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Weaver, Morgan spark Panthers’ win over Aitkin

The Park Rapids girls basketball team remained atop the Mid-State Conference standings with a 63-39 victory at the Area High School gym.

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Paige Johnson (14) drove to the basket during Park Rapids' 63-39 Mid-State Conference win over Aitkin on Thursday, Jan. 30. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Tori Weaver and Hannah Morgan combined to hit nine 3-pointers and score 32 points in leading the Park Rapids girls basketball team to a 63-39 Mid-State Conference victory over Aitkin at the Area High School gym on Thursday, Jan. 30.

Aitkin held an 11-10 lead with 9:20 to play in the first half despite three layups by Paige Johnson and two inside baskets by Rilee Michaelson. Morgan connected on four 3-pointers and scored on a layup while Katie Burlingame scored off a rebound as the Panthers went on an 18-3 run to claim a 28-14 lead at the 2:38 mark. Park Rapids led 28-18 at the half.

Park Rapids pushed that advantage to 40-19 with 14:08 to play by opening the second half with two 3-pointers and two free throws by Weaver, a putback by Holly Johnson and a layup by Paige Johnson. After the Gobblers cut the margin to 41-27 with 11:05 to play, two layups and a jumper by Michaelson, a pair of 3-pointers by Weaver, and a basket off a rebound by Paige Johnson made it 59-34 with 2:47 left. A layup by Burlingame and a jumper by Olivia Davis capped off the win.

Weaver’s 17 points and Morgan’s 15 points led the Panthers, who also received a double-double from Paige Johnson with 10 points and 12 rebounds. Michaelson also scored in double figures with 10 points while Weaver chipped in nine rebounds and three steals and joined Holly Johnson with three assists. Abby Morris dished out four assists and had two steals while Michaelson (7) and Holly Johnson (6) combined for 13 rebounds.

Rae Nyberg’s 10 points and 18 rebounds and Teagan Piecek’s 10 points led the Gobblers, who went 5 for 23 on 3-pointers and turned the ball over 20 times in falling to 0-6 in conference games and 1-16 overall.

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Park Rapids, which made 9 of 26 3-pointers, defeated the Gobblers 64-50 on Dec. 10. The win kept the Panthers atop the Mid-State standings with a 6-1 record. Detroit Lakes follows at 5-1. Park Rapids improved to 9-11 overall.

AITKIN: Cline 2 1-2 5, Nyberg 4 2-8 10, Piecek 3 3-7 10, McMillan 1 0-0 3, Ehnstrom 2 2-2 8, Westerlund 1 0-0 3. Totals: 13 for 57 (FG), 8 for 19 (FT).
PARK RAPIDS: H. Johnson 1 0-0 2, Morris 0 0-0 0, Weaver 5 2-2 17, P. Johnson 5 0-0 10, Michaelson 5 0-1 10, Burlingame 2 1-4 5, Davis 1 0-0 2, Clark 0 2-2 2, Morgan 5 1-2 15, Borge 0 0-0 0, Knutson 0 0-0 0, Engst 0 0-0 0, Harmon 0 0-0 0, Maninga 0 0-0 0. Totals: 24 for 73 (FG), 6 for 11 (FT).
Halftime: Park Rapids 28, Aitkin 18. Three-pointers: Piecek 1, McMillan 1, Ehnstrom 2, Westerlund 1, Weaver 5, Morgan 4. Team fouls: Aitkin 6, Park Rapids 18. Rebounds: Park Rapids 49 (P. Johnson 12, Weaver 9, Michaelson 7, H. Johnson 6, Morgan 5, Burlingame 5, Clark 2, Morgan 2, Knutson 1). Assists: Park Rapids 18 (Morris 4, Weaver 3, H. Johnson 3, Michaelson 2, Knutson 2, P. Johnson 2, Clark 1, Morgan 1). Steals: Park Rapids 9 (Weaver 3, Morris 2, Morgan 1, Michaelson 1, P. Johnson 1, Engst 1). Blocked shots: Park Rapids 1 (Michaelson). Turnovers: Aitkin 20, Park Rapids 14.

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Park Rapids' Christina Engst delivered a pass as Aitkin's Teagan Piecek defended during a Mid-State Conference game at the Area High School gym on Thursday, Jan. 30. Vance Carlson / Enterprise

Related Topics: GIRLS BASKETBALL
1982 Dawson-Boyd High School graduate
1987 Moorhead State University graduate
Sports reporter for Park Rapids Enterprise since 1987
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