Posted 3/22/16 (Tue)
By Neal A. Shipman
High school records are made to be broken. Whether those records are set in track, football, basketball or another sport, there is always another athlete that comes along that can run faster, golf better, or score more points.
But when Katie Mogen’s free throw swished through the net with 18.2 seconds left in the 2016 State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament championship game against Shiloh Christian on Saturday, March 5, Watford City’s standout basketball player not only netted her final basket in a Watford City Wolves uniform, but set a new Watford City High School girls basketball career scoring record.
With that basket, Mogen netted her 1,928th point and shattered the old W.C.H.S. girls basketball scoring record of 1,712 points set by Billie Dixon in 1979.
“When I broke Dixon’s scoring record on Jan. 9, in our game against Hazen, I had no idea why they stopped the game,” states Mogen. “Then they announced that I had set a new scoring record and everyone started congratulating me. I didn’t even know that I was close to breaking the scoring record.”
Scoring came easy for Mogen, a 5’9” forward-post, who was moved up to the varsity team for Watford City as an eighth grader where she scored 352 points.
According to Mogen, she began playing basketball as a fourth grader and honed her skills practicing the game with her mother and sisters.
And as Mogen matured on the basketball court, the points started piling up.
“Putting the ball in the hoop leads to winning games,” states Mogen. “I like to win. Winning makes everyone feel better. It’s all about getting the job done.”
And Mogen, with her scoring ability, got the job done for the Wolves.
When Mogen began starting for Watford City as a freshman, the Wolves finished the season with a 20-4 record and a second place finish at the Region 8 Tournament.
As a sophomore, even after missing five games due to a knee injury, Mogen led the Wolves in scoring as she shot 51 percent from the field hitting on 176 of 347 attempts and making 89 of 159 attempts at the free-throw line. Watford City ended its 2014 season with a 20-8 record, a regional championship crown and an eighth place finish at the State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament.
Mogen continued to rack up points as Watford City’s leading scorer in her junior year as she shot 57 percent from the field, hitting on 170 of 297 attempts and making 85 of 141 attempts at the charity stripe. The Wolves ended their 2015 season with a 22-2 season record and a second place finish in the Region 8 Tournament.
“I play a very aggressive style of offense,” states Mogen, who found herself double- and triple-teamed defensively by opposing teams throughout her career. “I like to push and shove. But when I couldn’t score, I could always get the ball to another of my teammates.”
And it was her willingness to share the ball with her teammates that culminated with the Wolves taking second place at the 2016 State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament.
As a senior, Mogen saw her scoring drop a notch or two as she moved from the post to a forward position. But even in the new position, Mogen’s scoring ability contributed to Watford City’s successful, 24-3, season. During her final year in a Watford City jersey, Mogen made 134 of 227 attempts from the field and hit on 57 of 90 free-throw attempts.
“Katie has been a key contributor for the Wolves for all the seasons that I have been coaching the varsity girls,” states John Zenz, Wolves’ head coach. “So it will be different not having her in the gym come next November. She led the Wolves in scoring in each of the last five years.”
While Mogen played with the varsity squad, the Wolves went 107-21 and played in the regional championship game four times, including two trips to the State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament.
Along with being named to many all district and region teams, Mogen was named to All-State Second Team her sophomore and junior years, was named the 2016 Region 8 Senior Athlete of the Year, was named the Most Valuable Player at the 2016 State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament, was named to the 2016 State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament All-Tournament Team, and was one of the finalists for the 2016 Miss Basketball Award for the state of North Dakota.
During her high school career, Mogen shot 54 percent from the field and 57 percent from the free-thow line, while pulling down 815 rebounds, dishing off 274 assists and having 379 steals.
“Katie has become a very complete ball player who can contribute in so many ways,” states Zenz. “She is ready to take that next step on to college basketball.”
While Mogen will be leaving Watford City High School this May holding the school’s career scoring record, her days of competitive basketball are not over as she will be joining the University of Jamestown girls basketball team this fall.
“I’ve enjoyed playing with all of my teammates over the years at Watford City,” states Mogen. “I’m going to miss them.”
While records are made to be broken, Mogen’s new Watford City High School girls basketball career scoring could stand for a long, long time.