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Schaefer, Pillager spoil Panthers' home opener

Jake Reish was fouled on a drive to the basket during Park Rapids' home opener against Pillager Tuesday night. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Spencer Shaefer's three-point play to open the game set the tone as Pillager led from start to finish in a 61-44 victory to spoil the home opener for the Park Rapids boys basketball team Tuesday night (Dec. 4) at the Area High School gym.

Schaefer scored three more times inside, Ty Swenson turned a steal into a layup and AJ Gratke hit a 3-pointer as the Huskies jumped out to a 20-10 lead with 7:18 to play in the first half. Layups by Gabe Bagstad and Tristin Persons and a basket off a rebound by Preston Renneberg led Park Rapids in the early going.

Park Rapids closed the half with a 12-6 run as Bagstad's layup off a steal and layups by Jake Reish and Bagstad cut the gap to 26-22 at the half.

Three-pointers by Carson Vanvickle and Griffin Decker pushed Pillager's lead to 39-25 with 11:57 to play. A jumper by Nick Michaelson, a layup by Bagstad and a 3-pointer by Persons kept the Panthers within 45-38 with 6:08 remaining before Pillager sealed the win with an 11-1 run as a three-point play by Swenson and a 3-pointer by Eli Shingledecker made it 56-39 with 4:13 left.

Neither team shot well at the free-throw line as Park Rapids made 21 of 38 attempts and the Huskies went 17 for 33 as each team was whistled for 26 fouls.

Bagstad (12), Persons (12) and Reish (11) scored in double figures for the Panthers, who made only 11 of 47 shots. Michaelson grabbed nine rebounds in his varsity debut while Reish and Kolby Brandt had eight rebounds apiece. Persons led the way with five steals and two assists as the Panthers fell to 0-2 on the season.

Schaefer scored 17 points and Swenson added 10 points to lead the Huskies in their season opener.

PILLAGER: Beard 0 0-0 0, Vanvickle 1 2-4 5, Swenson 3 3-5 10, Schaefer 6 5-8 17, Gratke 1 2-2 5, Woidyla 2 1-5 5, Decker 1 1-2 4, Bentson 3 3-7 9, Jensen 1 0-0 3, Shingledecker 1 0-0 3. Totals: 19 for 65 (FG), 17 for 33 (FT).

PARK RAPIDS: Haas 1 0-2 2, Bagstad 4 4-6 12, Karger 0 1-4 1, Persons 2 7-10 12, K. Brandt 0 0-0 0, Stewart 0 0-0 0, Reish 2 7-11 11, Renneberg 1 0-1 2, Michaelson 1 2-4 4, Ohm 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 for 47 (FG), 21 for 38 (FG).

Halftime: Pillager 26, Park Rapids 22. Three-pointers: Vanvickle 1, Swenson 1, Decker 1, Gratke 1, Jensen 1, Shingledecker 1, Persons 1. Team fouls: Pillager 26, Park Rapids 26. Fouled out: Bagstad. Rebounds: Park Rapids 40 (Michaelson 9, Reish 8, K. Brandt 8, Ohm 5, Renneberg 3, Persons 3, Haas 2, Bagstad 2). Assists: Park Rapids 6 (Persons 2, Reish 1, Haas 2, Karger 1, Michaelson 1). Steals: Park Rapids 9 (Persons 5, Bagstad 2, Haas 1, Michaelson 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 3 (Karger 1, Michaelson 1, Ohm 1).