Posted 12/18/13 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
The Watford City varsity girls basketball team will be opening its season this week at the Killdeer Roughrider Tournament in Killdeer. And while the Wolves may be the preseason favorite to win the Region 8 Tournament and make it to the State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament, but John Zenz, Wolves’ head coach, says that this year’s team will need some time to come together.
“We will definitely be a team in the making for the first part of the season,” states Zenz. “We’ve got some new players and we have some key players that will not be playing initially because of injuries.”
One of the key players for the Wolves who will not be starting for Watford City at the beginning of the season is 5’9” sophomore center Katie Mogen, who was the Wolves’ leading scorer last season. Mogen, who averaged 18 points and seven rebounds a game last season, is recovering from a meniscus injury to her knee and will not be seeing any playing time until after the Christmas break. In addition, Alyssa Prichard, a 5’9” junior center, is also recovering from ACL surgery.
“These two returning post players are still recovering from knee surgeries,” stated Zenz. “We will be easing them into our lineup as the season moves along.”
So with Katie Mogen sidelined, Zenz will be moving her sister, Amanda, to the post position and will be making other adjustments to his starting lineup.
“We will have at least three new starters, so the girls will have to adjust to new roles and playing time,” states Zenz. “We lost many of our post players to graduation so I am looking for girls to step into those positions.”
Of his 12-member varsity squad, Zenz only has two returning starters in the Mogen sisters.
But Zenz says that if the rest of the players step up, the Wolves will be very competitive by the end of the season.
“We have good depth that will lead to good competition for playing time,” states Zenz. “And I believe we can be very athletic and will try to play a full court game.”
According to Zenz, Kara Langerud, a 5’4” junior, will get the first shot at filling the Wolves’ point guard position that was left with McKayla Haugeberg’s graduation.
“Kara handles the ball well,” states Zenz. “And she can get the ball up and down the court.”
Also returning from last year’s varsity team is Ricki Lindley, a 5’6” sophomore guard; Lea Arndt, a 5’4” sophomore forward; Jeanna Zenz, a 5’6” senior guard; Elise Hadley, a 5’7” senior guard; Taryn Jacobson, a 5’3” junior guard; and Alyssa Prichard, a 5’9” junior center.
Making the varsity squad for the first time is Jordan Sparby, a 5’6” senior forward; Kaitlyn Grimes, a 5’9” sophomore forward; and McKenzie Sparby, a 5’10” freshman center.
“We definitely will be able to make a run on making it to State by the end of the season,” states Zenz. “But we are going to have to be healthy and we’re going to have to be able to improve on our perimeter shooting.”
According to Zenz, besides the Wolves, the top teams in the district will be Parshall and New Town.