Pelican Rapids put together a dominant first half to eliminate the Park Rapids girls basketball team from the Section 8AA tournament.

The defending section champions extended leads of 12-1 and 27-3 to 36-8 at the half in coasting to a 56-27 victory over the Panthers at Pelican Rapids on Friday, March 19.

Greta Tollefson’s three inside baskets and 3-pointer gave the Vikings a 12-1 lead with 13:13 to play in the first half. Layups by Tollefson, Anna Stephenson, Ellie Welch and Sophia Paulson made it 20-3 at the 9:18 mark before 3-pointers by Morgan Korf and Tollefson pushed the lead to 27-3 with 6:01 remaining. The Panthers managed only free throws by Abby Morris, Tori Weaver and Mickey Clark to start the game.

Chloe Tretbar scored off a rebound to give the Panthers their first field goal with 5:38 remaining in the first half. Clark followed with a 3-pointer to make it 31-8 at the 3:49 mark before a 3-pointer by Korf and a layup by Welch gave Pelican Rapids a 36-8 cushion at the break.

A 3-pointer by Paulson and baskets by Stephenson, Allie Haiby and Vanessa Booth extended the lead to 47-10 with 9:59 to play as the Vikings were content to run time off the clock. Mady Maninga’s layup accounted for Park Rapids’ lone points during that 11-2 run.

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Maninga followed with a jumper and Hannah Morgan converted a steal into a layup before Gabi Shepersky hit a 3-pointer as Park Rapids trailed 49-18 with 6:52 remaining. Morgan concluded the scoring for the Panthers by hitting three 3-pointers to make it 51-27 with 3:03 left.

Tollefson scored all of her 18 points in the first half while Stephenson finished with 13 points to lead the Vikings, the No. 1 seed in the South. Pelican Rapids, which defeated Fergus Falls 43-41 in last year’s section championship game, improved to 18-1 with their 12th win in a row.

The Panthers, the No. 3 seed in the North, was led by Morgan’s 11 points, three rebounds and three steals. Park Rapids, which made 9 of 48 shots, ended the season with a 7-11 record.

In the other Section 8AA quarterfinal games, Fergus Falls defeated Roseau 73-41, Barnesville eliminated Crookston 54-46 and Hawley ousted Breckenridge 61-43.

PARK RAPIDS: Morris 0 1-2 1, Clark 1 1-2 4, Weaver 0 1-2 1, Davis 0 0-2 0, Tretbar 1 0-0 2, Lopez 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 1-2 1, Maninga 2 0-1 4, Morgan 4 0-0 11, Yliniemi 0 0-0 0, Shepersky 1 0-0 3, Persons 0 0-0 0, Harmon 0 0-0 0, Lund 0 0-2 0. Totals: 9 for 48 (FG), 4 for 13 (FT).
PELICAN RAPIDS: Tollefson 7 2-2 18, Stephenson 4 4-6 13, Korf 2 0-0 6, Paulson 2 0-0 5, Welch 2 0-2 4, Haiby 2 0-0 4, Booth 1 0-0 2, Isaman 1 0-0 2, Olson 1 0-0 2, Stewart 0 0-1 0, Guler 0 0-2 0. Totals: 22 for 46 (FG), 6 for 13 (FT).
Halftime: Pelican Rapids 36, Park Rapids 8. Three-pointers: Clark 1, Morgan 3, Shepersky 1, Tollefson 2, Stephenson 1, Korf 2, Paulson 1. Rebounds: Park Rapids 12 (Morgan 3, Davis 2, Maninga 2, Weaver 2, Johnson 1, Persons 1, Tretbar 1). Assists: Park Rapids 1 (Morgan). Steals: Park Rapids 8 (Morgan 3, Davis 2, Lopez 1, Maninga 1, Persons 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 1 (Weaver). Turnovers: Park Rapids 15, Pelican Rapids 6.