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After giving up a game-opening 3-pointer, the Park Rapids girls basketball team took over on the defensive end in a 63-34 win at Bagley on Feb. 12. The Panthers went on a 21-0 run to take charge and improve to 8-1 against Section 8AA opponents. Rilee Michaelson had three layups and a pair of jumpers, Whitney Steffel and Abby Morris hit jumpers, Julia Johnson had a layup, and Natalie Kinkel and Katie Burlingame had layups off steals as the Panthers claimed a 21-3 lead.
For the four seniors on the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis gymnastics team, the Section 8A meet was the perfect way to cap off a successful season. Erin Tooker led the Panthers with an 8.70 in vault, a 7.40 on uneven parallel bars and a 31.95 all-around score. Katie Eischens posted Park Rapids' second-best score on balance beam with a 7.85 while adding a 5.70 on bars. Olivia Ulvin also competed in two events, rounding out the Panthers' team score in floor exercise with a 7.75 and posting a 5.50 on beam. Nelson ended her high school gymnastics career with an 8.00 in vault.
After getting off to a slow start, the Menahga girls basketball team took control midway through the first half in coasting to a 63-23 Park Region Conference victory over Pillager at Menahga on Feb. 15. Two layups by Tara Hendrickson, layups by Martha Peterson, Greta Hillukka and Alyssa Peterson, and a 3-pointer by Cierra Ahlf gave Menahga a 14-8 lead with 8:37 to play in the first half. Three-pointers by Bailey Knoblach and Sam Macheel kept the Huskies close.
United North Central advanced to the semifinals while Park Rapids was eliminated in the first round of the section wrestling tournaments at Thief River Falls on Feb. 16. United North Central, the No. 3 seed, opened with a 63-4 win over No. 6 Fertile-Beltrami in the quarterfinals before being defeated by No. 2 Badger-Greenbush-Middle River 55-13 in the semifinals of the Section 8A tournament. Park Rapids, the No, 9 seed, was eliminated with a 56-24 loss to No. 8 Fergus Falls in a first-round match of the Section 8AA tournament.
Detroit Lakes closed the first half with an 11-0 run and opened the second half with an 8-2 spurt to break open a close game and defeat the Park Rapids boys basketball team 78-42 in a Mid-State Conference game Feb. 14 at the Area High School gym. Park Rapids used a 3-pointer, three-point play and layup by Gabe Bagstad, two baskets by Ty Karger, and a layup by Nick Michaelson to claim a 17-16 lead with 9:44 to play in the first half.
Menahga jumped out to a 17-0 lead and coasted to a 62-19 victory over Browerville-Eagle Valley on Feb. 11 in a rescheduled game to remain undefeated against Section 5A girls basketball teams this season. Cierra Ahlf opened the game by hitting a 3-pointer before two baskets off rebounds by Tara Hendrickson and a layup and jumper by Alyssa Peterson made it 11-0. Peterson then hit back-to-back 3-pointers as the Braves led 17-0 with 13:15 to play in the first half.
After defeating two of the top teams in the Northland Conference, Nevis head coach Scott Kramer was concerned about a letdown against one of the teams in the lower half of the conference standings. The Tigers, who were coming off back-to-back victories over Pine River-Backus and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley, avoided this trap game as Luke DeWulf hit the game-winning layup with 10 seconds to play as Nevis rallied for a 59-58 victory at Blackduck on Feb. 8.
Head coach Cyrus Gust was pleased with the way the Park Rapids-Menahga-Nevis gymnastics team closed out the regular season. The Panthers soared to their highest vault score of the season in a 142.30-122.50 loss at Bemidji on Feb. 11. Despite finishing with an 0-5 record in dual meets, Gust liked the way his team competed in preparation for the Section 8A meet at Perham on Feb. 16.
Adam Tonsfeldt scored 32 points in leading Barnesville to a 70-46 Section 8AA win over the Park Rapids boys basketball team Feb. 9 at the Fargo Civic Center. Kellen Hinsz added 14 points for the Trojans, who improved to 4-4 against section teams and 11-5 overall. Gabe Bagstad scored 16 points while Nick Michaelson had 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Kolby Brandt (8) and Shawn Ohm (7) combined for 15 rebounds while Bagstad (4) and Brandt (3) combined for seven steals as the Panthers fell to 2-5 in section games and 5-12 overall.
After having to forfeit four matches early, the Park Rapids wrestling team relied on three forfeits late to rally for a 40-39 win over Mahnomen-Waubun in the regular-season finale at Waubun on Feb. 12. Eli Burton's first-period pin at 106 pounds and Henry Thorson's forfeit win at 113 gave the Panthers a quick 12-0 advantage. Four forfeits and a pin in the next six matches gave Mahnomen-Waubun a 30-18 lead. Daryl Etter received a forfeit win at 132 for the Panthers.