K-Heart Sports – 03/12/23

K-HEART SPORTS – 03/12/22 – 0700
MINOT, ND – Grand Forks Red River won the girls championship for the first time since 1988 at the Class A State Basketball Tournament. Fargo North won the boys title for the first time since 2006.
High School Girls Basketball
Class A
State Tournament – Scheels Center in Fargo
5th Place
(W1) Minot High def. (W4) Bismarck Legacy, 77-76
3rd Place
(E1) West Fargo Sheyenne def. (E2) West Fargo, 66-62
(E4) Grand Forks Red River def. (W1) Bismarck Century, 61-48
High School Boys Basketball
Class A
State Tournament – Scheels Center in Fargo
5th Place
(W2) Minot High def. (W3) Bismarck Legacy, 64-38
3rd Place
(E1) Fargo Davies def. (W1) Bismarck Century, 72-68
(E2) Fargo North def. (E3) Grand Forks Red River, 92-83
FARGO, N.D. (KFYR) – After a historic four-year career, Bismarck Century High School’s Logan Nissley is the 2022-2023 North Dakota Miss Basketball. She received 71 points on 10 first-place votes. Her teammate Bergan Kinnebrew finished second in the voting with four first-place votes, equating to 47 points. In four varsity seasons with the Patriots, Nissley averaged 21.2 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game, and 4.2 steals per game. She finished with 1,664 career points, the most in Century history. Other accolades during Nissley’s high school career include:
– Three-time Gatorade North Dakota Player of the Year
– 2021 State Champion
– 2022-2023 North Dakota Senior Athlete of the Year
– Two-time First Team All-State Selection
– ESPN Top-100 player in class of 2023
– 2023 McDonald’s All-America Game finalist
Logan Nissley is the second Miss Basketball award-winner from Century, the other being Hannah Larson in 2013. Nissley’s basketball career is far from over. She’ll be taking her talents to Lincoln, Nebraska to play for the Nebraska Cornhuskers beginning this fall.
Voting was conducted on a 5-3-1 points scale by members of the North Dakota Associate Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
Logan Nissley, 71 points (10 first place votes)
Bergan Kinnebrew, 47 (4)
Decontee Smith, 38 (4)
Ellie Braaten, 31 (4)
Miriley Simon, 13 (1)
Halle Crockett, 11 (1)
Hailey Quam, 5
Brenna Stroklund
There have now been 21 Class A and 21 Class B Miss Basketball award winners.
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (MSU) – Battling hard to earn his spot in Saturday’s final day at the NCAA National Tournament, Minot State sophomore Jake Swirple wrapped up his first trip to nationals finishing eighth in the country. Friday, the Beavers’ 285-pounder went 3-1 on the mats, battling back after an opening loss to win three in a row in the consolation bracket to advance to the tournament’s second day. Saturday, Swirple fell by pin to Juan Edmond-Holmes from Lander (Pa.), then lost a 3-2 decision to Lee Herrington of Nebraska-Kearney in the seventh-place match. With the eighth-place finish, Swirple earned NCAA All-American honors and became the program’s second NCAA All-American, joining 2018 All-American Mitchell Eull. Swirple also is the center on the offensive line for Minot State’s football team. His eighth-place finish led the way for Minot State, which also sent Oscar Nellis to nationals to compete at 125 pounds, and James Davis, who wrestled at 133. Thought neither advanced to Saturday’s action, they helped the Beavers as a team score 4.5 team points and finish 37th in the team standings.
