Chris Murphy is a sports reporter for the Forum. He's covered high school and college sports in Chicago, North Dakota and Minnesota since 2009 and, for some reason, has been given awards for doing so.
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MOORHEAD—Moorhead senior Sam Haiby was sitting at the Minnesota Class 4A girls basketball tournament on Wednesday when she saw her name come across the Target Center scoreboard. She was one of 11 finalists for Minnesota Miss Basketball. Haiby finished with the most points scored of any basketball player to ever put on the Moorhead jersey, finishing with 2,421 points for her career. She averaged 25.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 4.7 steals a game in her senior year.
BUFFALO, N.Y.—Bryant Christian's tibia in his right leg was broken.The former Moorhead Spuds hockey standout looked at the scoreboard Sunday at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, N.Y. He knew his hockey career was coming to an end, as a whistle stopped play in the Canisius zone. American International College was down 3-0 to the Golden Griffins in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Hockey Championship tournament. The Yellow Jackets needed to win to keep their season alive. There were only seconds remaining. It was over.
MOORHEAD—Breckenridge's 6-foot-8 junior Noah Christensen came down hard going up for a pass with 10 minutes, 26 seconds to go in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 semifinal matchup against Hawley on Monday. He could barely lift his right arm, grasping his right elbow. He wouldn't tell Breckenridge coach Arly Ohm what hurt, only he wasn't coming out when Ohm yanked him. He came back 33 seconds later with a wrap on his right arm, a wrap he would throw to the sideline after missing a free throw in the final minutes of Breckenridge's 64-60 win.
MOORHEAD—After the buzzer sounded last season in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 boys basketball championship, after Perham had watched Breckenridge celebrate a section title, and the Yellowjackets got their runner-up medals, they went to the locker room at Concordia. The silence spoke volumes, as did the first words coach Dave Cresap uttered to break it. "It starts now," Cresap said to his players.
MOORHEAD—Perham was all smiles in the second half of its 83-63 win over East Grand Forks in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 quarterfinals Saturday at Concordia's Memorial Auditorium. Jenson Beachy smiled at the Perham bench after going behind his back for a fast-break layup, leaving an EGF defender in the dust. Josh Jeziorski smiled at the Perham student section when he hit a layup and was fouled. Logan Richter smiled as Beachy punched him in the chest after he swatted away the shot of an EGF player.
MOORHEAD—No one on Mahnomen-Waubun's boys basketball team truly knows exactly what press the Thunderbirds created for Norman County East-Ulen-Hitterdal. "It's like ... we ... I don't know. We work as a team," M-W senior guard Dion Bower. "We all know when we're playing that we all have our backs. We know we're all going to hustle. We're all going to make that play for each other." OK, but what is the press called? "It's like a ... it's a ... I don't really know either," Bower said. "We're just trying to make it hard for them to make everything."
FARGO—Friday's North Dakota Class A boys state basketball semifinal was in hand in the final minute. Bismarck Century was ahead by 10, as Mandan's 6-foot-6 Elijah Klein brought the ball down the court. Century senior point guard Kade Lynch, who guarded Klein all night, sprinted up at him to pressure the ball and was called for a foul with 58.1 seconds left and his team up 10. "What are you doing?" Century coach Darin Mattern screamed at Lynch, as the crowd laughed.
FARGO—For the fifth time in the last seven seasons, Bismarck Century's girls basketball team is headed to the North Dakota Class A championship game. The Patriots topped Bismarck St. Mary's 55-48 Friday in the semifinals at North Dakota State's Scheels Center for a spot in the title game at 6 p.m. Saturday. Century has lost in its last two appearances in the championship game. Junior guard and University of North Dakota commit Lilly Keplin has been part of both of those teams.
FARGO—With less than a minute to go in overtime, the ball was in the hands of West Fargo senior Joe Pistorius. The Class A quarterfinal matchup at North Dakota State's Scheels Center was tied. Earlier in the day Pistorius was named North Dakota's Gatorade Player of the Year. And in the final minutes of regulation his technical foul began a Jamestown comeback that had West Fargo eyeing defeat.
FARGO—Fargo Shanley had no answer for Mandan's big men in Thursday's North Dakota Class A boys basketball quarterfinal matchup at North Dakota State's Scheels Center. Behind 6-foot-6 Camren Steckler, his 6-4 twin brother, Trae Steckler, and 6-6 Elijah Klein, Mandan topped Shanley 68-53. Mandan coach Brandon Schafer had a puzzled look on his face when asked what game plan he would come up with if he faced the Steckler twins and Klein. He was happy he didn't have to answer that question.