Posted 3/07/12 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
With a 60-56 win over Divide County in Monday afternoon’s opening round action of the Region 8 Girls Basketball Tournament, the Watford City Wolves advanced to Tuesday’s semifinal game against the New Town Eagles.
Region 8 Tournament
Watford City 60, Divide County 56
It was a fight to the finish on Monday afternoon as Watford City and Divide County battled to keep their playoff dreams alive in opening round action of the Region 8 Tournament at the Northern Lights Building in New Town.
And in a game that saw plenty of fouls and turnovers by both teams, Watford City emerged as the 60-56 winner. With the win, the Wolves, who improved their season record to 20-3, advanced to semifinal action on Tuesday, while the Maroons saw their season come to an end.
In a very close first quarter that saw Watford City build a 16-11 lead following a three-pointer by McKayla Haugeberg with under two minutes remaining in the stanza, Divide County would deadlock the game at 16-16 with 10 seconds on the clock. But Brianna Allex would put the Wolves back on top 18-16 as she drained a buzzer-beater to finish the quarter.
Divide County would regain the lead early on in the second stanza, but a basket by Sadie Kieson midway through the quarter would put the Wolves back on top 22-21. The two teams continued to trade baskets for the remainder of the quarter with Divide County holding a 28-26 lead until Charlie Hystad would score for the Wolves in the final seconds to send the teams into the lockers with the score deadlocked at 28-28.
Amanda Mogen opened the third quarter with a steal and a basket to put the Wolves on top 30-28.
Both teams then went on a 3½ minute scoring dry spell that wasn’t broken until Katie Mogen gave the Wolves a 32-28 lead with 4:30 remaining in the quarter.
Divide County slowly chipped away at the Wolves’ lead in the third quarter, ultimately tying the game at 34-34 with under 2½ minutes in the stanza. Watford City answered with a basket by Fallon Fladeland, and another three-pointer by Haugeberg would put the Wolves up by five points, 39-34, before Divide County’s Amber Deering drained a three-pointer to get the Maroons back to a 39-37 deficit. A Charlie Hystad basket would close out the Wolves’ third-quarter scoring putting Watford City up by four points, 41-37, going into the final eight minutes of play.
The Wolves’ offense came alive early in the fourth quarter as Watford City was able to build a 10-point, 48-38, lead in the first three minutes of the quarter. But once again Divide County would begin a rally of their own.
While the Maroons would cut Watford City’s lead to a single point, 51-50 with 1:56 left in the game, the Wolves would make one last push to hold back Divide County.
Katie Mogen gave the Wolves some breathing room as she scored back-to-back baskets for Watford City and then solid free-throw shooting at the free-throw line by Haugeberg and Allex secured the win for the Wolves.
McKayla Haugeberg and Katie Mogen provided the outside and inside scoring action for the Wolves as Haugeberg netted a team high 16 points, including hitting on four three-pointers, while Mogen dominated the paint with 13 points. Also scoring in double digits for Watford City was Brianna Allex who finished the game with 10 points.
Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Sadie Kieson with eight points, Charlie Hystad with six points, Amanda Mogen with five points and Fallon Fladeland with two points.
For the game, the Wolves shot 43 percent from the field, hitting on 20 of 47 attempts, and were good on eight of 16 at the charity stripe.
Watford City 18 28 41 60
Divide County 16 28 37 56