WYOMING — Oh, yeah, Mark Petersen’s quite aware he’s the second-leading scorer in the state.
Some guys will give you this song and dance about not caring about stats because it’s all about the team. But the
Midland guard is honest.
“I pay pretty close attention,” Petersen said. “Plus, everybody at school always hangs the stats up around school.”
Those stats show the 6-foot-3 junior is averaging 29.4 points per game. According to QUIKStats, the state’s official stats service, that’s a close No. 2 behind Des Moines Christian’s Branden Stubbs.
Christian has reported only three of its five games, so Petersen very well could be first.
“He’s a great kid,” said Midland Coach Matt Hartman. “He worked hard on his game over the summer and that work has paid off.”
Hartman opens the gym at Midland two or three times a week in the summer, so kids can play. Petersen said when he wasn’t at school, he was shooting at his basket at home in Lost Nation.
“I worked a lot on using my left hand,” he said. “I’d make my little sisters and my cousins guard me and make me go to my left.”
Whatever works. Petersen is shooting a solid 55 percent from the field, 41 percent from distance.
The Eagles’ tallest player and leading rebounder, he’s seeing a lot of junk defenses: box-and-one, diamond-and-one.
“I consider myself a scorer,” Petersen said. “I’m more of a shooter, but I can take guys inside, too. I guess I’ve never seen a shot I didn’t think was good.”
There goes that honesty thing again.
Division II Upper Iowa has shown some interest in Petersen. Hartman is convinced someone is going to get a gem.
“He’s going to be a really good college player,” Hartman said. “He’ll be a better college player than high school player … On our team, he’s one of our biggest guys. We have to ask him to do so many things. In college, he can just concentrate on being a guard.”
Petersen joins senior point guard Kolby Harms as the main men for Midland (5-2), which plays rival Olin tonight. Harms averages over 18 points per game.