Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 10 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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CHICAGO -- In the regular-season finale against Utah Valley, UND ran a play for guard Aaron Anderson to drive for the game-winning basket.
CHICAGO -- In his final season at UND, veteran coach Gene Roebuck would like nothing more than to host one more playoff game at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. For that scenario to arise, the Sioux are going to have to do something they've never been able to do: Win the Great West Conference postseason tournament. UND, the league's No.
CHICAGO -- The UND men's basketball team won the Great West Conference tournament last season in dramatic fashion. The Sioux won its quarterfinal matchup by one point, its semifinal by two and the championship game by one in double overtime. The point differential for the entire tournament last year, in fact, added up to 11 points. Although those tight finishes might be to a drastic end, Sioux coach Brian Jones said he doesn't expect much different this year. "Our guys truly understand that," said Jones, who returns most of the key pieces from last year's Great West tournament title squad.
The Grand Forks Central girls basketball team started the year 0-5 and never had a record better than .500. None of that seems to matter when you start playing your best basketball in March. "We finally got in a groove," Central junior Taylor Hammer said. The Knights will ride a strong East Region tournament into this weekend's North Dakota state Class A girls basketball tournament in Fargo. East Region No. 3 Central, 9-13 overall, will face West Region No. 2 Bismarck High (15-7) in Thursday's 7 p.m.
Grand Forks Red River guard Mack Arvidson's athleticism and shooting ability have drawn the attention of East Region boys basketball coaches, who named him the league's senior athlete of the year last weekend. Area college basketball coaches were also taking notice. Arvidson confirmed Monday that he has verbally committed to Northern State of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. "They have a really good basketball community," Arvidson said.
UND senior Mike Mathison will make his first career start today against Utah Valley University. Sioux coach Brian Jones isn't honoring the Walhalla, N.D., native because of his point production (Mathison hasn't averaged more than 2 points per game in his career), but rather his infectious attitude. "He's a big, loveable guy," said Jones, whose team faces UVU in the Great West Conference regular-season finale at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center at 2 p.m. "He's got such a positive spirit about him. "He makes people around him better.
Grand Forks Red River capped a near-perfect season with an individual honor on Saturday. Red River forward Casey Fugleberg was named the state's senior player of the year after the state championship game at Ralph Engelstad Arena. Fugleberg, who has been an impact player for the Roughriders since his freshman season, finished the year with 29 goals and 31 assists. "Casey is one of the most explosive, dynamic players Red River has ever had," Red River coach Bill Chase said. "He's got instincts and breakaway speed.
Zach Kraft's homecoming has brought home a state championship trophy to the Fargo North boys hockey team for the first time in 26 years. Kraft, who grew up in Grand Forks, scored the game-winning goal in double overtime to lift the Spartans to a 3-2 win over Grafton-Park River on Saturday night in the North Dakota state championship game at Ralph Engelstad Arena. The Spartans won their fourth state title, but the program's first since 1986. "Every year I came to the tournament dreaming that it would be me out there scoring the game-winning goal," said Kraft, who moved to Fargo his sophomore
As the most penalized team in the country, the UND women's hockey team has plenty of practice in killing penalties. That experience has paid off against Bemidji State. The Sioux killed off all five Bemidji State power plays Saturday and have now held the Beavers scoreless on their last 33 power-play chances dating back to November. The special teams, along with a shutout from senior goalie Stephanie Ney, lifted the Sioux to a 2-0 win over Bemidji State in the first round of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs at Ralph Engelstad Arena. UND won the best-of-three series 2-0.
The Grafton-Park River Spoilers played the role of spoiler Friday to ruin Grand Forks Red River's undefeated season. Zach Suda was tremendous in net as Grafton-Park River upset the previously unbeaten Roughriders 5-3 in the semifinals of the North Dakota state boys hockey tournament at Ralph Engelstad Arena. For the first time in 20 years, no Grand Forks school will be represented in the state championship game. Grafton-Park River will face Fargo North in tonight's 7 p.m. title game. The Spoilers lost in last year's title game 3-0 to Red River.