Posted 2/16/11 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
Watford City has struggled to find a way to defeat the New Town Eagles so far this basketball season. After losing to the Eagles twice in the regular season, the Wolves varsity boys basketball team was hoping that when they matched up in the District 15 title game on Saturday, the third time would prove to be the charm.
But that was not to be the case. New Town would hold off yet another valiant come-from-behind attempt by the Wolves as the Eagles edged Watford City, 56-51.
The Wolves, who had received a first round bye in the District 15 Tournament, defeated Stanley, 61-39, to advance to the title game against New Town.
With the loss, the Wolves will be advancing to the Region 8 Tournament as the No. 2 seed from District 15, taking on the Trenton Tigers, the No. 3 seed from District 16, at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 21 at the Williston State College.
Watford City 61, Stanley 39
Watford City made short work of Stanley in semifinal action of the District 15 Tournament as the Wolves powered by the Blue Jays, 61-39, to advance to the title game.
Watford City held the Blue Jays to single digit scoring in the first half of play en route to the easy win. The Wolves outgunned Stanley, 12-5 and 16-8, in the first two quarters of play, and then coasted to the easy win.
Watford City had four players score in double figures in the contest with Nick Liebel scoring a game high 18 points, while Shawn Fulwider, Curtis Lohse and Trey Jacobson would net 14, 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Tyler Flatland and Jason Shipman rounded out the scoring for the Wolves netting six and two points, respectively.
Watford City 12 28 48 61
Stanley 5 13 26 39
New Town 56, Watford City 51
Who would have ever imagined that with the explosive offensives that both New Town and Watford City possess, Watford City would only score three baskets and New Town could only muster one basket in the fourth quarter? And that the District 15 title would be decided by which team could shoot the best at the free-throw line?
While that is how the final minutes of the game would be settled, last Saturday’s District Championship game was definitely another great matchup between two top-ranked teams in Class B basketball. New Town was ranked No. 3 and Watford City was ranked No. 8 in the final Class B Power Poll.
As in the two previous games that have pitted the Wolves against the Eagles, Watford City once again found itself in the tough position of having to battle back from a big 13-point deficit midway through the first quarter of play.
The Wolves trailed New Town, 18-11, at the end of the first quarter and then slowly began the process of chipping away at the lead.
After cutting their deficit to 28-22 at halftime, Watford outgunned the Eagles, 20-13, in the third quarter to pull to within a two-point deficit, 41-39, going into the final eight minutes of play.
Curtis Lohse sparked the Wolves’ third-quarter comeback when he drained a three-pointer to get Watford City within four points. After New Town answered with a basket of their own, Tyler Flatland hit back-to-back baskets and canned a free throw to get the Wolves to within three points, 39-36, with 3:20 left in the quarter.
New Town would score one more basket in the final minutes of the quarter with Nick Liebel connecting on a three-point jumper with 1.8 seconds left in the quarter to close the deficit to two points, 41-39.
While Trey Jacobson would score on a layup to tie the game at 45-45 with 5:46 left in the contest, New Town secured the win at the free-throw line.
During the fourth quarter, New Town converted 13 of 15 tosses at the charity stripe, while the Wolves made six of 10.
Shawn Fulwider had a game high 18 points to lead both teams in scoring, while Trey Jacobson and Tyler Flatland netted 11 and 10 points, respectively for the Wolves. Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Curtis Lohse with nine points and Nick Liebel with three points.
New Town 18 28 41 56
Watford City 7 22 39 51