Rilee Michaelson was a double-double machine in Mid-State Conference play this season.
In nine conference games, the Park Rapids senior center posted seven double-doubles, scoring in double figures in all nine games while having at least 10 rebounds in seven games. Those numbers made Michaelson a unanimous selection as the Mid-State Conference’s Most Valuable Player.
Michaelson was a force against the other conference girls basketball teams by averaging 18.1 points and 11.1 rebounds a game to go along with 27 assists, 27 steals and 15 blocked shots. The senior center shot 43.2% from the field (67 for 155, including going 3 for 18 on 3-pointers) and 50% at the free throw line (26 for 52) in scoring 163 points while grabbing 100 rebounds.
Michaelson’s best game was in a 63-55 win over Detroit Lakes on Jan. 7 with 26 points and 18 rebounds to go along with four steals and three blocked shots. Michaelson also had 24 points and 11 rebounds in a 65-54 victory over Staples-Motley on Jan. 24 and 23 points and 14 rebounds in a 53-44 victory over Crosby-Ironton on Jan. 16. Michaelson dished out six assists with 17 points and 11 rebounds in a 60-57 win over C-I on Feb. 4 and had six assists and six steals along with 19 points and 11 rebounds in a 70-62 loss to Pequot Lakes on Jan. 14.
Three other Panthers were honored by the Mid-State coaches as senior Paige Johnson joined Michaelson as an all-conference player while sophomore Abby Morris and freshman Tori Weaver received all-conference honorable mention honors.
Johnson played in all 10 games, averaging 12.0 points and 8.3 rebounds a game with two double-doubles while scoring in double figures in seven games. The senior forward shot 47.0% from the field (47 for 100, including going 0 for 4 on 3-pointers) and 55.3% at the line (26 for 47) in scoring 120 points while adding 83 rebounds, 37 steals, 25 assists and 10 blocked shots. Johnson had 22 points, 15 rebounds, seven steals and four assists in a 64-50 win over Aitkin on Dec. 10 and 10 points and 12 rebounds in a 63-30 win over Aitkin on Jan. 30.
Weaver scored in double figures in seven games, averaging 10.6 points and 5.2 rebounds in the 10 conference games. The freshman guard made 33.0% of her shots (36 for 109, including 20 for 60 on 3-pointers) and 63.6% of her free throws (14 for 22) in scoring 106 points in her first varsity season. Weaver also had 52 rebounds, 25 assists, 16 steals and four blocked shots. Weaver had conference highs of 17 points and nine rebounds against Aitkin on Jan. 30, five steals in a 62-46 loss to Pequot Lakes on Feb. 20, and four assists against Crosby-Ironton on Feb. 4 and in a 56-49 win over Staples-Motley on Dec. 6.
Morris also played in all 10 conference games as the starting point guard, averaging 5.5 points and 3.4 assists a game. Morris shot 36.6% from the field (15 for 41, including 3 for 14 on 3-pointers) and 52.3% on free throws (22 for 42) in scoring 55 points. Morris also had 34 assists, 24 steals, 22 rebounds and three blocked shots. Morris scored 11 points against Pequot Lakes on Feb. 20, scored 10 points against Detroit Lakes on Jan. 7, and had five assists and five steals against Crosby-Ironton on Jan. 16.
Those four helped Park Rapids tie for runner-up honors in the conference standings with a 7-3 record. Detroit Lakes won the Mid-State title with a 9-1 mark. Crosby-Ironton went 5-5 while Staples-Motley (2-8) and Aitkin (0-10) followed.