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.
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.