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The Drill: Small towns suit West's Peterson just fine

Dannyn Peterson, a small-town girl, enjoys spending time in Worthington and helping her Minnesota West women's basketball team win games

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120321 N DG LadyJays vs Dordt JV S1.jpg
Minnesota West Lady Jays basketball player Dannyn Peterson (33) drives against Dordt JV in a game from earlier this season. +Tim Middagh / The Globe
Tim Middagh / The Globe

WORTHINGTON -- Dannyn Peterson is a small-town girl going to college in a small town.

Which is just what she likes.

Minnesota West Community and Technical College contains many athletes who arrive in the southwest Minnesota hamlet of Worthington and go through challenging adjustment periods because of their big-city roots. They miss the huge malls, the hustle and the bustle, the exciting concerts and all that. Worthington, by contrast, can seem boring.

But that’s not a problem for Peterson at all. In fact, she loves it.

“I graduated from Hitchcock-Tulare in Tulare, S.D. It’s a very, very small school. Our high school consists of 7- through 12th grade, and we had about 100 students seven through twelve,” she told The Globe recently as this week’s Drill subject.

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Peterson, a volleyball and basketball player at West, said she came to West “because it was smaller. So I really like that, because I came from a really small school. The small community is something that I really love.”

Basketball is her favorite sport, and she has enjoyed a solid season for the Lady Jays playing in the post area. That’s a story in itself, because at Hitchcock-Tulare she was a guard.

Her guard-like moves have helped her become one of the Jays’ best scorers and rebounders. She’s not physically large. She’s 5-9, lean and lithe. Of course, she handles the basketball well. She can dribble, she can pass, and she has a quick step and release that helps her score off her left-handed shots.

In high school, her basketball team did well. Peterson was part of an all-senior starting lineup in her final year, so there was togetherness and camaraderie that helped the team succeed. She earned a bunch of personal awards, like best defensive player, best offensive player, and a first-team conference honor.

Of course, it’s different in college. As a freshman, Peterson had to learn how to play with a new bunch of teammates. But then, that’s part of the fun, too.

To see the Globe video of Dannyn in action, go online at www.dglobe.com . Here’s a sample of the interview:

QUESTION: So tell us a little bit about your high school basketball experience.

ANSWER: “I was a guard. I was never a post in high school. … At first I was really scared to transition from guard to post because I’m smaller. But I think I’ve got a handle on it pretty well. In high school we did post work and guard work, so we did everything. So the moves weren’t necessarily new. I just never had the opportunity to do them in high school.”

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QUESTION: What’s the most difficult thing to learn from the high school-to-college transition?

ANSWER: “The hardest thing to master has definitely been the speed. It’s so much faster than high school ball. But I absolutely love the speed.”

QUESTION: What’s the most unusual thing about you that most people don’t know?

ANSWER: “Probably the most unusual thing about me that most people do not know is that I am absolutely in love with horses. I have two at home. It’s just not something that a lot of people do, from Minnesota West.”

Doug Wolter joined the Worthington Globe in December of 1983 as a sports reporter. He later became sports editor, and then news editor and managing editor. In 2006 he moved to Mankato with his wife, Sandy, and served as an editor at the Mankato Free Press. In 2013 he and Sandy returned to Worthington to take up the job of sports editor at The Globe, and they have been in Worthington since.

Doug can be reached at dwolter@dglobe.com.
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