Posted 2/20/13 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
The Watford City varsity boys basketball team wrapped up its regular season play with a resounding 53-35 win over the Ray Jays last Monday, and then kept their winning ways going as the Wolves captured the championship title in the District 15 Tournament with a 65-55 win over the Parshall Braves.
The Wolves, who are 13-7 on the season, will now be advancing to the Region 8 Tournament, which gets underway on Monday, Feb. 25 at Williston State College. Watford City’s first action at the regional tournament will be at 6:30 p.m. on Monday when the Wolves, the No. 1 team from District 15, will take on the Ray Jays, the No. 4 team from District 16.
Watford City 53, Ray 35
Tyler Bates poured in a game high 28 points as the Wolves ended their regular season with a 53-35 win over the Ray Jays last Monday.
“We responded well from the previous two losses last week to solid basketball teams by coming out and playing good defense and finding the open man on the floor,” stated Randy Cranston, Wolves’ head coach. “We played very well in the second half and pulled ahead by playing good solid defense and moving the ball offensively. A good team effort, but we still have lots of work to do.”
After a close first half that saw the Wolves lead the Jays 15-13 at the end of the first quarter, and by five points, 26-21, at halftime, Watford City took control of the game in the second half.
Watford City outgunned the Jays 27-12 in the final two stanzas to take the easy win.
Rounding out the scoring for the Wolves was Michael Schulz with eight points, Reid Brown and Mitchell Liebel with five points each, Cole Rolfsrud with four points, Dustin Kleppen with two points and Logan Fettig with one point.
Watford City 15 26 42 53
Ray 13 21 28 35
District 15 Tournament
Watford City 69, White Shield 44
After receiving a first round bye in the District 15 Tournament, Watford City got off to a slow first-quarter start against White Shield in semifinal action on Friday. But in spite of a slow start, Watford City turned its game around in the final three quarters and cruised to the title game with a 69-44 win over the Warriors.
The Wolves led White Shield 9-8 at the end of the first quarter, and then Watford City blew the game wide open in the second stanza, going on a 25-13 scoring run.
“We started out a bit slow but picked up the pace in the second quarter,” stated Cranston. “With standout performances from Reid Brown and Michael Schulz in the post area, we were able to get easy baskets. Our defense also stepped it up which helped create some easy baskets for us.”
The Wolves had three players score in double figures in the win, with Brown netting a game high 23 points, followed by Schulz with 18 and Mitchell Liebel with 14 points.
Watford City continued to dominate the offensive action in the second half, outscoring White Shield 18-10 and 17-13 in the final two quarters to take the win.
Also scoring for Watford City was Dustin Kleppen and Tyler Bates, who ended the game with eight and six points, respectively.
Watford City 9 34 52 69
White Shield 8 21 31 44
District 15 Tournament
Watford City 65, Parshall 55
For three quarters of play, Parshall gave Watford City everything it could handle in the title game of the District 15 Tournament last Saturday. But in the end, Watford City was able to claim the title on the back of solid inside shooting.
The Wolves held a slim 14-13 first- quarter lead with the Braves turning the tables on Watford City in the second quarter to take a three-point, 29-26, lead into the lockers at halftime.
But Watford City took control of the game in the third quarter, outscoring the Braves 27-17 to put the game out of reach for Parshall.
“We put on the pressure full court defensively and pushed the ball in the second half,” stated Cranston. “As a result, we got easier baskets that allowed us to score 27 in the third quarter. That was the confidence we needed in order to pull off a come-from-behind victory. The players played well as a team on both sides of the floor.”
The Wolves had three players score in double figures in the win over Parshall with Tyler Bates leading Watford City with 21 points, while Michael Schulz and Reid Brown netted 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Cole Rolfsrud with seven points, Mitchell Liebel with four points and Dustin Kleppen with two points.
“Hopefully this win gives our players the confidence they are going to need going into the regional tournament,” stated Cranston.
Watford City 14 26 53 65
Parshall 13 29 46 55