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The United North Central wrestling team used 10 forfeits and four pins to coast to a pair wins at Menahga. The Warriors relied on five forfeits, two pins and four decisions in rolling to a 56-9 victory over Wadena-Deer Creek on Jan. 15 and followed with five forfeits, two pins and a pair of decisions in cruising to a 50-17 win over Walker-Hackensack-Akeley/Nevis on Jan. 17.
Menahga's defense set the tone in the first half as the Braves defeated Henning 45-32 Jan. 18 at Menahga in a battle of the top girls basketball teams in the Park Region Conference. The Braves led 26-8 at the half in improving to 8-0 in the conference and 15-0 overall. Henning fell to 6-2 in conference play and 9-6 overall.
Cody Dravis captured the title at 160 pounds as the Park Rapids wrestling team placed 10th at the Thief River Falls Air Force National Guard Invitational on Jan. 19. Dravis, who was rated No. 3 at 170 in the latest state Class AA poll, pinned all three of his opponents to score 28 points and improve to 20-2 on the season. Also placing for the Panthers were Jack Hensel (fourth at 182), Kian Scott (fifth at 195) and Hunter Carnell (eighth at 285).
Park Rapids' Spencer Fritze and Marcus Benson put themselves in solid position to return to the state Class A boys swimming and diving meet after posting winning and runner-up performances at the Section 5A True Team meet at Sartell on Jan. 19. Fritze led the field in diving with 447.95 points while Benson was the runner-up in the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 57.03. Both qualified for state in those events last season. Sartell will host the Section 5A meet on Feb. 22-23.
Crookston used an 11-0 run during a game-ending 20-2 spurt to rally for a 55-44 victory over the Park Rapids boys basketball team at Crookston on Jan. 15. The Pirates led 24-22 at the half before Park Rapids used an 8-0 run to claim a 32-26 lead. The Panthers held a 42-35 advantage with 5:11 to play before Crookston responded with an 11-0 run to take a 46-42 lead. The Pirates hit five free throws down the stretch to preserve the win.
Mason Johnson sparked a 13-2 run to start the second half and Adnew Stueven sparked a 12-0 run to end the game that lifted Northome-Kelliher to a 78-62 Northland Conference win over the Nevis boys basketball team at the Tiger Arena on Jan. 18.
Shane Donovan's four goals and Jeremiah Smythe's 45 saves sparked Northern Lakes to a 7-3 Mid-State Conference win over the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley boys hockey team Jan. 17 at the Breezy Point Hockey Arena. The Panthers rallied to within 4-3 before Donovan completed his hat trick with a pair of goals in the third period to seal the win.
Goalie Kylee Pachel kept the games close as the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis-Walker-Hackensack-Akeley girls hockey team suffered back-to-back shutouts at home. Pachel made 69 saves in a 3-0 Mid-State Conference loss to Northern Lakes at the Walker Area Community Center on Jan. 17 and followed with 72 saves in a 6-0 Section 8A loss to East Grand Forks Jan. 19 at the Ted O. Johnson Ice Arena.
Experience topped exuberance when Park Rapids and Nevis met in a girls basketball game Jan. 17 at the Area High School gym. Park Rapids featured a veteran lineup with five seniors and two juniors playing the majority of the minutes while the Tigers countered with a young squad of one senior, one junior, one sophomore, two freshmen and two eighth graders. Experience prevailed as the Panthers used a 28-4 run starting early in the first half to break open a close game in a 74-45 victory.
Alyssa Peterson hit seven 3-pointers and scored 28 points in leading the Menahga girls basketball team to a 62-15 Park Region Conference victory at Pillager on Jan. 15. Tara Hendrickson (11) and Cierra Ahlf (9) combined for 20 points with Ahlf leading the Braves with 10 rebounds and five assists. Janie Tormanen chipped in seven rebounds and three assists while Peterson had five steals and Megan Hendrickson had four steals. The Braves made 10 of 25 3-pointers and outscored the Huskies 21-2 in the second half.