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After not coaching any wrestlers at the state Class AA tournament last season, Matt Clark will accompany four Park Rapids wrestlers to the state Class A tournament this week. Seniors Jared Nash, John Drury and Kenny Weaver and junior Danny Pike earned their first trips to state with runner-up finishes at Saturday's Section 8A tournament at Glyndon. Nash, the No. 1 seed, won a true-second match to advance at 171 pounds. Drury, the No. 2 seed, finished second at 189. Weaver, the No. 2 seed, also finished second at heavyweight. Pike, the No.
Senior Night turned out to be a memorable night for Hailey Lundin and Hannah Wolff. Lundin and Wolff, the two seniors on this year's Park Rapids girls basketball team, had never won a Mid-State Conference game during their varsity careers. That streak ended Friday night at the Area High School gym as the Panthers snapped a 31-game losing streak in conference games with a 53-47 victory over Detroit Lakes. Led by Wolff's game-high 24 points and four 3-pointers by Alyssa Carlson in the second half, the Panthers rallied for their first conference win since defeating Wadena-Deer Creek 63-61 i
Friday's preliminaries of the Section 3A meet at Detroit Lakes went well for the nine members of the Park Rapids boys swimming team. The Panthers clocked 14 season-best times in 18 races and advanced to the consolation finals in six individual events and all three relays. After Saturday's finals, the Panthers finished 13th in the team standings with 67 points.
Hunter Aubol made 33 saves as East Grand Forks ended the season for the Park Rapids-Menahga boys hockey team with a 5-1 win in a Section 8A quarterfinal game Friday night at East Grand Forks. East Grand Forks, the No. 3 seed, opened the scoring on Casey Ristau's goal just 1:59 into the game. The Panthers tied it at the 7:02 mark when Tucker Coborn set up Levi Erickson. Park Rapids held a 13-9 edge in shots in the opening period. The No. 6-seeded Panthers continued to attack the net in the second period by holding a 10-4 edge in shots.
Four players scored in double figures and 12 players scored in the game in leading Pequot Lakes to a 79-29 Mid-State Conference boys basketball victory over Park Rapids Thursday night at the Area High School gym. Pequot Lakes jumped out to a 14-2 lead and would lead by double digits the rest of the game. A layup by Paul Dirks, jumpers by Dirks and Max Brown, and a 3-pointer by Dirks accounted for Park Rapids' scoring in the early going as Pequot Lakes led 22-9 with 6:17 to play in the first half. A layup by Brown, two free throws by Kyle Goplerud and a 3-pointer by Taylor Kimball account
Elisa Moenkedick led the way in the first half and Becky Stoll took over the scoring duties in the second half in leading Perham to a 75-45 victory over the Park Rapids girls basketball team Monday night at Perham. Moenkedick scored 12 points in the first half as Perham carried a 33-24 lead into the break and Stoll scored 11 points in the second as the Yellowjackets sealed the win with a 42-21 run. Moenkedick finished with 21 points and 18 rebounds while Stoll scored 15 points as Perham improved to 19-5. Hannah Wolff led the Panthers with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Two late-season wins against Section 5A opponents weren't enough to earn the Menahga girls basketball team a home playoff game. Menahga - which ended the season with a 54-45 win over Verndale last Friday night, a 69-54 win over Browerville Monday night and a 69-52 loss to Eagle Valley Tuesday night - received the No. 9 seed in the West half of the Section 5A tournament and will open at No. 8 Browerville Tuesday night at 7. The winner of that game plays at No. 1 Bertha-Hewitt Thursday night at 7. The Braves enter the playoffs with a 7-17 overall record.
The Nevis girls basketball team closed out the regular season with a 44-31 Northwoods Conference win over Blackduck last Friday night at the Tiger Arena. Riley Hanson (12), Becca Gunkel (9), Paige Walters (9), Bettsy Hjelseth (7) and Mandy Allman (7) led a balanced attack for the Tigers. Nevis improved to 11-3 in the conference and 18-8 overall while Blackduck fell to 2-12 in conference play and 3-19 overall. The Tigers received the No. 5 seed in the West and will open the Section 5A playoffs at No. 4 Pine River-Backus Thursday night at 7.
While both were satisfying, the last two wins for the Park Rapids girls basketball team couldn't have been more different. The Panthers relied on offense to prevail in a thrilling 74-70 double-overtime victory over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley on Feb. 11. The 74 points were the most scored by a Park Rapids girls basketball team since a 98-37 win over Red Lake in a Section 8AA playoff game in February of 2005. Thursday night at the Area High School gym, the Panthers relied on defense and led from start to finish in a 46-33 victory over Frazee.
Park Rapids' Kyja Penning and Kirsten Erickson capped off their senior season with solid performances at Saturday's Section 8A gymnastics meet at Perham. Penning was the Panthers' top performer in three individual events and finished 14th in all-around as Park Rapids finished fifth in the team standings with 119.30 points. That team score was the second highest for the Panthers this season. Perham led the seven-team field with 151.65 points to win its eighth consecutive section title while Detroit Lakes was second with 148.575 points.