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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When Shannon Raaen watches her only son, her "baby" as she refers to him, play for Lake Park-Audubon in Thursday's Class A basketball quarterfinals, she will have a coin in her purse. It's not a nickel, a penny, a quarter, a dime. There is no monetary value to this coin. It appeared in her husband's pocket when he was at a vending machine at a hospital in Sioux Falls, S.D., on Oct. 7, 2015. It was moments before Shannon was set to have surgery, after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer the night before.
Breckenridge boys basketball coach Arly Ohm has a visual of Stevin Lipp, which he'll always associate with the senior. It's not Lipp soaring for a dunk or any of the 468 points he's scored this season. It's not of him breaking his uncle's school record for points in a game when Stevin surpassed 1,000 points for his career with 41 against Waubun.
There was a stretch in January for the Fergus Falls boys basketball team when the Otters realized something was off. Winning wasn't fun and certainly neither was the 16-point loss at home to section rival Alexandria. "Winning was just another thing we were supposed to do," Fergus Falls junior Nathan Rund said. "The game just wasn't as fun. We're a better team when we're having fun, getting after it and having that edge."
On paper, No. 7-ranked Perham was the bigger team, the faster team, the top-seeded team. It was a Yellowjacket boys basketball team that had beaten Breckenridge by 16 in February. Even Breckenridge coach Arly Ohm said, after winning in the section semifinals, he knew Perham was the favorite.
For a team with no player that has ever played in the state boys hockey tournament, there were no wide eyes at the bright lights of Xcel Energy Center on the side of Moorhead in the Class 2A quarterfinals Thursday. The hearts of the No. 3 seed Spuds beat calmly because senior Jacob Holtgrewe, whom coach Jon Ammerman has called the “pulse” of the team, wouldn’t allow a heart attack.
Each time St. Cloud Cathedral was seemingly going to pull away in Wednesday's Class A boys hockey quarterfinal matchup, East Grand Forks pulled the Crusaders back. In the third period, the Green Wave had no more pull left in them. "We were chasing the game from the drop of the puck," East Grand Forks coach Scott Koberinski said. "Seems like we were always chasing Cathedral. I thought they really did an outstanding job and our guys just couldn't match their intensity they had tonight."
No wrestler had beaten Frazee senior Tanner Reetz all season. Sibley East's Tanner Pasvogel changed that in the Minnesota state tournament at Xcel Energy Center on Saturday, March 5. Reetz never really got comfortable, trailing the entire match, eventually losing 4-3 in the Class 1A finals at 132 pounds. Reetz capped his career with three straight trips to the championship mat, winning a title as a sophomore.
Update on Friday's action of area wrestlers from Forum's Chris Murphy.
Lake Park-Audubon wasn't ready for senior Jace Pulst in Saturday's high school boys basketball matchup with Fargo Oak Grove at the Fargo Civic Center. Honestly, considering he himself isn't sure of what his role will be each game, Pulst wasn't even ready for Pulst on Saturday. "It's really just roleplaying," Pulst said. "You just have to know your position and know what you have to do for your team. It's different for me every game. It just depends on the night."
It was 1977 when Art Dux took over as the stat keeper for Lake Park's boys basketball team. The previous season he had subbed for Coral Beske when she would have games with the girls basketball team.