MARSHALL - When Russell-Tyler-Ruthton's Brett Peterson was selected as the 2013 Marshall Independent's All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year, the story told us about his skills, knowledge and dedication to the game.
This season, Peterson took on the role of team leadership and, because of that, was counted upon to provide more scoring and rebounding - all of which he did gracefully.
The top boys basketball player in the area enhanced his overall game during the 2013-14 campaign while contributing more to the Knights on the court. This is the reason Peterson has been named the 2014 Marshall Independent's All-Area Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
Photo submitted by The Tyler Tribute; Illustration by Ryan Strampe
Russell-Tyler-Ruthton's Brett Peterson
"I am thankful to receive awards for playing basketball, but none of these awards would come to me without the help of my teammates," said Peterson, who ended up averaging 27.1 points and 11.0 rebounds as a senior.
Knights head coach Ted Kern said Peterson is a special player because of his court vision.
"He saw things on the court that I could not see like passing angles," Kern said. "Brett made some passes to his teammates that I didn't think would work, but he was able to set up his teammates as opposing defenses were focusing on him."
Peterson, who ended up with 505 career assists, said he enjoyed setting up his teammates. He had 136 assists this season, which was 5.7 per game average.
"I enjoy getting into the flow of the game before I take my shots," Peterson said. "By getting my teammates involved early on, I would pass the ball to them and also find openings in the defense that I could exploit later."
Peterson, RTR's all-time leading scorer, is the only Knight to eclipse the 2,000-point plateau. He finished with 2,003 points and an 18.5 scoring average for his prep career. As a senior, Peterson scored 704 points, a school record that was 130 points better than the 574 points he had in 2013.
In the first quarter of this season, Peterson produced a pair of 40-point games and a pair of 30-point contests.
He scored a school-record 46 points as the Knights defeated Class A state quarterfinalist Canby in an 85-79 Camden Conference decision in triple overtime on Dec. 12, 2013. Peterson had 40 points in a 90-88 non-conference overtime win at Adrian on Dec. 7, 2013, after hitting a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from an estimated 30 feet.
"When it all comes down, you just want to win. If that means that I need to score 40 points, that's what I want to do. Even if it only takes five points, I'm willing to do that, as long as we win," Peterson told the Marshall Independent last December.
The Knights won a lot of games with Peterson on the court. RTR has gone 59-21 the last three seasons, including 27-2 during the 2012-13 season, when the Knights were the runners-up in Class A Section 3. RTR went 14-10 this season, but were upset by MACCRAY 56-55 in the section quarterfinals on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Carter Asche.
"I accomplished almost everything I wanted to do as high school basketball player, except getting to play in the state tournament," Peterson said. "It's not something that was meant to be."
Peterson, a 6-foot-4 shooting guard, made himself a solid rebounder. He collected 275 of his 725 career caroms as a senior and averaged 6.1 rebounds in this career. Peterson had 252 career steals, including 56 as a senior.
A four-time letterwinner and a two-time captain, Peterson has a long list of basketball accolades to his credit.
He gained attention as an all-state honorable mention and a Minnesota Hardware Hank Athlete of the Week. Peterson is a two-time Camden Conference MVP, a two-time Southwest Minnesota Stars team MVP, a three-time All-Camden Conference pick, a three-time All-Area first team selection and a three-time all-holiday tournament honoree.
"He works very hard to improve himself as a basketball player," Kern said of Peterson. "Brett lives in the gym, plays basketball all summer and is the ideal definition of a gym rat."