OMAHA, Neb. (UND) – A night ago, goaltender Simon Latkoczy stole the show with 40 saves and tonight, it was the guy on the other end who took centerstage, as Drew DeRidder stopped 24-of-25 to help North Dakota defeat No. 17 Omaha, 3-1, on Saturday night from Baxter Arena in Omaha. DeRidder put together yet another solid performance between the pipes, improving to 4-1-1 this season against the Mavericks with his 24-save performance. The fifth year once again held his opponent without a goal at even strength, marking the eighth time over the last 14 games doing so. UND (17-14-6) grabbed an early 1-0 lead just past the midway point of the first period, as Jackson Blake cut to the middle of the slot and wired home his 16th goal of the season to give the visitors its first advantage of the series. Omaha (19-14-3), who controlled most of the play through the opening portion of the stanza, knotted it at 1-1 just 2:23 later on a power play goal to send the game to the locker room even after 20 minutes. Late in the second, it was UND’s turn to strike with the man advantage, with Tyler Kleven firing home a great feed from Louis Jamernik V to give the green and white a 2-1 lead. The goal was only the third on the power play for NoDak since Feb. 18 and the fifth of the season for Kleven. DeRidder kept the Fighting Hawks ahead throughout the final 23 minutes following the goal, turning aside multiple chances in the dying moments of the middle stanza before making five saves in the third period to preserve the win. Dylan James sealed the victory, using his speed to force a turnover at the blueline, winning a race to the puck and depositing into the empty net for his sixth point in six career games against Omaha. North Dakota and Omaha will play for the right to advance to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff on tonight at 6:07 p.m. from Baxter Arena.
MINOT, ND (MINOTAUROS.COM) – This snowy weekend, the Minot Minotauros played host to the North Iowa Bulls at the Pepsi Rink in Maysa Arena, hoping to secure some vital points in the Central Division playoff race.
Friday night, the Tauros took the lead first with defenseman Adam Mahler’s goal. Mahler received a pass from Colby Joseph and fired a shot from the top of the circles, beating North Iowa’s goaltender Mitch Day at 8:52 of the first period. The Bulls Max Scott would tie the game at 1-1, capitalizing on their first power play opportunity with 7:16 remaining in the first period. Jack Mesic and Nolan Abraham earned assists on Scott’s goal. North Iowa scored another goal on special teams, but this time, they were shorthanded. Forward Logan Dombrowsky broke free for a breakaway and scored a gorgeous backhand goal, beating Minot’s goaltender Noah Rupprecht. There was only one more goal scored in the game, which came in the second period at 9:44. Justin Mexico scored for North Iowa, firing a top-corner shot past Rupprecht to give his team a 3-1 lead. Dombrowsky and Scott earned assists on the goal. Although Minot managed to score in the first period and fired a total of 47 shots on North Iowa’s goaltender Day, only one of them resulted in a goal. As a result, North Iowa claimed a 3-1 victory.
Once again, on Saturday night, special teams would play a crucial role in determining the game’s final outcome. However, Minot opened the scoring on Saturday with an even-strength goal, as Hunter Longhi sent a beautiful cross-neutral zone pass to Chase LaPinta, who broke in for a breakaway and scored. The marker was LaPinta’s 27th of the season. Minot kept up the pressure in the second period and extended their lead to 2-0 on the power play. Braden Fischer scored his sixth goal of the season by burying a rebound from a Nick O’Hanisain point shot at 2:58. North Iowa’s Dombrowsky, just five minutes later, capitalized on a turnover by the Tauros right in front of Lawton Zacher’s crease, cutting Minot’s lead in half and making the score 2-1. The Tauros kept the pressure on North Iowa in the second period, with goals from Bryce Howard and Weston Knox extending their lead to a commanding 4-1. Despite this, North Iowa continued to chip away, with Scott scoring his second goal of the weekend series and reducing the Tauros’ lead to 4-2 with just 1:26 left in the period. In the final period, Minot’s performance faltered as they gave up two consecutive power-play goals to Mesic and Simone Dadie, allowing North Iowa to tie the game at 4-4. Later in the third, North Iowa took the lead for the first time with just 7:58 left in regulation. A defensive breakdown by Minot in their own zone led to another goal by Dadie, putting North Iowa ahead 5-4. Despite Tauro’s head coach Cody Campbell’s decision to pull goalie Lawton Zacher with just 95 seconds left in the game, Minot could not even the score, ultimately losing 5-4 and getting swept at home by North Iowa.
