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Persons sinks Lakers late in season-opener

Jake Bettcher (5) and Jackson Haire (4) battle for a loose ball in a 48-44 season-opening loss to Park Rapids Tuesday night on the road. Vance Carlson / Forum News Service

Both teams battled turnovers but the Panthers’ Tristin Persons made a pair of breakaway buckets late in the game to seal a 48-44 Park Rapids victory over Detroit Lakes in Mid-State Conference boys basketball at Park Rapids Tuesday night.

The Panthers’ victory snapped a 20-game losing streak to DL. The last Park Rapids win came in March 2007, the year the Panthers won all three meetings, including a first round 8AAA playoff win.

Both teams struggled from the field. The Lakers made 13 field goals and were 11-25 (44 percent) from the line. The Panthers were a bit better sinking 15 baskets and were 17-25 (68 percent) at the stripe.

Park Rapids led 21-17 at halftime.


DL’s Jake Bettcher had to play cautiously picking up his fourth foul with seven minutes to go with the Lakers trailing 35-29 after a Gabe Hanninen free throw. Hanninen made the second shot but the point was nullified due to a lane violation.

Conner Froke had a shot at tying the game with a three that did not go late in the half. The Lakers kept the ball but Reed Mace missed the front end of a one-and-one with less than five minutes to play.

Park Rapids forced a turnover and Persons bumped the Panther lead back to five points.

Mace made one of two free throws but Persons had the answer with a pair of baskets to stretch the Panther lead to eight points 43-35 with less than two minutes to play.

Mace and Froke hit late threes for the Lakers in the final minute to no avail.

Gabe Bagstad and Persons led all scorers with 19 and 15 points, respectively. Bettcher had a team-high eight points for DL; Mace added seven points.

Bettcher and Conner Froke each hit twice from the arc. Mace, Tate Kerzman and Hanninen each had one three-point basket.

The Lakers played without starter Tanner Doppler and center Logan Pratt was not at 100 percent.

DL (0-1) will open the home schedule Friday, Dec. 8 against Aitkin (1-0) in a Mid-State Conference game. Park Rapids improves to 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the Mid-State.

DL 17 27 - 44

PR 21 27 - 48

DL: Sam Spry 1, Jacob Bettcher 8, Connor Froke 6, Tate Kerzman 6, Reed Mace 7, Gabe Hanninen 5, Logan Pratt 6, Jake Kerzman 5.

PR: Jake Reish 4, Jeff Haas 1, Preston Renneberg 2, Jason Haas 1, Gabe Bagstad 19, Blake Johnson 2, Tristin Persons 15, Shawn Ohm 4.

Robert Williams

Sports Editor at the Detroit Lakes Tribune. Williams worked prior as the Sports Editor in Perham for the Focus, a Forum Communications newspaper, from 2010-14. 

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