Posted 12/15/15 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
Watford City’s youth and inexperience definitely showed as the Wolves’ varsity boys basketball team opened its 2015-16 campaign with a 71-51 loss to the Hazen Bison on Friday evening.
“With only one returning starter and a few returning players with varsity experience, this will be a year in which we look to continue to improve each practice and game,” states Randy Cranston, Wolves’ head coach. “We have hard working players that will challenge each other each day. With a mix of under and upperclassman we will try to find the right mixture of players to be successful as soon as possible.”
Seth Indergard, a 6’4” senior, returns as Cranston’s only starter with Korbin Knutson, a 5’9” senior, Cole McGorman, a 6’3” junior, and Jarek Hogue, a 5’9” sophomore, will be returning with some varsity playing time from last season.
“Our schedule this year is second to none in Class B,” states Cranston. “We will be playing Hazen, Bishop Ryan, Dickinson High, St. Mary’s, Our Redeemers, Beulah, Shiloh Christian, Dickinson Trinity, and Parshall, who placed second at State last year. Each game will be a challenge.”
The next action for the Wolves will be on Thursday, Dec. 17, when Watford City opens its home season against New Town. Watford City will then travel to Dickinson High on Tuesday, Dec. 22.
Hazen 71, Watford City 51
Hazen took advantage of Watford City’s first game jitters as the Bison capitalized on Wolves’ turnovers to jump to 23-7 first quarter lead.
“Turnovers plagued us all the game,” stated Cranston. “We ended the game with 38 turnovers, many of which were unforced.”
While the Wolves struggled with turnovers, they also lost the services of starter Cole McGorman as he suffered a mild concussion after landing awkwardly and hitting his head on the floor.
With the loss of McGorman, who sparked the Wolves’ offense in the second quarter, Watford City’s offense struggled.
Watford City trailed the Bison 42-16 at halftime, and by 28 points, 58-30, going into the fourth quarter. The Wolves would cut into that deficit in the final eight minutes of play to take the 71-51 loss.
Seth Indergard and Cole McGorman paced the Wolves in scoring with 14 and 10 points, respectively. Rounding out Watford City’s scoring was Jarek Hogue with seven points, Kason Hartel with five points, Jamison Flynn and Logan Mehlhoff with four points each, Hunter Neether, Jessen Homiston and Jaydn Ewing with two points each and Carter Zenz with one point.
“We are young and inexperienced at the varsity level,” stated Cranston. “So some of the struggles are expected early. However, we are going to have to learn fast in order to compete with the tough schedule we have.”
Watford City 7 16 30 51
Hazen 23 42 58 71