The quest of the Park Rapids girls basketball team to go undefeated in Mid-State Conference play ended with a 70-62 loss to Pequot Lakes at the Area High School gym on Tuesday, Jan. 14.
Park Rapids took control early as layups by Holly Johnson, Paige Johnson and Rilee Michaelson, consecutive 3-pointers by Tori Weaver, and two layups by Abby Morris produced a 16-6 lead with 14:15 to go in the first half. Maci Martini countered by scoring off a rebound and hitting a 3-pointer before a 3-pointer by Hannah Morgan and layups by Michaelson and Paige Johnson gave the Panthers a 23-17 lead at the 9:54 mark.
After Pequot Lakes tied the game at 23-23, layups by Paige Johnson and Michaelson gave the Panthers a 27-24 edge with 4:38 remaining in the first half. Carly Chaney’s 3-pointer gave the Patriots a 31-27 lead before a layup by Morgan made it 31-29 at the half.
A layup by Michaelson and a basket off a rebound by Paige Johnson helped the Panthers tie the game at 33-33 with 17:10 to play before a layup by Lauren Schultz and a 3-pointer by Martini gave Pequot Lakes a 38-33 edge at the 15:42 mark. The Patriots would not trail again.
Park Rapids used a layup by Michaelson and a 3-pointer by Morgan to stay within 42-40 with 14:31 to play while a jumper by Michaelson and a layup off a steal by Weaver kept the Panthers within 54-50 with 7:46 remaining.
Two inside baskets by Martini, a layup by Schultz, a layup off a steal by Afton Crocker, a 3-pointer by Martini and another layup by Crocker gave Pequot Lakes a 69-55 advantage with 2:28 to play. Two layups by Morris and a 3-pointer by Michaelson concluded the scoring for the Panthers.
Michaelson’s double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds along with six assists and six steals led the Panthers, who committed 32 turnovers in the game. Weaver scored 10 points and Paige Johnson had five rebounds and five steals as the Panthers fell to 3-1 in the conference and 5-10 overall.
Martini (19), Schultz (14) and Crocker (12) scored in double figures as the Patriots overcame 31 turnovers to improve to 3-2 in conference play and 7-9 overall.
Detroit Lakes’ 54-50 win over Crosby-Ironton on Jan. 14 forced a three-way tie for first place in the conference as those two teams join Park Rapids with 3-1 records.