After being swept, Minot finds themselves with 50 points and is five points out of a playoff spot in the Central Division. Next up for the Tauros is another home weekend, this time against the St. Cloud Norsemen.
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Marcus Johansson, Mats Zuccarello and Matt Boldy scored in Minnesota’s three-goal third period, and the Wild beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2. Jared Spurgeon and Frederick Gaudreau also scored, and Ryan Hartman and John Klingberg each had two assists to help the Wild extend their point streak to 12 games (10-0-2) with their their fourth straight road win. Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves to improve to 18-5-4 against the Sharks. Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl each had a goal and an assist for San Jose, and Erik Karlsson added an assist for his 84th point of the year to set a franchise record for points by a defenseman. James Reimer had 24 saves. The Sharks have lost six straight home games and eight of their last nine overall.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Bud Grant, the stoic and demanding Hall of Fame coach who took the Minnesota Vikings and their mighty Purple People Eaters defense to four Super Bowls in eight years and lost all of them, died Saturday. He was 95. The Vikings announced Grant’s death on social media. “No single individual more defined the Minnesota Vikings than Bud Grant. A once-in-a-lifetime man, Bud will forever be synonymous with success, toughness, the North and the Vikings,” owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf said in a joint statement distributed by the team. “In short, he was the Vikings.”
Wearing his trademark purple Vikings cap and a stone-faced demeanor, Grant displayed a steely sideline gaze that became synonymous with his teams. He was a mainstay among coaches of his era, a decorated group that included Don Shula, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, John Madden and Hank Stram. Grant, however, had little interest in accolades. “The only reason I can see for a head coach getting credit for something good is that he gets so much blame when something is bad,” Grant once said. “The whole secret, I think, is to not react to either the good or the bad.”
He guided the Vikings from 1967-85, with a one-year hiatus in 1984, on his way to a 158-96-5 record with 11 division championships in 18 seasons. He went 10-12 in the playoffs. When he retired, Grant was eighth on the NFL’s all-time victory list. “There are so many adjectives appropriate to describe Coach Bud Grant: legendary, determined, successful. Underneath his outwardly stoic demeanor that some misunderstood as a coldness laid the warm heart of a man who truly loved his players and the sport of football,” Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said.
After replacing another Hall of Famer, Norm Van Brocklin, Grant assembled the revered defensive line dubbed the Purple People Eaters. The line — whose motto was “Meet at the quarterback” — was joined by a powerful offense that helped Minnesota reach the Super Bowl in 1970, the final edition of the big game before the AFL-NFL merger. The heavily favored Vikings fell 23-7 to Kansas City, setting a tone for the infamous run of title game losses to Miami, Pittsburgh and Oakland from the perceived lesser conference following the 1973, 1974 and 1976 seasons. “If you’re going to succeed, survive is maybe a better word,” Grant said during his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction speech in 1994 in Canton, Ohio. “You’ve got to handle losing. You die every time you lose, but you’ve got to get over it.”
An avid outdoorsman who spent many an offseason on fishing trips in Alaska or hunting expeditions in Arizona, Grant also was a successful coach in the Canadian Football League who became the first person elected to the Hall of Fame in both the CFL and NFL. He won four league championships during his 10 years in Canada. Harry Peter Grant Jr. was born on May 20, 1927, in Superior, Wisconsin, and given the nickname Bud by his mother. He overcame a bout with polio as a child and became a three-sport high school star. He learned early about the coaching business after enlisting in 1945, and played on a team at the Great Lakes naval station outside Chicago run by Paul Brown, who would go on to a Hall of Fame career as an NFL coach, executive and owner. From there, Grant played football, basketball and baseball at the University of Minnesota, a nine-time letterman who was drafted by both the NBA and NFL. He pursued basketball first, playing two seasons for the Minneapolis Lakers and winning a title with them in 1950.
