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Inconsistency on the offensive side of the ball resulted in a .500 record for the United North Central football team this season. The Warriors had to rebuild at several key positions following last year's first Section 8AA title for the Menahga and Sebeka cooperative and a trip to the semifinals of the state Class AA playoffs. Despite having to move players around, the Warriors went 4-4 during the regular season before advancing to the section semifinals to finish with a 5-5 overall record.
The most productive first-half offensive performance of the season propelled the Park Rapids boys basketball team to a 63-58 victory over Wadena-Deer Creek Thursday night at the Area High School gym. A balanced attack gave the Panthers a 41-36 advantage at the break as five different players scored at least 6 points. The 41 points at the half matched or topped the Panthers' final score in five of the previous six games.
No other football team in Minnesota dominated the first halves the way Nevis did this season. Outscoring their opponents 268-0 in the first half and 508-113 overall led the Tigers to an 8-0 record during the regular season and the No. 2 seed for the Section 6 9-man playoffs. Nevis advanced to the section title game, only to see a 28-12 lead with six minutes to play disappear in a 32-28 loss to No. 1 Waubun that put an end to a 10-1 season.
Brett Reed and Josh Maucieri scored two goals each as Northern Lakes remained undefeated in Mid-State Conference play with a 5-1 win over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team Thursday night at Walker. Wyatt Kokesh scored at the 7:41 mark and Reed scored at the 13:55 mark to give the Lightning a 2-0 lead before Caleb Strandlie and Jack Naugle assisted on a goal by Shea Alto at the 15:36 mark as Park Rapids trailed 2-1 after the first period. The Panthers held a 15-7 edge in shots on goal in the opening period.
Four area wrestlers are rated in this week's state Class A poll. Park Rapids' Ashton Clark remains ranked No. 1 at 106 pounds, Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis' Dillon McGee is rated No. 7 at 113, Park Rapids' Cody Dravis is rated No. 6 at 160 and Park Rapids' Justin Dravis is rated No. 4 at 170.
Griffin Chase's 20 first-half points and a solid team defensive effort in the second half propelled the Nevis boys basketball team to a 71-38 win at Bertha-Hewitt on Dec. 20. Chase finished with 33 points for the Tigers, who used a 9-0 run to expand a 36-25 halftime lead to 45-25. Nevis outscored the Bears 35-13 in the second half to improve to 4-0 against Section 5A opponents.
Montana Baker's double-double led the Nevis girls basketball team in a 64-44 loss to Browerville Dec. 17 at the Tiger Arena. Baker had 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals while Emma Bliss added 16 points, nine rebounds and three steals to lead Nevis. Madisyn Lucas had seven steals while Tori Carrier dished out three assists for the Tigers, who turned the ball over 34 times and made only 2 of 14 free throws in falling to 2-3. Browerville improved to 2-4.
Hunter Jewison's layup and Adam Herberg's two free throws in the final :05 gave the Park Rapids boys basketball team a 40-38 win over Bagley Tuesday night at the Century School gym. Bagley led 38-36 when Jewison scored inside to tie the game with :05 remaining. Bagley called a timeout, but the Flyers were out of timeouts and were issued a technical foul. Herberg hit both free throws as the Panthers snapped a five-game losing streak.
Opening the meet with a 1-2 finish in the 200-yard medley relay and ending the meet by going 1-2-3 in the 100 backstroke and 100 breaststroke powered the Park Rapids boys swimming and diving team to a 112-72 victory over Grand Rapids Tuesday night at the Area High School pool. Casimir Simonson, Spencer Fritze, Zach Behrens and Sam Eystad won the 200 medley relay in 1:51.90 and Zach Fritze, Kaleb Carlson, Sam Huot and Marcus Benson followed in 1:58.41 as the Panthers jumped out to a 12-2 lead.
Perham won the battle of ranked wrestling teams Tuesday night. The Yellowjackets, who are ranked No. 6 in the latest state Class AA poll, used three pins and three forfeits to defeat Park Rapids 39-33 at the Area High School gym. The Panthers entered this dual meet rated No. 9 in the state Class A poll. Three forfeits gave Perham an early 18-3 advantage before the Panthers rallied for a 33-33 tie entering the final match.