Top 10 area Minnesota high school sports stories of 2017-18
Detroit Lakes girls golf and gymnastics dynasties
The Detroit Lakes girls golf team won its sixth Class 2A state title in the last seven years. The Lakers won by 26 strokes after leading by six strokes after Day 1 of the two-day tournament. The Lakers gymnastics team won its fourth straight Class 1A state title as well.
Mahnomen-Waubun open co-op with a section title
The last time Mahnomen went to the state tournament in boys basketball was 1990. Waubun never went to state in boys basketball. Together, as a co-op, the Thunderbirds made it to the state tournament in their first season. M-W made it as a No. 4 seed in its subsection, beating two No. 1 seeds and the defending Class 1A, Section 6 champ along the way.
Breckenridge's Christensen picks NDSU
Breckenridge junior Noah Christensen verballed to North Dakota State for men's basketball. The 6-foot-8 forward averaged 20 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots per game for Breckenridge. He helped lead the Cowboys to a 26-7 record and a Class 2A, Section 8 title. The Cowboys upset Perham for the second straight season in the section title, handing the Yellowjackets their only loss of the season.
Spuds get the spotlight, but fall short in the section
Moorhead's boys hockey team was documented for a weekly series on Fox Sports North, made an appearance on ESPN and played in Hockey Day Minnesota. Spuds forward Carter Randklev changed his commitment from Arizona State to the University of North Dakota as well. They had much of the spotlight, but they missed out on the biggest lights of all, falling in the Class 2A, Section 8 championship game to St. Michael-Albertville and missing out on the state tournament.
Haiby sets points record, picks Nebraska
Moorhead girls basketball player Sam Haiby finished her career with 2,421 points, 748 rebounds, 525 assists and 405 steals. She averaged 25.7 points, 7.4 rebounds, 5.6 assists, 4.7 steals per game her senior season. Her 2,421 points are more than any basketball player ever to play at Moorhead, surpassing Aaron Lien's 1,886 points this season. She also announced her commitment to the University of Nebraska.
Four wrestlers win state titles
Detroit Lakes got its first state wrestling champion, something the program had waited for since it began in the 1960s. Sophomore Isaiah Thompson won a Class 2A title at 170 pounds. Barnesville's Brady Tweeton, Ottertail Central's Ben Naddy and Verndale's Craig Orlando also won state wrestling titles.
Perham wins cross country titles
The Perham boys and girls cross country teams each won Class 1A state titles. Both finished second last season, as the girls were defeated by two points and the boys by seven points. The girls won this season's state title by one, while the boys dominated by 30.
Ada-Borup-Norman County West goes to semifinals
In its only year of existence, as Norman County West closed, the Ada-Borup-Norman County West football team made it to the Class 1A semifinals. It was the first time either team had played 11-man football.
Wadena-DC, Perham big finishes at state track
The Wadena-Deer Creek relay team of Jonathan Pantages, Chase Domier, Bereket Loer and Hunter Hawkins won Class 1A boys titles in the 800-meter relay and the 1,600 relay.
Perham's Martin LaFond won a Class 1A title in the long jump, while teammate Ashley Hokanson did the same in the girls pole vault. Verndale's Samuel Moore won a Class 1A title in the boys shot put, while Detroit Lakes' Jay Nielsen won a Class 2A state title in the discus.
New York Mills softball repeats as state champs
Defending champion New York Mills was down 5-2 in the bottom of the seventh in the Class 1A softball quarterfinals. The Eagles scored four runs on six hits to advance to the quarterfinals en route to a state championship.