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 – 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.
ST. PAUL — It just had to be Jackson County Central. Frazee lost to the Huskies in the Minnesota Class 1A state wrestling tournament in 2010 and 2013 and tied...
MOORHEAD — The finishing touch on Battle Lake’s 81-71 boys basketball win over Pelican Rapids on Saturday at Concordia College was as fierce as the Battlers’ performance. Daniel Marso’s dunk with 24 seconds remaining was the exclamation point for Battle Lake. As Marso came down from gripping the rim, the No. 4 team in Minnesota Class 1A moved up to 20-0 overall and knocked off its fourth Class 2A team. Battle Lake coach Dan Peterka is only somewhat impressed. “We’re OK,” Peterka said with a shrug. “We’re getting there. As a coach, you always see some things you can work on.
HAWLEY, Minn. – There are 13 players listed on the Hawley boys basketball team’s roster.
PELICAN RAPIDS — Pelican Rapids boys basketball coach Doug Bruggeman knew he had something special in the palm of his hand with his son Ryan. He knew it when Ryan stood in the palm of his hand. “I read that Tiger Woods could stand in the palm of his dad’s hand and just balance there,” Doug Bruggeman said. “I put Ryan up there, and right when he was old enough to hold himself up, he could stand there in the palm of my hand.
EDITOR’S NOTE: As a new year begins, The Forum is checking back on former subjects of stories who’ve made us cry, smile, laugh – or all three. They’re people who made a mark on the region in one way or another. We’ll tell you where they are now. FARGO - The Perham, Minn., boys basketball fairy tale in 2011 could not have happened without the Zach Gabbard nightmare. It’s a nightmare he doesn’t even remember.
Perham, Minn. - Perham senior runner Keeghan Hurley’s No. 1 ranking in Minnesota Class 1A means nothing to him. Hurley has his own finish lines, and he’s been getting there before everyone ever since he was racing kids to the playground out the doors of Heart of the Lakes Elementary. “I remember racing out of those doors, and I always had to be first to get there,” Hurley said Wednesday, pointing to the elementary school. “It’s special to be ranked No. 1, but, when you go into a race, rankings mean nothing.