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Bagstad leads Panthers past Pillager in opener

Gabe Bagstad's 25 points, eight rebounds and eight steals led the way as the Park Rapids boys basketball team opened the season with a 54-36 win at Pillager Friday night.

Tristin Persons added 15 points and four steals while Jake Reish and Shawn Ohm pulled down five rebounds apiece for the Panthers, who led 22-17 at the half. Jeff Haas also had four steals as the Panthers finished with 20 steals in the game while turning the ball over only nine times.

Spencer Schaefer (9) and Braeden Wangsness (8) combined for 17 points for the Huskies.

"It was awesome to open the season with a win," said Park Rapids head coach Matt Brandt. "I told the kids that this game was so important for us to get our confidence up and I needed them to play at mid-season form. We came out a little flat, but then we ramped it up and had fun and played really well. The kids were ecstatic about the win, but they realize that they didn't play their best."

PARK RAPIDS: Reish 2 2-2 6, Kosel 0 0-0 0, Je. Haas 1 0-0 2, Renneberg 0 0-0 0, Ja. Haas 1 2-2 4, Bagstad 11 1-1 25, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Persons 5 2-3 15, Ohm 1 -00 2. Totals: 21 for 52 (FG), 7 for 8 (FT).

PILLAGER: Schaefer 9, Wangsness 8, Swenson 5, Doss 5, Thomsen 4, Woidyla 3, Anderson 2.

Halftime: Park Rapids 22, Pillager 17. Three-pointers: Bagstad 2, Persons 3. Rebounds: Park Rapids 31 (Bagstad 8, Reish 5, Ohm 5, Ja. Haas 4, Persons 3, Je. Haas 2, Renneberg 2, Johnson 2). Steals: Park Rapids 20 (Bagstad 8, Je. Haas 4, Persons 4, Johnson 2, Ja. Haas 1, Ohm 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 3 (Reish 1, Je. Haas 1, Ohm 1). Team fouls: Park Rapids 18. Fouled out: Renneberg. Turnovers: Park Rapids 9.

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