Posted 2/06/13 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
The Watford City varsity boys basketball team earned two key wins this past week as the Wolves edged the Stanley Blue Jays, 56-52, in overtime and then avenged their earlier loss to New Town by defeating the Eagles, 62-41.
This week, the Wolves, who are 9-5 on the season, will be wrapping up their regular season schedule as they host Beulah on Thursday and then travel to Dickinson Trinity on Friday and to Ray on Feb. 11.
Watford City 56, Stanley 52 (OT)
It wasn’t a pretty win as the Watford City Wolves edged the Stanley Blue Jays, 56-52, in overtime on Jan. 29. But as Randy Cranston, Wolves’ head coach, knows, a win is a win.
“We struggled at times to score and to defend the perimeter in the first three quarters of the game,” stated Cranston. “Our defense late in the fourth quarter and overtime helped us pull out this win.”
Watford City led the Blue Jays, 15-11, after the first eight minutes of play and then surrendered the lead to Stanley in the second quarter after being outscored, 14-7, to trail 25-22 at halftime.
The Wolves trailed the Blue Jays, 37-35, at the end of the third quarter before sending the game into overtime. In overtime action, Watford City outscored Stanley, 10-6, to take the win.
Reid Brown and Tyler Bates led the Wolves in scoring with 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Cole Rolfsrud with eight points, Michael Schulz with seven points, Mitchell Liebel with five points and Brandon Stoker with one point.
Watford City 15 22 35 46 56
Stanley 11 25 37 46 52
Watford City 62, New Town 41
Anytime Watford City comes out with a win against District 15 rivals, the New Town Eagles, it’s a big win.
But last Thursday’s 62-41 win over the Eagles was even bigger for Randy Cranston and his Wolves. Not only was the victory an avenging of a 69-68 overtime loss to New Town earlier this season, but the win also moved Watford City into the No. 1 spot in District 15.
“Our defense is to be given credit for this win,” stated Cranston. “We really kept their scorers under wraps.”
While Watford City’s offense came out sizzling against the Eagles, New Town’s offense struggled all night to find a rhythm.
The Wolves held a 19-14 first- quarter lead, and then Watford City’s defense came on big in the second quarter, holding the Eagles to just a single basket, while the Wolves netted 10 points to post a 29-16 halftime advantage.
But it was a big third quarter offensively that allowed the Wolves to put the game on ice. Watford City outgunned the Eagles, 22-13, during that eight minutes of play to take a commanding, 51-29, lead into the final quarter of action.
“We had a big third quarter which set the tempo for the rest of the game,” stated Cranston. “The kids played with a lot of positive emotion and shot the ball well.”
Tyler Bates led the Wolves with 20 points, while Reid Brown and Michael Schulz netted 12 points each.
Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Cole Rolfsrud with nine points, Shane Jorgenson with four points, Dustin Kleppen with three points and Mitchell Liebel with two points.
Watford City 19 29 51 62
New Town 14 16 29 41