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After producing a winning season for the first time in almost a decade, Tina Ridlon is looking for the Park Rapids girls basketball team to make than an annual accomplishment. A year ago, the Panthers went 17-10 for their best record since going 20-5 during the 2005-06 campaign. Although Park Rapids graduated four key players off that team, Ridlon is hoping the returning players can build off that success.
With the return of his top eight players, Mike Lien is counting on an improved season from the Nevis girls basketball team. A year ago, the Tigers finished fifth in the Northwoods Conference standings with a 6-8 record and received the No. 8 seed in the north half for the Section 5A tournament. The Tigers defeated No. 9 Northland Remer 73-71 before being eliminated with an 84-59 loss to No. 1 Browerville to cap off an 11-17 season.
Steve Schreiber is hoping an up-tempo style will lead to more wins for the Menahga girls basketball team this season. The Braves return eight of the 15 players from last year’s team that finished fifth in the Park Region Conference with a 3-9 record while going 10-16 overall. Menahga received the No. 7 seed in the north half for the Section 5A tournament and opened with a 58-52 win over No. 10 Bertha-Hewitt before being eliminated with a 52-38 loss to No. 2 Sebeka.
A 3-pointer by Michael Landquist and three-point plays and Landquist and Griffin Chase sparked a 13-0 run midway through the first half that broke open a close game as the Nevis boys basketball team opened the season with a 74-34 win over Northland Remer Monday night at the Tiger Arena. Chase scored 11 points as the Tigers led 17-12 before taking control with their 13-0 run. Chase and Landquist ended the half with 3-pointers as the Tigers carried a 39-20 lead into the break.
East Grand Forks used a 44-8 advantage in shots to spark a 5-1 win over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team in the season opener Tuesday night at East Grand Forks. After a scoreless first period in which the host Green Wave held a 14-1 edge in shots, Park Rapids took a 1-0 lead on a slapshot by Kiefer Miller at the 6:31 mark. Matt DeLaHunt assisted on that goal.
For head coach Steph Hanson, being competitive with the top teams in the area and improving each match led to a successful season for the Park Rapids volleyball team. The Panthers went 3-1 to finish second in the Mid-State Conference, earned the No. 4 seed in the south half of Section 8AA and won a first-round tournament match at home to end with an 11-13-1 overall record.
Even though Park Rapids’ Kayla Andersen, Alyza Edevold, Paige Fritze and Tea Nyland didn’t break any school records, all four ended their high school careers by fulfilling their main goal of reaching the finals at the state Class A girls swimming meet. Those four qualified for the state meet in five events and were able to advance to the finals in four of them after Thursday’s preliminaries at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. During Friday’s finals, the Panthers tied Bemidji for 20th place with 30
International Falls and Thief River Falls combined to outscore the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team 12-1 in back-to-back games. Amber Tilander’s hat trick in the second period sparked International Falls to a 5-0 win at International Falls last Tuesday night.
After graduating three top scorers, the Park Rapids boys basketball team will be relying on defense to produce victories this season. Last season, the Panthers averaged 61.9 points a game behind the scoring of seniors Jordan McCollum (who averaged 18.6 points and 7.3 rebounds a game), Derek Porozinski (who averaged 13.4 points and 5.6 rebounds a game), Nick Lopez (who averaged 7.3 points a game) and Riley Massie (who averaged 3.0 points a game).
Even though four key players from last year’s historic season graduated, Scott Kramer is counting on the Nevis boys basketball team to make a run at repeating as Section 5A champions. A year ago, the senior crew of Gavin Becker, Courtland Chase, Kevin Hale and Brett Byer led the Tigers to their first section title and first appearance in the state Class A tournament. Becker averaged 17.3 points and 6.0 rebounds a game, Chase averaged 8.4 points and 5.8 rebounds a game and Hale averaged 7.3 points and 5.1 rebounds a game as starters.