Posted 11/25/09 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
When the Watford City girls basketball team takes to the court in their season opener on Dec. 1 against the Killdeer Cowboys, the Wolves will be fielding one of the shortest teams in recent history. But according to Berton Bates, Wolves’ head coach, this year’s squad is very quick and athletic, two attributes that he hopes will help Watford City to a winning season.
“We will be small, but quick and athletic,” states Bates. “We will look to run if we can.”
After finishing last year’s season with a fourth place finish in the District 15 Tournament and a third place finish at the Region 8 Tournament, Bates is looking forward to seeing the team better last year’s 10-15 record.
The Wolves will be returning only four varsity players who started games last season for Bates. Leading the way will be Olivia Sundeen, a 5’4” senior guard who averaged six points per game, and was named to the last year’s All-Region Tournament team. Other players returning who saw starting time are 5’8” senior forward Shakira McLaughlin and Marti Quale, a 5’6” junior guard, and Jayme Johnson, a 5’7” junior guard.
Other letter winners returning to the 2009-10 team are Stephanie Deutsch, a 5’9” senior forward, and juniors Dani Bates, a 5’8” forward; Ashli Foli, a 5’8” forward; and Alexis Sanford, a 5’4” guard.
Promising newcomers to the Wolves will be McKayla Haugeberg, a 5’4” freshman guard, Brianna Allex, a 5’6” sophomore guard; and Charlie Hystad, a 5’9” sophomore forward.
“Because of our size, we are going to have to mix up our defenses and use a pressure defensive,” says Bates. “And we are going to have to find some consistent scorers.”
While Bates sees Stanley and Mandaree and Parshall being the top three teams in the district, he hopes to see the Wolves be in the mix of Region 8 by the end of the season.
“We will be playing a very tough schedule this season,” states Bates.