But it was football where Grant truly excelled, first for the Philadelphia Eagles. He was second in the NFL with 56 receptions and 997 yards in 1952, before a contract dispute steered him to Winnipeg in the CFL. After starring as a two-way player for the Blue Bombers, once snagging five interceptions in a playoff game, he became their coach and took them to six Grey Cup games —- winning the title in 1958, 1959, 1961 and 1962. Grant won 102 games as a CFL coach. That sparked interest from the Vikings, who lured him back across the border in 1967. With such stars as Fran Tarkenton, Carl Eller, Alan Page, Paul Krause and Ron Yary — all Pro Football Hall of Famers — Grant led the Vikings to 10 Central Division crowns in 11 seasons. Minnesota U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s late father, Jim Klobuchar, was a newspaper reporter who closely covered those Vikings teams. She said in a statement released by her office that “no name loomed larger” in her house growing up than Grant’s. “I remember answering the phone as a young kid to silence on the other line, save for maybe the grunted word ‘Jim,’” Klobuchar said. “That meant it was Bud calling my dad back for the postgame story, regardless of the outcome.”
Disciplined to the core and insisting on sharp mental focus, Grant went so far as to have his players practice standing at attention during the national anthem. He infamously took the Vikings outdoors in the frigid winter for workouts and banned sideline heaters during games at Metropolitan Stadium. On Jan. 10, 2016, when the Vikings staged the coldest game in franchise history in the first round of the playoffs against Seattle, at the university’s outdoor stadium while their building was being built, Grant served as an honorary captain. He strolled out for the pregame coin flip in a Vikings cap and a purple short-sleeved polo shirt, looking ready for a round of golf in defiance of temperatures of minus 6 degrees Fahrenheit and minus 25 with the wind chill. Grant retired after the 1983 season, replaced by Les Steckel, whose fiery approach was the opposite of his calm predecessor and went 3-13. Grant returned for one season, a 7-9 finish, before longtime offensive coordinator Jerry Burns was promoted to the top job.
Though Grant was done with coaching then, his influence on his team and city remained. Grant continued living in the same suburban home he bought upon his 1967 arrival, in Bloomington less than 10 miles from Metropolitan Stadium. He became an ambassador of sorts for the Vikings in the community, sometimes lending his voice in the lobbying effort to replace the Metrodome, where the team played from 1982-2013. He went on hunting and fishing trips with friends and family as often as possible. On one particularly harrowing visit to hunt in Canada in 2015, Grant’s pilot safely belly-flopped a twin-engine plane after the landing gear and dashboard instruments failed.
Grant showed more of his softer side, too. At the university’s return to on-campus football, at TCF Bank Stadium in 2009, the Gophers named him and eight other former players an honorary captain. His face shook and his eyes welled as fans cheered his name in the pregame ceremony. There were also Grant’s famous garage sales, where he gave autographs to those who bought at least $25 worth of his items, including memorabilia from his playing and coaching days and even used outdoors equipment. For the 2017 three-day event, there were custom-made bobblehead dolls in his likeness available for purchase. Grant would sit in a chair outside his home and sign for a nonstop line of admirers, some coming from overseas to look through the old coach’s stuff. The Vikings maintained a spacious office for him at their suburban headquarters, continuing to list him as a consultant on all team directories. Whenever a new coach or executive was hired, Grant was usually one of the first people the Vikings made sure to introduce. “Bud was one of the first people to warmly greet me when I walked through the doors of this facility. I didn’t realize at the time I would be so blessed to build a close friendship with him over the next year,” current Vikings coach Kevin O’Connell said. “Bud was gracious with his time, meeting in his office weekly to discuss football and life. I will forever cherish those conversations because they made me a better coach, a better husband and father and a better person.”
When he turned 95 on May 20, 2022, the team organized a Zoom call for him and several of his former players. Jim Marshall led the group in the virtual “Happy Birthday” singalong. He is survived by his partner, Pat Smith, six children, 19 grandchildren and, as of 2021, 13 great grandchildren. His wife of 59 years, Pat, died in 2009. One son, Mike Grant, built a powerhouse football program at Eden Prairie High School, a 15-minute drive from his father’s house, winning 11 state championships in a 22-year span from 1996-2017.

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