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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Pelican Rapids, Minn. - Steven Honrud’s goal for rehab after undergoing radiation for swelling in his brain was to see his son, Tyler, play his first varsity basketball game last November. Tyler, 17, had the best game of his career that night, scoring 17 points in an 89-46 win for Pelican Rapids. He did it hours after his father’s funeral. Steven passed away on Nov. 19 at 47 years old, three days before his goal, but Tyler knows his dad reached it. “I kind of felt like he was there,” said Tyler, a junior.
MINNEAPOLIS – When Marshall forward Callie Graff stepped to the foul line with 3.7 seconds left in the Minnesota Class 3A girls basketball semifinal and her Tigers trailing Fergus Falls by one point, she just thought of all the free throws the Tigers shot in practice. More importantly, she thought about what happens when they miss. “I was thinking about practice and how many times we shoot them,” Graff said. “We run when we miss.” Graff will be excused from sprints after draining both free throws to put Marshall up 52-51.
Fergus Falls senior power forward Anna Monke does not remember the first 18 months of her life in which senior point guard Brianna Rasmusson was not part of it. She can’t imagine life without her. “Our parents were best friends since I moved to Fergus when I was about 18 months,” Monke said. “Me and Brianna have known each other since birth pretty much, and we’ve been the best of friends since.”
MOORHEAD – Last season, the Fergus Falls girls basketball team was ranked No. 1 throughout the entire season, taking an undefeated record into the Minnesota Class 3A state tournament. The Otters were rewarded with a No. 3 seed. Friday, the No. 1-ranked Otters made a statement as to what seed they believe they deserve at the state tournament this season with an 80-53 win over No. 3-ranked Albany at Alex Nemzek Fieldhouse for their third straight Class 3A, Section 8 title. “We’ll see what the coaches think,” Fergus Falls coach Brad Strand said.
MOORHEAD – Hawley junior guard Brittany Laddusaw had her 3-point license taken away from head coach Bill Gottenborg in recent weeks. “She was on red alert,” Gottenborg said. “No 3s.
FARGO – A kick to the groin of a 13-year-old last month, along with a verbal lashing, prompted school officials to suspend Frazee-Vergas Public Schools wrestling coach and physical education...
MOORHEAD – Hawley shooting guard Olivia Olson’s dad is a pastor in Hawley, Minn. Olson wasn’t sure how her 3-pointer slammed against the backboard and fell through the net in Hawley’s 49-38 win over Perham in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 South sub-section semifinals on Saturday. She figured having a pastor for a dad certainly didn’t hurt. “That could have helped,” Olson said. “I definitely could see God helping on that shot.
MOORHEAD – Moorhead Park Christian shooting guard Matt Moberg had tears in his eyes, remembering the fourth-grade sleepovers he, Duncan Hannestad, Hunter Nickel and Jared Olsgaard used to have. They’d stay up late talking about making it to the state boys basketball tournament together.
MOORHEAD – It was a Perham boys basketball team that had beaten Barnesville twice during the regular season and every team it had faced in the three previous Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 tournaments. Barnesville needed a knight to slay the Yellowjackets. They got a night out of Michael Strand, as the senior point guard scored 15 of his game-high 16 points in the second half to knock off Perham 48-45 Tuesday in the South sub-section final at Memorial Auditorium. “I just started attacking,” Strand said.
ST. PAUL — In the tunnel of the Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, he waited. Border West junior 120-pound wrestler Cameron Sykora sat with his back against the wall, knees up and his head resting on his arms. He was mouthing the mixture of rap and country music coming from his headphones. His knees shook up and down as if he was starting his engine. He lifted his headphones to hear the announcer say, “It’s time to crown the 2014 state champions,” and he glared at the wall. No one was stealing his crown. It was No. 1 versus No.