Posted 3/02/11 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
After receiving a bye in the first round of the District 15 Girls Basketball Tournament, Watford City cruised to the championship game by defeating North Shore-Plaza, 51-21.
In the title game, the Wolves won a thriller, defeating the Stanley Blue Jays, 60-56.
As the No. 1 seed from District 15, the Wolves, who are 18-2 on the season, will take on Ray, the No. 4 seed from District 16, at approximately 6 p.m. in the first round of the Region 8 Tournament, which gets underway on Thursday, March 7 at Williston State College.
District 15 Championship
Watford City 60, Stanley 56
In what looked like would be a blowout win for Watford City in the first half turned into a real nail-biter for the Wolves as Stanley gave the Wolves everything they could handle in the District 15 title game on Monday night.
Watford City got off to a very quick start using their speed and a stingy defense to take away Stanley’s more physical style of basketball.
After holding an 18-11 first-quarter lead, Watford City outscored the Blue Jays, 18-9, in the second quarter to take a comfortable 16-point, 36-20 lead into the lockers at halftime.
Things continued to go Watford City’s way midway through the third stanza as the Wolves upped their advantage to 21 points, 46-25, when Stanley turned the tables.
In the final four minutes of the third quarter, Stanley went on an11-3 scoring spree to cut the Wolves’ lead to 13 points going into the fourth quarter.
And the momentum stayed Stanley’s way for the first five minutes of the fourth stanza as the Blue Jays kept chipping away at Watford City’s lead until they only trailed by three points, 53-50, with three minutes left in the contest.
While Watford City would bend, the Wolves never broke as they built their lead to seven points on baskets by McKayla Haugeberg and Jayme Johnson with 1:50 left to play.
But Stanley would make one last charge on a pair of quick baskets to get back to a three-point deficit. Jas min Pappa would cut Watford’s lead to one point, 57-56, with 34 seconds left in the game.
But clutch free throws by Haugeberg and Marti Quale sealed the win for the Wolves.
Watford City had four players score in double figures in the win with Jayme Johnson posting a game high 17 points, while Alexis Sanford and Dani Bates had 12 points each and McKayla Haugeberg ended the game with 10 points.
Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Marti Quale and Brianna Allex with five and four points, respectively.
Watford City 18 36 49 60
Stanley 11 20 36 56
District 15 Semifinals
Watford City 51, North Shore-Plaza 21
Watford City got off to a very slow start against North Shore-Plaza in Saturday’s semifinal action of the District 15 Girls Basketball Tournament. But, as they say, it’s not how you start a game, but how you finish it that counts.
And that was the case for the Wolves as they could only muster eight points in the first quarter against the Wildcats. But the next three quarters told a completely different story as the Wolves blasted NS-P, 17-5, in the second quarter to post a commanding, 25-8, halftime lead.
Watford City completely dominated the second half of action outscoring the Wildcats 17-4 in the third quarter and then coasted to the easy win.
Marti Quale and Alexis Sanford had the hot hands for the Wolves as the pair combined for 26 of the Wolves’ points. Quale finished the game with a game high 14 points, including two three-pointers, while Sanford netted four three-pointers to end the game with 12 points.
Also scoring for Watford City was Dani Bates with eight points, Ashli Foli with six points, Jayme Johnson and Shanyce Fredericks with four points each, Amanda Mogen with two points, while McKayla Haugeberg and Charlie Hystad ended the game with one point each.
Watford City 8 25 42 52
NSP 3 8 12 21