Fouls prove costly
By Neal A. Shipman
Watford City’s run at a perfect season came to a halt on Saturday, Jan. 5 when the Wolves fell to the Ray Jays, 57-53. But the Wolves bounced back in their next game to knock off Killdeer 60-36 before falling to District 15 rivals, the New Town Eagles, 68-57, last Saturday.
The Wolves, who are now 5-2 on the season, will host Lewis & Clark/North Shore in district action on Thursday before traveling to Stanley on Saturday and to Mandaree next Tuesday.
Ray 57, Watford City 53
A good team can sometimes overcome poor shooting or fouls or turnovers and still pull off a win. But when all three occur in a single game, bad things are going to happen. And that is just what happened to the Watford City varsity girls basketball team when they took on Ray on Jan. 5 and saw their four-game winning streak come to an end as the Jays handed the Wolves their first loss of the season.
“We got off to a bit of a slow start trailing Ray 14-10 after the first quarter,” stated John Zenz, Wolves’ head coach. “Then we played an outstanding second quarter outscoring the Jays, 26-10, to take a 36-29 halftime lead.”
Watford City would open up the third quarter scoring the first four points, but when McKayla Haugeberg and Katie Mogen, the Wolves’ top scorers each picked up their fourth fouls and took seats on the bench, the Jays pounced on the opportunity.
“With Haugeberg and Mogen on the bench, we could only muster up two more points the rest of the quarter and Ray came back to tie the game at 42-42,” stated Zenz.
With the momentum in hand, the Jays outscored the Wolves, 15-11, in the final eight minutes to take the win.
“We had chances late in the game to come away with a victory but didn’t get the job done,” stated Zenz. “We only shot 33 percent from the field and we committed 27 turnovers. Not a good recipe for a win on the road.”
Amanda Mogen led the Wolves in scoring with 16 points while coming up with seven steals. Also scoring in double figures for Watford City was McKayla Haugeberg and Katie Mogen with 14 points and 11 points, respectively.
Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Ricki Lindley with six points, Jessica Brown with four points, Madison Brown with two points, and Sadie Kieson with one point.
Kieson led the team with eight rebounds, while Haugeberg, Amanda Mogen and Jessica Brown had four assists each.
Ray 14 29 42 57
Watford City 10 36 42 53
Watford City 60, Killdeer 36
After struggling against Ray and picking up their first loss of the season, John Zenz was worried how his team would respond in their next game.
He didn’t have to worry long as the Wolves made short work of Killdeer two nights later downing the Cowboys, 60-36.
“We came out red hot against Killdeer and jumped out to a huge 25-4 lead after the first quarter,” stated Zenz. “We played good man defense but we still committed a few too many fouls. We need to improve on our footwork and positioning a bit.”
McKayla Haugeberg and Katie Mogen had the hot hands for the Wolves as the pair combined for 31 of the Wolves’ 60 points. Haugeberg ended the night with 17 points, including three three-pointers, while hauling in a team high nine rebounds. Mogen netted 14 points for the Wolves and led the team with six steals.
The Wolves led the Cowboys by 19 points, 36-17, at halftime and by14 points going into the final stanza.
Also scoring for Watford City was Amanda Mogen and Madison Brown with seven points each, Sadie Kieson with five points, Jessica Brown and Alyssa Prichard with four points each and Kara Langerud with two points.
Amanda Mogen led the team with eight assists.
Watford City 25 36 45 60
Killdeer 4 17 31 36
New Town 68, Watford City 57
Call it an important learning experience for the Wolves.
That is the way that John Zenz is looking at Watford City’s 68-57 loss to the New Town Eagles last Saturday.
“We made the trip to New Town to see where we stood against a top 10 team in the state,” stated Zenz. “We managed to stay out of foul trouble and played good at times. But we weren’t consistent throughout the game and when you shoot 38 percent from the field, you aren’t going to beat a quality team like New Town.”
The Wolves trailed the Eagles 21-12 at the end of the first quarter of play and then battled back to trail New Town by seven points, 33-36, at halftime.
“We were in an okay spot at halftime,” stated Zenz. “Then they outscored us 21-11 in the third to open up a 17-point lead which was too much to overcome. We know we need to get better to compete with a team like New Town.”
Katie Mogen had a double-double for the Wolves as she led the team in scoring with 28 points, including a solid eight of 11 at the free-throw line and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Also posting a double-double for Watford City was Sadie Kieson with 12 points and 13 rebounds while dishing out five assists.
Rounding out the scoring for the Wolves was Ricki Lindley with seven points, McKayla Haugeberg and Jessica Brown with four points each and Amanda Mogen with two points.
New Town 21 33 54 68
Watford City 12 26 37 57