Posted 2/27/13 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
Watford City kept its playoff hopes alive on Monday night as the Wolves varsity boys basketball team edged the Ray Jays 53-43 in opening round action of the Region 8 Tournament.
With the win the Wolves will be guaranteed two more games at Region with a chance to advance to the State Tournament.
Watford City 53, Ray 43
Ray gave Watford City all that the Wolves could handle in the loser-out action of the Region 8 Tournament on Monday night at Williston State College.
The Wolves had easily defeated Ray, 53-35, last week. But this time around the Jays proved to be a much more formable opponent as Ray played Watford City much tougher with the game seeing five lead changes and six ties.
After playing to a 13-13 tie at the end of the first quarter, the Wolves were able to open up a 14-point lead in the second quarter before taking a 10-point, 29-19, lead into the lockers at halftime. But the Jays were a long way from throwing in the towel at that point.
In what was a wild second half with both teams going on huge scoring runs, the Jays got things rolling their way first as Ray outscored the Wolves 20-6 in the third quarter to take a 39-35 lead into the final eight minutes of play. But the Wolves answered right back in the fourth quarter as Watford City went on 18-4 scoring run to secure the win.
Three Watford City players scored in double figures in the win with Tyler Bates and Mitchell Liebel netting 12 points each, while Michael Schulz ended the game with 10 points.
Rounding out the scoring for the Wolves was Reid Brown with nine points, Cole Rolfsrud with seven points and Dustin Kleppen with three points.
For the game, the Wolves shot 47 percent from the field, hitting on 21 of 44 attempts and were good on nine of 19 at the charity stripe.
Watford City held a 31-29 rebounding advantage.
Watford City 13 29 35 53
Ray 13 19 39 43