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Panthers regroup in second half in 67-56 win over Patriots

Gabe Bagstad drove in for a layup over Pequot Lakes' Dylin Ackerman (15) during Friday night's game. Bagstad scored 27 points in leading the Panthers to a 67-56 victory. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

It didn't take long for Pequot Lakes to wipe out a 15-point halftime deficit during Friday night's Mid-State Conference game against the Park Rapids boys basketball team.

It also didn't take the host Panthers long to regroup in a 67-56 victory at the Area High School gym.

Pequot Lakes jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Park Rapids used a 19-3 run to claim a 19-8 advantage en route to a carrying a 32-17 lead into the break.

After the Patriots opened the second half with a 21-2 run to claim a 38-34 lead with 12:34 to play, Park Rapids responded with a 32-11 run in coasting to the win.

"The win for the boys was big, especially since we were sort of in a funk. We had to really talk about some things to help get us back on track," said Park Rapids head coach Matt Brandt, whose team avenged a 64-38 loss at Pequot Lakes on Dec. 12. "When we were at Pequot, we played a tough first half, but we were not shooting the ball the best and did not have a lot of energy. This time, we played with a tremendous amount of effort and energy and it flowed into us hitting some shots. We played hard and played with great emotion. It is always great to see a fist pump and high 5s from the kids on the floor as it shows they are having fun."

Gabe Bagstad's 3-pointer and layup, Tristin Persons' jumper and Jason Haas' layup gave the Panthers a 9-5 lead before a layup and 3-pointer by Persons, a 3-pointer by Bagstad and a layup off a steal by Haas pushed the lead to 19-8 with 8:19 to play in the first half.

After back-to-back layups by Zach Sjoblad, the Panthers built a 32-16 advantage with 3:11 to go in the first half behind a pair of layups by Haas and a pair of three-point plays by Bagstad.

The Patriots, who didn't make a 3-pointer in the first half, opened the second half with three straight 3-pointers by Chase Larson, a layup by Sjoblad, 3-pointers by Sean Ryan and Larson, and inside baskets by Tyler Manley and Sjoblad to claim a 38-34 lead.

Bagstad hit two free throws and Persons responded with a 3-pointer and back-to-back layups to give the Panthers a 43-38 lead with 10:42 to play. Park Rapids would maintain the lead the rest of the game.

Three-pointers by Persons and Bagstad, two layups by Persons, a pair of 3-pointers and a layup by Bagstad, and a jumper by Jake Reish extended the advantage to 66-49 with 1:34 remaining.

"Building the lead in the first half was huge. They really did not have an answer for our defense and we took care of their press, which led to us getting some great looks. Getting steals on top really allowed us to run the floor well," said Brandt. "We talked at halftime that they were going to make a run and how we responded to the run was going to make the difference in the game. They came out red hot and erased our lead quick. When Gabe hit the two free throws and Tristin hit the 3 to put us back up, I knew we were going to go as we had answered their run. The kids played right through it and never backed down."

Bagstad finished with 27 points and four steals, Persons added 22 points and four rebounds, and Haas chipped in 13 points, six assists and five steals for the Panthers. The win lifted Park Rapids to 3-3 in the conference and 10-7 overall.

Sjoblad (19) and Larson (18) hit double figures for the Patriots, who fell to 6-2 in conference games and 11-5 overall. Pequot Lakes still leads the conference standings while Detroit Lakes is second with a 4-2 mark.

"I was so proud of the kids. They had been through a lot in the week leading up to Pequot. We talked about bringing the fun back to basketball and that we needed to play to win instead of not playing to lose," said Brandt. "We were less tense and everything the kids did on the court was done with a purpose. Another big factor that helped out was our bench was loud and supportive of the kids and the home crowd really got into the game. Our guys really fed off of that energy."

PEQUOT LAKES: Larson 6 1-2 18, Magnuson 1 0-0 2, Ryan 1 4-8 7, Sjoblad 9 1-3 19, Manley 2 0-3 4, Miska 3 0-0 6. Totals: 22 (FG), 6 for 16 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Renneberg 0 0-0 0, Ja. Haas 4 5-7 13, Johnson 0 1-3 1, Persons 9 1-2 22, Pickar 0 0-0 0, Novak 0 0-0 0, Reish 2 0-2 4, Kosel 0 0-0 0, Je. Haas 0 0-0 0, Clark 0 0-0 0, Ohm 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 for 53 (FG), 11 for 19 (FT).

Halftime: Park Rapids 32, Pequot Lakes 17. Three-pointers: Larson 5, Ryan 1, Bagstad 5, Persons 3. Rebounds: Park Rapids 15 (Persons 4, Ja. Haas 3, Bagstad 2, Johnson 2, Novak 1, Reish 1, Je. Haas 1, Renneberg 1). Assists: Park Rapids 15 (Ja. Haas 6, Je. HAas 3, Persons 3, Bagstad 2, Johnson 1). Steals: Park Rapids 17 (Ja. Haas 5, Bagstad 4, Johnson 3, Persons 2, Novak 1, Je. Haas 1, Renneberg 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 2 (Reish 1, Ja. Haas 1). Team fouls: Park Rapids 13.

PELICAN RAPIDS: Schermerhorn 2 0-0 5, Korf 4 1-2 11, Christenson 2 0-0 4, Gottenborg 8 3-6 19, Sjolie 3 2-3 8, Osborne 3 1-4 8, Kress 1 0-0 2, Such 3 0-1 6, Rutherford 1 0-0 2. Totals: 27 (FG), 7 for 16 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Reish 1 0-1 2, Je. Haas 0 0-0 0, Ja. Haas 4 0-2 8, Bagstad 2 0-0 4, Persons 9 1-2 23, Novak 0 0-0 0, Kosel 1 0-0 3, Renneberg 1 0-2 2, Clark 1 0-0 3, Johnson 1 2-3 5, Pickar 0 0-1 0, Arola 0 0-0 0. Totals: 20 for 50 (FG), 3 for 11 (FT).

Halftime: Pelican Rapids 31, Park Rapids 26. Three-pointers: Schermerhorn 1, Korf 2, Osborne 1, Persons 4, Kosel 1, Clark 1, Johnson 1. Rebounds: Park Rapids 24 (Renneberg 5, Je. Haas 4, Bagstad 4, Reish 3, Ja. Haas 2, Pickar 2, Novak 1, Kosel 1, Clark 1, Johnson 1). Assists: Park Rapids 4 (Ja. Haas 2, Reish 1, Bagstad 1). Steals: Park Rapids 4 (Bagstad 2, Ja. Haas 1, Johnson 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 1 (Renneberg). Team fouls: Park Rapids 14. Turnovers: Park Rapids 19.