Pool is a reporter for The West Fargo Pioneer covering city sports and community news. He was the sports editor for The Dickinson Press covering Dickinson State athletics, high school athletics and Southwest Speedway. He graduated from North Dakota State with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. You can reach him by phone at 701-451-5715 or tweet him @CPool_80.
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MOORHEAD—Sam Haiby may be stiff and sore and may even have arthritis in her knee when she's older. But she's not worrying about that right now. The University of Nebraska commit couldn't wait to put on a Moorhead girls basketball jersey again. In her first game back since tearing the lateral meniscus in her left knee, Haiby scored 18 points as Moorhead defeated North Dakota Class A No. 5-ranked Fargo Shanley 69-63 on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at Moorhead High School.
MOORHEAD—From Moorhead's first boys basketball game, second-year head coach Tyler Bormann knew this season could be different. The Spuds beat Alexandria by double digits on the road. A win like that might've been the highlight of the Spuds' recent seasons. But Bormann was impressed. This time they were unsatisfied.
FARGO—Fargo Force forward AJ Drobot held a bag of ice water to his swollen eye. The aftermath of physicality that comes with hockey. The past two matchups between Fargo and Sioux City have been physical. Fights broke out. Even more extracurricular shoves were thrown in. Hockey teams beating up on each other sometimes happens when they want to beat each other, Drobot said. Drobot said the Force won their fights. Now the Force just need to find a way to win their games.
FARGO—The Fargo Force bench had a different atmosphere after the second period. The Force trailed by two goals, but Garrett Van Wyhe felt the Force played with urgency in the third period. They just ran out of time. Despite Van Wyhe's goal in the final minute, the Force fell to Sioux City 2-1 on Friday, Jan. 19, at Scheels Arena in a United States Hockey League Western Conference matchup. "There's not a lot of teams in the league that can grind down low, and these guys showed that they can," said Van Wyhe, a Michigan commit. "We've just got to make that adjustment."
WEST FARGO—Practice didn't feel right for the Fargo Davies boys basketball team. The Eagles had won their previous 30 regular season games, but then West Fargo Sheyenne beat the Eagles on their home court last week for the first time ever. Braeton Motschenbacher admits the Eagles had plenty to work on. Even after all the wins, he feels the Eagles had something to prove.
WEST FARGO—Mike Benson laughs at the idea of trash talking against Brent Hintz. Even in an always emotional in-city rivalry game between the West Fargo and West Fargo Sheyenne girls basketball teams, the two head coaches have respect for each other. Benson, now the Packers head coach who was an assistant coach at Sheyenne last season, already knew how skilled the Mustangs were. The Mustangs gave the Packers a tough time finding any offense as Sheyenne cruised to a 70-30 Eastern Dakota Conference victory on Tuesday, Jan. 9, at Sheyenne High School.
WEST FARGO—Abdi Sufi is the first to admit West Fargo started playing lazy. The Packers were getting easy layups and hit shots in the first half. Then they went into survival mode. Despite a thrilling attempt by Moorhead to come back from a 23-point deficit at halftime, the Packers boys basketball team just kept scoring and beat the Spuds 105-97 in a record-setting performance on Tuesday, Jan. 2, at West Fargo High School. With 105 points, the Packers set a new West Fargo school record for points in a game, breaking the previous record of 102 points in 1990.
FARGO—Paul Miller was already committed to play for the North Dakota State men's basketball program. Then he saw Lawrence Alexander's heroics as the Bison beat Oklahoma in the NCAA tournament in 2014. Miller wanted to play for the Bison even more. Miller watched and learned in his freshman season during Alexander's Summit League player of the year campaign in 2014-15. As he creeps up on Alexander in the school record books, Miller just wants to be next in line.
FARGO—Jared Franek was tired of finishing second place. He was runner-up in the USA Wrestling Junior Freestyle National Championship last summer, losing in the final seconds. He took runner-up at the Minnesota Christmas Tournament earlier this season, his only loss of his 27-1 season. His past two appearances at the Rumble on the Red wrestling tournament ended with him in second place after winning his freshman year. The three-time North Dakota state champion and North Dakota State senior commit of West Fargo knows how to win. He wouldn't be denied this time around.
MOORHEAD—Katlyn Brenna looked over at Minnesota Class 4A St. Francis warming up. She was intimidated. Brenna is one of the shortest players on the Dilworth-Glyndon-Felton girls basketball team that already lacks height. St. Francis, a bigger school with plenty of bigger players, towered above the Rebels. Then the game tipped off. The Rebels didn't look intimidated for a minute.