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Eighth-grader Peyton Hoffman ready to shatter mom's school records at Climax-Fisher

Jan. 23—GRAND FORKS — Climax-Fisher eighth-grader Peyton Hoffman had a hunch she was close to passing 1,000 career points, but she wasn't sure exactly where she stood.

Her mom and Climax-Fisher girls basketball assistant coach Brenda Slyt worked to keep that a secret.

Teammate Claire Erickson grabbed an offensive rebound and tossed the ball inside to Hoffman, who laid it in for 1,001 career points with 10 minutes, 57 seconds left in the second half of the Knights' 75-53 win over Bagley Jan. 18.

Hoffman's first thought: "Why is everyone going so crazy?"

A timeout was called to give the crowd at Fisher High School a chance to pull out homemade signs and congratulate Hoffman on the milestone.

"It was exciting just to keep that quiet from her and have her teammates be such a big part of that secret," Slyt said. "Then, when she got it, just to see everyone erupt and be excited for her was absolutely rewarding."

Hoffman, wearing the same No. 42 jersey her mom wore, is on pace to end with over 3,000 points in her high school career — a number that would break Climax-Fisher's school record, held by Slyt.

Slyt ended her high school career with 2,358 points and went on to play collegiately at North Dakota State. She passed 1,000 career points her sophomore year at Climax-Fisher.

"It was overwhelming for me, just to think back to when I was in eighth grade, and now she's in eighth grade. She's hitting her 1,000 point in eighth grade and that's when I just started my journey here at Climax-Fisher," Slyt said. "Seeing her doing that is so rewarding, knowing that that's my daughter out there, and she's such a good team player. She loves Climax-Fisher and she would do anything for her teammates and for her team. It was like a team win when she got it."

Knights coach Guy Findstrom said Hoffman is growing into a complete player, comparing her scoring, rebounding and defensive ability and her hustle to NBA Hall of Famers Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Even as a young player, Hoffman is "always trying to one up on herself," Slyt said.

"She's one of those athletes that doesn't ever stop," she said. "She doesn't have an off button. She's always setting her goals super, super high, and she'll do anything to get there. She doesn't even accept anything below a 98% in school, because she strives to be the best."

Hoffman, in order to be the best girls basketball player at Climax-Fisher, is chasing her mom's school records. She was two points away from breaking Slyt's single-game scoring record (42 points) against Northome/Kelliher Dec. 21.

Her biggest goal, though, is setting a new school record for career points.

"She told me she wants to shatter it," Slyt said. "I always tell her, 'What's better than your own daughter beating the school record?'"