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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Doubt started to creep into Northern State senior DJ Pollard's mind as the Wolves trailed Queens (N.C.) by five points with less than 30 seconds to play in overtime Thursday night. "I thought it was pretty close to being over," Pollard said Friday.
Gene Taylor had his share of memorable NCAA moments when he was the athletic director at North Dakota State. Taylor watched the Bison make the Division I men’s basketball tournament in 2009 in the first season the program was eligible to make the Big Dance. In 2014, he watched NDSU upset Oklahoma in the first round for the program’s first NCAA victory.
MOORHEAD—Will Borgen and Alex Mehnert were defensive partners from their youth hockey days until they were seniors together for the Moorhead Spuds boys hockey team. The two will be opponents Friday afternoon at the Denny Sanford Premier Center in Sioux Falls, S.D. Borgen is a junior for the St. Cloud State Huskies, while Mehnert is a freshman for the Air Force Falcons. St. Cloud State plays Air Force at 3 p.m. Friday in the West Regional semifinals of the NCAA Division I men's hockey tournament.
MOORHEAD—Minnesota State Moorhead quarterback Bryce Meehl watched the game from a different perspective last season. Meehl missed the entire football season with a knee injury that he suffered on the third day of fall camp. "Most of the year, I ended up sitting in the booth watching the game with the coaches," said Meehl, from Oakes, N.D. "I got to see the game in depth a little bit more."
FARGO—Fargo Shanley is headed back to North Dakota Class 3A football. The Deacons have decided to opt up from Class 2A for the 2019 season, which marks the start of the North Dakota High School Activities two-year football plan that won't be finalized until next fall. A preliminary list of divisions was released earlier this week. "Moving forward, we want the challenge to be a better football program," said Shanley head coach Troy Mattern, who completed his first season as Deacons head coach last fall.
ADA, Minn.—Kevin and Bernice McKeever have a 2015 gold minivan with an odometer that reads more than 130,000 miles. "In three years, that's how many miles we've put on," Bernice said with a laugh. The majority of those road miles have been logged for their daughters' basketball careers, whether it's been driving to offseason spring and summer traveling tournaments or games during the season. "It is all worth it," Bernice said. "We've been blessed."
FARGO—Bismarck Century sophomore Lauren Ware was nearly overcome with emotion moments after the North Dakota Class A state girls basketball game ended. "I almost passed out it was so awesome," Ware said with a smile. The 6-foot-4 Ware scored 24 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked five shots to help the Patriots rally for a 55-51 victory against the Mandan Braves in the state title game at North Dakota State's Scheels Center.
SIOUX FALLS, S.D.—Minnesota State Moorhead head coach Karla Nelson got emotional during the postgame interview after her team lost in the first round of the NCAA Division II women's basketball tournament for a second consecutive season. Central Missouri scored 26 points in the first quarter and played stingy defense to help fuel a 66-49 victory against the Dragons on Friday afternoon in the Central Region quarterfinals at the Elmen Center.
FARGO—Mandan junior Megan Zander started to make shots in the second half Thursday at the Fargodome. That proved too much for Devils Lake to overcome. Zander poured in 14 of her game-high 18 points in the second half as Mandan pulled away after halftime to earn a 68-46 victory in the North Dakota Class A girls basketball quarterfinals. "That's always great is she can feel the rhythm from behind the arc," Mandan head coach Abby Thomas said. "It's huge for us when she knocks down shots. Our team just thrives off of that."
FARGO—Bismarck St. Mary's sophomore Hallie Schweitzer hadn't attempted a 3-pointer all season. She picked a dramatic moment to attempt her first. Schweitzer sank a 3-pointer at the second-half buzzer to force overtime Thursday at the Fargodome. That clutch shot helped vault the Saints to a 70-64 victory against Grand Forks Red River in the North Dakota Class A girls basketball state quarterfinals. "I had to get it up there just to give our team a chance and so I took the shot," Schweitzer said.