M/P-B fans stoked about Thunder playing at state tournament

The Thunder had many fans at the state tournament.

MPB Fans
Some of the assembled M/P-B fans celebrate during the first half the Thunder's game against Beulah in the 2023 NDHSAA Boys Basketball Tournament.
Max O'Neill / The Jamestown Sun

BISMARCK — When the Medina/Pingree-Buchanan Thunder took the floor to face off against Beulah on Thursday, March 16, in the first round of the North Dakota Class B state basketball tournament, a large crowd with students and alumni from the three schools were there to support their team.

One alumnus, who was a member of the Medina boys basketball squad that made the state tournament 1981, came all the way from Texas to support the team and his family.

“Number one, Class B, is it, so I’m back at the Class B state tournament and it makes it a little bit more special now that you have family playing,” Dan Moser said. “I got my senior nephew, Josh, is playing, my sophomore nephew, Jared, is playing, so yeah it brings a little bit more excitement to the game than just coming to watch it, but it’s always exciting to be at the Class B tournament.”

Moser has made multiple trips to the state tournament as a player, fan and coach. He was a member of the Medina team that made it in 1981, and he watched the girls basketball team play in 2018 and Leeds-Wolford in 1991. Moser was the coach of Leeds-Wolford in 1992 and 1993 when the teams played in the state tournament.

“It’s special here, it’s overwhelming to be here again to watch. That’s the same place down there that I was playing 42 years ago,” Moser said. “You think back and you’re grateful and I just praise the Lord for letting us come together and all the things that’s happened in this world and we’re still able to get together and celebrate and have a great time.”


In 1981, Dan Moser and his teammates finished in sixth at the state tournament. He said being back at the Bismarck Event Center allowed him to reminisce about the tournament. He talked about how his teammates would’ve had a lot of success if the 3-point line was instituted when they were playing under head coach Darcy Zink and assistant coach Gilbert Black.

“I remember some of the people that we played against. Perry Whiteall was one from Standing Rock I believe it was or Fort Yates and he was incredible,” he said. “We played them in the championship of the consolation game and he took off from the free-throw line and I looked at him and I was like, ‘Dang are you Michael Jordan?’ Actually I think I said Dr. J (Julius Erving), that was before Michael Jordan time.”

Moser was not the only member of his family at the tournament as his brother, Larry, was also at the game.

“Basketball’s in our family from boys basketball to girls basketball,” Larry Moser said. “That’s what you do in a small town in North Dakota. Every school has a basketball team and people just live for this time of year.”

Parents, including Nancy Heinle-Bodvig, were there to support their sons on the Thunder squard.

“(I am) very excited. Class B boys basketball is the best,” Heinle-Bodvig said.

The fans also included people who work with the teams, including Rory Hoffmann who works the shot clock at postseason tournaments at the Jamestown Civic Center. Hoffmann said he was expecting the entire town of Medina to be in attendance to support the team.

“Medina’s population is a little bit over 300, there’s probably nobody left in town,” Hoffmann said. “Don’t tell the thieves that though.”


Some fans were there because they were helping the team, including the team’s bookkeeper, Paulette Schumaker. Schumaker said this is not her first trip to the state tournament as she’s a veteran of the final postseason tournament.

“I was here in ‘96 with the girls,” Schumaker said. “I was here in 2006 with the boys, I was in Minot in 2018 with the girls and now this time I’m here with the boys.”

Schumaker's previous trips to the tournament were with the Pingree-Buchanan-Kensal.

My name is Max O'Neill. I am a Sports Reporter at The Jamestown Sun. I am a native New Yorker, who graduated from Ithaca College in 2020 with a degree in Television-Radio.
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