Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
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FARGO—Dickinson senior Aanen Moody is piling up awards as fast as he piled up points during his career with the Midgets. The 6-foot-3 guard was named to the North Dakota Class A boys basketball all-state first team for a second consecutive season. Moody was voted the state's Mr. Basketball last weekend and also selected as Gatorade player of the year for North Dakota. "The way he attacks the game mentally is something I've never witnessed before," Dickinson coach Dan Glasser said.
FARGO—Fargo North senior Siman Sem has verbally committed to play men's basketball at Minnesota State Moorhead. "The coaching staff really made me feel welcomed," Sem said of the Dragons. "They really believed in my talents." The 6-foot-4 guard averaged 22.7 points, 9.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 2.6 steals and 1.1 blocks per game in 13 games for the Spartans in his senior season. Sem missed the last part of the year with a knee injury. Sem is a finalist for North Dakota Mr. Basketball and was named East Region boys basketball senior player of the year.
FARGO—Fargo Oak Grove senior Jimmy Slagle was driving to the basket during the season-opening game in mid-December, and got bumped from behind as he planted. The 5-foot-9 point guard felt his knee give out. "As soon as I went down, I knew it was pretty serious," Slagle said. A couple days later, Slagle found out he tore his ACL and would miss the rest of his final high school season. "If a torn ACL is the worst thing that happens to me in my life, I will be golden," Slagle said.
MOORHEAD—Perham junior Logan Richter is 6-foot-4, 280 pounds, but did some of his biggest damage around 20 feet away from the basket Tuesday, March 14, at Concordia's Memorial Auditorium. Richter sank two 3-pointers in the first half and finished with team-high 14 points to spark the Yellowjackets to a 60-36 victory against Warroad in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 boys basketball semifinals. "He's one of those kids who can shoot the 3," Perham head coach Dave Cresap said. "He can get things done inside and outside."
WAHPETON, N.D.—Fargo Oak Grove started fast and kept cruising in the second half Thursday, March 9, at Ed Werre Arena. The Grovers built a double-digit lead through one quarter and pulled away after halftime to earn a 75-48 victory against Richland for the North Dakota Class B Region 1 boys basketball championship. "Coach always tells us it's important to set the momentum because that can carry out throughout the game," said Oak Grove junior Andrew Christianson, who scored a game-high 28 points.
FARGO—Nearly 30 years ago, Tony Paper scored 20 points in the North Dakota Class A state boys basketball championship game in Minot, helping the Fargo South Bruins cap a perfect season. He's hoping his son, Jake Paper, can repeat history. "It would be unbelievably cool if it happened," Tony said. Tony was a 6-foot-3 senior guard on the Bruins team that won the 1989 state title with a 25-0 record. Jake is a 6-foot-7 senior forward for Fargo Davies, which has a 24-0 record heading into this week's Class A state tournament in Bismarck.
MOORHEAD—Ada-Borup senior Elizabeth Birkemeyer saved all her scoring for the second half Tuesday, March 7, at Memorial Auditorium. The 5-foot-8 guard scored 13 points after halftime to spark the Cougars to a 48-40 victory against New York Mills for the Minnesota Class 1A, Section 6 girls basketball championship. "We picked up the intensity. We adjusted to their defense," Birkemeyer said. "We knew they were long and lanky. ... We weren't ready for that right away, but I think we adjusted."
WAHPETON, N.D.—Each time Kindred threatened the lead, Richland responded Monday night, March 6, at Ed Werre Arena. The No. 2-seeded Colts played from ahead over the final three quarters and held off a late Kindred rally to earn a 66-56 victory in the North Dakota Class B Region 1 boys basketball quarterfinals. "We handle adversity really well as a team," said Richland senior Cooper Lingen, who had 16 points and 13 rebounds. "We sit down, we try not to panic, we talk it over and figure things out."
WAHPETON, N.D.—Top-seeded Fargo Oak Grove needed a bench boost Monday, March 6, at the Ed Werre Arena. Grovers seniors Jace Pulst and Jackson Adams combined for 24 point off the bench, sparking Oak Grove to a 66-47 victory against Maple Valley in the North Dakota Class B Region 1 boys basketball quarterfinals. "We talked about keep coming after them and using are depth to wear them down a little bit," Oak Grove head coach Kyle Card said. "I think we did that. ... That balance was huge."
KINDRED, N.D.—A perfect state championship season proved to be the perfect time for Perry Piatz to resign as head girls basketball coach at Kindred High School. A day after the Vikings won the North Dakota Class B state title, Piatz announced this was his final season as head girls coach during an emotional welcome-home celebration Sunday, March 5, in Kindred. "I thought it was time to step down and let someone else take over the reins," Piatz said Monday. "Winning the state title made it a lot easier."