Come-from-behind win gives Wolves district title
By Neal A. Shipman
Watford City pulled off the upset of the District 15 Tournament on Monday night as the Wolves, the No. 3 seed in the tournament, knocked off No. 1 seed Parshall in a thrilling, 60-58, come-from-behind win.
The Wolves advanced to the title game with a huge 75-61 win over the New Town Eagles in semifinal action of the District 15 Tournament on Saturday, after crushing the Mandaree Warriors, 74-20, in opening round action.
As the No. 1 seed from District 15, the Wolves will take on Trenton, the No. 4 seed from District 16, in the first game of the Region 8 Tournament, which begins on Monday, March 10, at Williston State College.
District 15 Tournament
Watford City 60, Parshall 58
For virtually the entire 32 minutes of play, most fans at the District 15 title game had to believe that Parshall was going to defeat Watford City. After all, the Braves had bested the Wolves earlier in the season and Watford City was struggling without the services of their leading scorer, Katie Mogen, who was on the bench for much of the game with foul trouble.
But while the fans may have been thinking about a Parshall win, the Watford City Wolves were thinking about winning.
And somehow, after trailing Parshall by as much as 12 points in the first half, the Wolves pulled off their biggest come-from-behind win of season with Ricki Lindley driving the length of the court and putting in the winning basket with two seconds left on the clock.
In a game of huge runs by both teams, Parshall jumped out to an early 9-0 first quarter lead before Ricki Lindley canned a three-pointer to draw the Wolves to a 16-9 deficit at the end of the first quarter.
April Spruell kept Watford City’s momentum going in the second quarter as she canned a two-pointer and a three-pointer to draw the Wolves to within five points, 19-14.
And the for the balance of the first half, both teams traded baskets with Lindley canning a pair of free throws to cut the Braves lead to four points, 30-26, at halftime.
While Watford City was able to draw to within two points three times in the third quarter, Parshall would never relinquish the lead with the Braves putting together a 9-0 run in the final two minutes of play to take a 50-41 lead into the fourth quarter.
Amanda Mogen provided much of Watford City’s fire power in the fourth quarter as she scored eight of Watford City’s 19 points, including the game-tying basket with 2:12 left in the stanza.
From that point, it was a fight to the finish as Parshall would take the lead only to have the Wolves tie the score. But following a Watford City steal and a timeout with 11.6 seconds left in the game, the stage was set for Watford City to take the lead the only time it really counted.
And as time ran out on the clock, Lindley’s running floater nestled to the bottom of the net to give the Wolves the win.
Lindley led both teams in scoring with 16 points, including three, three-pointers, while Amanda Mogen and Katie Mogen netted 14 and 11 points, respectively, for the Wolves.
Also scoring for Watford City was April Spruell and Kaitlyn Grimes with seven points each, Lea Arndt with three points and Alyssa Prichard with two points.
Watford City 9 26 41 60
Parshall 16 30 50 58
District 15 Tournament
Watford City 75, New Town 61
After losing to New Town, 75-63, during the regular season, Watford City avenged that loss in a big way as the Wolves blew by the Eagles, 75-61, in the District 15 semifinals on Saturday evening.
But the final score does not reflect the momentum swings that kept the Eagles in the game until Watford City slammed the door shut on New Town in the fourth quarter.
The Wolves held a slim one point, 12-11, lead over the Eagles after the first quarter of play and then upped their advantage to nine points, 31-22, at halftime.
The second half would see New Town put together several runs as the Eagles would cut the Wolves’ lead to six points, 51-45, with just under a minute left in the third quarter. But each and every time that New Town would challenge Watford City, the Wolves had the answer.
When New Town opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer to cut Watford City’s lead to 53-48, April Spruell answered back with a three-pointer for the Wolves.
Spruell again would spark Watford City’s offense as she picked up a steal and converted it into a two-point basket to put Watford City on top by 10 points, 63-53, with five minutes remaining in the game.
And from that point on, the outcome of the game was never in question as the Wolves cruised to the win.
Seven Watford City players scored in the win with Katie Mogen and Ricki Lindley pacing the Wolves with 28 and 20 points, respectively, while April Spruell joined in double figures with 11 points.
Also scoring for Watford City was Kaitlyn Grimes with six points, Kara Langerud and Alyssa Prichard with four points each and Jeanna Zenz with two points.
Watford City 12 31 53 75
New Town 11 22 45 60
District 15 Tournament
Watford City 74, Mandaree 20
Watford City held Mandaree to single-digit scoring in the first three quarters of play on Friday as the Wolves overpowered the Warriors in opening round action of the District 15 Tournament.
In a game that was over in the first quarter, the Wolves exploded to a 12-9 lead, and then never looked back. Watford City led the Warriors 31-5 at halftime and by 43 points, 53-10, after three quarters of play.
Fourteen Watford City players scored in the lopsided win with Katie Mogen and April Spruell pacing the Wolves with 21 and 11 points, respectively, while Ricki Lindley joined in double figures with 10 points.
Also scoring for Watford City was Tarynn Jacobson with five points, Kara Langerud, Kaitlyn Grimes, Mackenzie Sparby and Alyssa Prichard with four points each, while Lea Arndt, Elise Hadley, Amanda Mogen, Jordan Sparby and Krystal Wold netted two points each and Alli Mogen with one point.
Florence McKenzie led Mandaree in scoring with nine points, while Frannina Lincoln netted five points. Rounding out the scoring for Mandaree was Jerrilane Lincoln with four points and Chansma Tsosie with two points.
Watford City 20 43 58 74
Mandaree 3 5 10 20