Posted 2/24/10 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
For three quarters of play, it looked like the Watford City girls basketball team was going to keep its playoff hopes alive as the Wolves clung to a small, but constant, lead against Ray in Monday afternoon’s first round action of the Region 8 Girls Basketball Tournament at Williston State College.
Using a pressure defense and putting a chaser on Ray standout Samantha Heier was working for Watford City for most of the game. But eventually the fouls of Watford City’s aggressive defense play began to pile up as three Wolves’ starters would foul out in the fourth quarter. And to compound the Wolves’ woes, Ray was rock solid at the free-throw line knocking down 25 of 32 attempts as the Jays defeated Watford City 58-50.
After playing to a 15-15 first-quarter draw, Watford City would hold a two-point, 25-23, lead at halftime. While neither team was ever able to break the game open, the Wolves would up their lead to four points, 37-33, going into the final eight minutes of play.
The Wolves were able to build a six-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but with 5:18 left in the final quarter, the Jays would take the lead for good.
Down 46-43 with 3:08 left in the game, McKayla Haugeberg would can a pair of free throws to get Watford City back to a one-point deficit. But Ray answered right back with a basket and then Heier canned a pair of free throws to put Ray on top 50-45 with 2:18 left on the clock.
Again Watford City would make a run as Alexis Sanford drained a three-pointer to put the Wolves back to within two points, 50-48, with just under 1:30 left on the clock.
But that would be as close as Watford City would get as Ray put the game on ice at the free-throw line.
McKayla Haugeberg and Alexis Sanford led Watford City in scoring with 12 and 11 points, respectively while Jayme Johnson ended the game with nine points.
Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Shakira McLaughlin with seven points, Dani Bates with five points, while Marti Quale, Olivia Sundeen, Stephanie Deutsch and Sadie Kieson would net two points each.
For the game, the Wolves shot 19 of 65 from the field for 29 percent and were good on nine of 17 at the charity stripe.
Watford City 15 25 37 50
Ray 15 23 33 58