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A 58-40 loss to Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton in the regular-season finale Friday night dropped the Park Rapids boys basketball team to the No. 14 seed for the Section 8AA tournament. The Panthers, who ended the regular season with a 4-22 record, will open the playoffs by traveling to No. 3 Crookston (16-10) for a 7 p.m. tip-off Thursday night. Crookston defeated the Panthers 74-41 on Dec. 15.
All six members of the Park Rapids boys swimming and diving team were looking to advance to the finals at the state Class A meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Two of those accomplished that goal while five helped set school records. Sophomore Spencer Fritze earned all-state honors by finishing seventh in diving with 340.25 points while freshman Marcus Benson finished 11th in the 100-yard backstroke with a 54.94 to break the school record during Saturday's finals.
Park Rapids' Ashton Clark, Justin Dravis and Cody Dravis were expected to contend for individual state titles at this year's state Class A wrestling tournament. All three competed at state the last two seasons and all three were rated in the state Class A polls the entire season. Clark and Justin Dravis were also looking to repeat as state medalists.
United North Central's Toby Hintzman brought home a medal in his first trip while Ben Johnson just missed earning a medal in his second state trip to the state Class A wrestling tournament. Hintzman placed fifth at 160 pounds during Saturday's finals at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul while Johnson was defeated in Saturday's consolation quarterfinals to miss placing in the 126-pound bracket.
Menahga stayed alive while Park Rapids was eliminated in section girls basketball play Saturday. Menahga, the No. 2 seed in the North half of Section 5A, opened the tournament with a 61-22 win over No. 7 McGregor Thursday night at Menahga and a 58-43 win over No. 3 Pine River-Backus Saturday night at Crosby. The Braves played No. 1 Cromwell Tuesday night at Crosby in the North championship game.
Park Rapids' Ashton Clark, Justin Dravis and Cody Dravis won medals during Saturday's finals of the Minnesota state Class A wrestling tournament. Clark was denied a state title with a 3-0 loss to United South Central's Blake Legred in the 106-pound championship match. Legred's nearfall in the third period was the only scoring as Clark ended his sophomore season with a 39-3 record.
Park Rapids sophomore Spencer Fritze earned all-state honors by placing seventh in diving during Saturday's finals of the state Class A boys swimming and diving meet at the University of Minnesota Aquatic Center. Fritze, who was in fifth place after Thursday's semifinal round, finished with 340.25 points to earn 12 points. Simley's Ebenezer Obo won the state title with 436.45 points.
Menahga received the No. 8 seed and will host No. 9 Laporte as the Section 5A North boys basketball playoffs begin. The Braves (11-14 on the season) host Laporte (4-21) Monday night at 7 in a play-in game. The winner advances to play at No. 1 Nevis (24-1) Thursday night at 7. In the Section 8AA tournament, Park Rapids (4-22) received the No. 14 seed and will travel to No. 3 Crookston (16-10) in the opener Thursday night at 7. The winner advances to play either No. 6 Hawley (9-15) or No. 11 Bagley (10-16) at Concordia College Saturday night at 7:30.
Park Rapids sophomore Ashton Clark won his semifinal match Saturday morning and will wrestle for the state Class A title at 106 pounds at 6:30 p.m. at the Xcel Energy Center. Clark used a first-period takedown and nearfall and a pair of escapes in the third period for a 7-4 minor decision over Grand Meadow's Jackson Hale in the semifinals. Clark will wrestle United South Central's Blake Legred in the championship match. Two other Park Rapids wrestlers were defeated in semifinal matches.
An 18-game winning streak and 23-1 overall record kept the Nevis boys basketball team in the No. 2 spot in this week's state Class A poll. Minneapolis North (24-2) returned to the No. 1 spot while Heritage Christian (21-5) at No. 3, Central Minnesota Christian (22-3) at No. 4, Goodhue (24-3) at No. 5, Springfield (23-2) at No. 6, Red Lake (21-4) at No. 7, Spring Grove (22-3) at No. 8, Ada-Borup (22-3) at No. 9 and Red Rock Central (22-2) at No. 10 rounded out the top 10.