Posted 3/23/11 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
While the Watford City varsity girls basketball team no doubt wishes that they would have played better at the State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament this past week, the Wolves can hold their heads up high that, all in all, they had a heck of a season.
In spite of losing all three of their games at the State Tournament, the Wolves still can be proud of the fact that they ended their season with an eighth place finish at State, and finished the season with an impressive 21-5 record.
The Wolves dropped their opening round action of the State Tournament falling to the Central Cass Squirrels, 47-26, on Thursday, and then fell to the Central Valley Valiants, 53-34, on Saturday. In Saturday’s battle for seventh place, the Wolves came up just a little short falling to the Washburn Cardinals 50-47.
State Class B Tournament
Opening Round Game
Central Cass 47, Watford City 26
All season long, Watford City used its speed to more than make up for its lack of size. But when faced with a team that was not only as quick as they were, but also much taller, the Wolves knew that they were going to have to shoot the ball very well against Central Cass in the opening round action of the State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament on Thursday.
But, unfortunately, the shots just would not fall for Watford City as the Wolves dropped their opening round action to the Squirrels, 47-26.
Watford City shot just nine of 40 from the field, and were stone cold behind the arc going 0 of 12 from three-point land as they struggled to find any offensive rhythm. And the free throws didn’t come easy for the Wolves either, as Watford City only connected on eight of 19 attempts at the charity stripe.
The Wolves stayed close to the Squirrels during the first half of action as Watford City trailed Central Cass 11-7 at the end of the first quarter and by five points, 19-14, at halftime. But Watford City’s offense sputtered in the second half as the Wolves were outscored 14-7 in the third quarter and 14-5 in the final quarter.
McKayla Haugeberg led the Wolves in scoring with eight points, while Dani Bates chipped in seven points in the loss. Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Jayme Johnson with six points, Marti Quale and Brianna Allex with two points each, while Sadie Kieson netted one point.
Watford City 7 14 21 26
Central Cass 11 19 33 47
State Class B Tournament
Second Round Game
Central Valley 53, Watford City 34
Watford City dug itself into an early hole against the Central Valley Valiants that the Wolves couldn’t dig their way out of in Friday afternoon’s consolation bracket action of the State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament.
Once again, the Wolves found themselves trailing early against a much taller Central Valley team as Watford City’s shooting woes continued.
The Valiants, who took advantage of Watford City’s poor shooting, got off to a 15-7 first-quarter lead and never looked back as they downed the Wolves, 53-34.
McKayla Haugeberg and Jayme Johnson would provide the Wolves’ offensive scoring effort as the pair netted 13 and 10 points, respectively.
But for the second day in a row, Watford City just could not buy a basket. For the game, the Wolves shot 30 percent from the field, hitting on just 12 of 40 attempts and were good on just one of 12 three-point attempts. At the free-throw line, the Wolves hit on just nine of 24 for 37.5 percent.
The Wolves trailed the Valiants, 29-16, at halftime and then outscored Central Valley, 14-13, in the third quarter to cut their deficit to 12 points, 42-30, at the end of three quarters of play. But that would be as close as Watford City would get as the Valiants took the fourth quarter by an 11-4 scoring advantage.
Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Alexis Sanford with three points, while Marti Quale, Brianna Allex, Dani Bates, and Amanda Mogen would net two points each.
Watford City 7 16 30 34
Central Valley 15 29 42 53
State Class B Tournament
Seventh Place Game
Washburn 50, Watford City 47
After trailing Washburn by as many as 10 points, 17-7, with 2:50 left in the first half, Watford City began the slow process of battling their way back into the game, and very nearly pulled off a tremendous come-from-behind win in Saturday afternoon’s contest for seventh place at the State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament.
The Wolves trailed the Cardinals, 10-6, after the first quarter of play and by six points, 19-13, at halftime.
But the Wolves would turn the second half into a real barn burner with the lead changing hands eight times in the final two quarters of play before the Cardinals held off the Wolves to take a 50-47 win.
Watford City would take the lead, 26-25, for the first time in the game with 2:39 left in the third quarter on back-to-back baskets by McKayla Haugeberg, Marti Quale and Dani Bates. But the Cardinals answered the challenge by going on a 5-0 run of their own to retake the lead, 30-26, with 1:52 left in the quarter.
Alexis Sanford then delivered on the first of a pair of three-pointers in the final two minutes of the quarter to put Watford City on top 32-31. But a pair of free throws by Washburn with 0.4 seconds left in the stanza would allow Washburn to hold a one-point, 33-32, lead going into the final eight minutes of play.
Brianna Allex provided Watford City with its offensive spark to start the fourth quarter as she scored two quick baskets and a free throw to put the Wolves up 37-33.
But as quickly as Watford City was able to build a lead, Washburn would go on a scoring run of their own to keep the game close.
The Wolves would go on one last scoring run with McKayla Haugeberg putting three points on the board the old-fashioned way to give Watford City a 45-40 lead with 3:53 left in the game.
The Cardinals would then retake the lead for good with 1:33 remaining on the clock and take the win as the Wolves came up short on a last second three-point attempt by Haugeberg.
The Wolves had three players score in double figures in the contest with Dani Bates pacing Watford City in scoring with 13 points, while Marti Quale and McKayla Haugeberg added 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Also scoring for the Wolves was Brianna Allex with seven points and Alexis Sanford with six points.
For the game, the Wolves shot 31 percent from the field hitting on 16 of 51 attempts, including going four of 17 from three-point land. At the free-throw line, Watford City shot 58 percent, hitting on 11 of 19 attempts.
Watford City 6 13 32 47
Washburn 10 19 33 50