Posted 12/15/10 (Wed)
By Neal A. Shipman
After finishing last season with a 9-14 record, Berton Bates, head coach of the Watford City Wolves girls basketball team, is looking forward to a winning season.
The Wolves, who open their 2010-2011 season this week at the Killdeer Tournament, will be a veteran team this year which Bates feels will make a big difference.
“We have a lot of experienced players returning this season,” states Bates. “We have six players who started games for us last year, and that will be a big help to our team when it comes to leadership.”
Leading the way for the Wolves will be Dani Bates, a 5’8” senior post, who was an All-District pick last year. Bates averaged nine points and six rebounds per game last season. Other returning seniors are Jayme Johnson, a 5’7” guard, who averaged six points, four rebounds, 2½ assists and 3½ steals per game; Marti Quale, a 5’5” guard, who averaged five points, three rebounds, 1½ assists and 1½ steals per game; Ashli Foli, a 5’7” forward, who averaged two points and two rebounds per outing; and Lexi Sanford, a 5’4” guard, who netted 39 three-pointers last season, while averaging six points and two rebounds per game.
Also returning to Bates’ lineup will be sophomore starter McKayla Haugeberg, a 5’4” guard who hit 15 three-pointers last season while averaging six points and three rebounds.
Also returning from last year’s squad are juniors Brianna Allex, a 5’6” guard, and Charlie Hystad, a 5’9” post, and sophomore Sadie Kieson, a 5’9” post, who averaged three points and three rebounds per game.
New to this year’s roster is Shanyce Fredericks, a 5’7” senior forward, who is a transfer from Beulah.
“We will be looking to run a lot this year,” states Bates. “And we will be playing a pressure defense so our games should be up-tempo and exciting.”
While Bates acknowledges that like last year, this year’s team will be lacking in size, he believes that the team’s athleticism and aggressiveness are strengths that will help the Wolves throughout the season.
“Overall, I believe we will be a good team and in the hunt at the end of the season,” states Bates. “We will need to develop into a better rebounding and ball-handling team by the end of the regular season.”
While Bates sees Stanley, Parshall and New Town as being the top three teams in the district, he hopes to see the Wolves be in the mix of District 15 and Region 8 by the end of the season.
At the Roughrider Tournament in Killdeer, the Wolves took on Heart River on Tuesday, Dec. 14, and will play Bowman County at 6:30 p.m. (CT) on Thursday and New England at 3 p.m. (CT) on Saturday.