tate Usher tied for medalist honors with a 41 on the par-36 course to lead the Park Rapids boys to first place in the 10-team field with a four-golfer score of 180 while Olivia Wallace claimed runner-up honors as the Panthers took first in the girls meet with a three-golfer round of 146 in the first meet of the season. Jackson Leckner's 45 and a pair of 47s by Jacob Bittmann and Cody Dravis rounded out Park Rapids' winning team score in the boys meet.
Al Pietila and Thomas Litzau threw complete games as the Menahga baseball team opened the season with three wins in four games. Pietila threw a two-hitter and struck out 15 as the Braves opened the season with a 3-0 Park Region Conference win over Sebeka on April 4. The Braves scored the game's only runs in the seventh inning when Mitch Peterson was hit by a pitch, Isaac Anderson drew a two-out walk, Canton Matson lined an RBI single, Litzau walked, and Graham Skoog and Lars Keranen were hit by pitches. Litzau went 2 for 2 to pace Menahga's five-hit attack.
Three winning efforts and five runner-up finishes led the Park Rapids girls track and field team to the title at Tuesday's Wadena-Deer Creek Invitational. Lydia Kantonen won the 3,200-meter run in 12:11.33 and Hannah Morgan took first in the long jump with a distance of 14 feet, 3.50 inches as the Panthers compiled 138 points to top the 10-team field. Osakis was second with 111 points while United North Central finished ninth with 21 points.
Jack DeWulf and Adam Thompson both went 4 for 5 to ignite a 20-hit attack that led the Nevis baseball team to a 15-0 Northland Conference win over Northome-Kelliher Tuesday. Nevis scored three runs the first inning and three runs in the third inning before a six-run seventh inning concluded the scoring.