Park boys basketball: Wolfpack to face No. 1 Apple Valley, Jones in opener
The Park boys basketball team kept it close with Forest Lake in the regular-season finale, but couldn’t get over the hump.
Down 34-20 to Forest Lake (7-19; 3-15 SEC) in the first-half, Park (3-22; 0-18 SEC) made things interesting by outscoring the Rangers 30-29 in the second half of the home game in Cottage Grove on Friday, Feb. 21.
Park had three players score in double figures. Park senior Ryan Klika scored a team-high 14 points. Fellow seniors Sully Brenke and Jordan Pinnix each netted 10 points.
Park also lost to Stillwater last week, 66-30, on Tuesday in Cottage Grove. Park found itself down 37-12 to the Ponies at the half. Stillwater (12-14; 8-10 SEC) then outscored the Wolfpack 29-18 in the second half to cruise to the win.
Park junior Aaron Gorres scored a team-high seven points in the loss.
Park will now get one more look at the best player in the state and one of the best players in the country.
Park was tabbed with the No. 8 seed in the Section 3AAAA tournament and will face Apple Valley and Duke recruit Tyus Jones on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Apple Valley in the opening round. The defending state champion Eagles (25-1) are ranked No. 1 in the state and beat Park 104-46 in last year’s section tourney opener. Apple Valley hasn’t lost to a Minnesota team since Dec. 8 of 2012 – 72-70 to Park Center in the Breakdown Tip-Off Classic last year.