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Damon Howard's seventh 3-pointer of the game and a pair of inside baskets by Kirby Hrdlicka gave the Menahga boys basketball team a 63-61 overtime win over Park Rapids in the semifinals of the Park Rapids Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27. This game featured six ties and 10 lead changes before the Braves ended overtime on a 10-5 run to rally for the win.
Goalie Klohie Mankie made 23 saves and tallied an assist as the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team edged Grand Forks 4-3 at the Crookston Holiday Classic on Dec. 27. After a scoreless first period, a power-play goal by Taylor Sagen at the 6:39 mark and a goal by Alexa Kennedy at the 8:46 mark gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead. Kennedy assisted on Sagen's goal.
Nevis' Megan Norby played in 26 matches as a serving specialist for the University of Minnesota-Duluth women's volleyball team this season. Norby capped off her junior season with 19 ace serves and 21 service errors in 81 sets. Norby also had 27 digs and one set assist. Norby had a season-high four digs in a win over Concordia-St. Paul on Sept. 30 and served two aces in wins over Crookston on Sept. 15, Upper Iowa on Sept. 23 and Moorhead on Oct. 15. Norby also was named to the NSIC All-Academic Team for having at least a 3.20 GPA.
Park Rapids' Megan Grimes started all 26 matches for the St. Olaf women's volleyball team this season. Grimes, a sophomore outside hitter, finished second on the team with 255 kills and averaged 2.80 kills per set. In 91 sets, Grimes had 45 digs, 41 total blocks (four solo and 37 assists), two ace serves and two set assists. In 11 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matches, Grimes had 94 kills (2.54 per set), 19 digs, 17 total blocks (one solo and 16 assists) and one service ace. The Oles went 1-10 in conference matches and 10-16 overall.
Nevis' Hannah Bliss made an immediate impact as a member of the Mayville State University women's volleyball team. Bliss, a freshman outside hitter, played in all 36 matches and was second on the team in kills with 316 and tied for third on the team in total blocks with 51.
Eight Nevis volleyball players received Northland Conference honors as the Tigers claimed the conference title with an undefeated record. Senior middle hitter Hannah Anderson, senior libero Vanessa Byer, sophomore setter Andrea Dudley and sophomore middle hitter Ashley Pyburn earned all-conference honors while senior right-side hitter Emma Bliss, senior outside hitter Cielo Mooney, senior defensive specialist Madisyn Lucas and junior outside hitter Montana Baker received all-conference honorable mention honors.
Damon Howard hit four 3-pointers and scored 24 points in leading the Menahga boys basketball team to a 69-32 win over Frazee on Dec. 20. Al Pietila added 15 points and three steals while Luke Wurdock had 11 points, six assists and three steals. Kirby Hrdlicka pulled down 10 rebounds and had three steals, Howard had seven rebounds and Owen Anderson had six rebounds as the Braves improved to 2-5. Frazee fell to 0-6. FRAZEE: Parsons 9, Santos 6, Hoffman 5, Hughes 4, Courneya 4, Nolan 4.
Riley Hanson's collegiate volleyball career ended the same way it began. Hanson helped Concordia-St. Paul win the NCAA Division II national title for the second time during her four-year career. The middle blocker from Nevis was a starter her freshman season when the Golden Bears won the national title for the seventh consecutive season and completed her fourth year in the starting lineup as Concordia-St. Paul capped a 35-2 season by winning another national championship.
Gabby Olson's shorthanded goal early in the second period proved to be the game-winner in Prairie Centre's 3-1 Mid-State Conference victory over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team at Long Prairie on Dec. 20. Prairie Centre took a 1-0 lead after a penalty-plagued first period on Abby Ecker's goal at the 13:55 mark. Both teams were whistled for five penalties in the opening period.
Park Rapids' Lydia Lutz capped off her collegiate career by running in the final four meets while Park Rapids' Megan Olson began her collegiate running career by competing in the first three meets for the University of North Dakota women's cross-country team. Lutz was UND's No. 2 runner at the Big Sky Conference Championships Oct. 28 at Moscow, Idaho with a 5K time of 19:26. The Fighting Hawks finished 12th as a team with 313 points. Northern Arizona won the conference title with 48 points.