December 22, 2015

Poor shooting, fouls prove costly for Wolves

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

It definitely wasn’t the night that John Zenz, Watford City’s head girls basketball coach, was expecting as  the Wolves fell to Dickinson Trinity, 43-29, on Friday evening.
Watford City entered the game with a 3-0 record and as the No. 4-ranked team in Class B girls basketball , while the Titans were ranked the No. 9 team.
Watford City’s record and ranking didn’t faze Dickinson Trinity as the Titans took control of the game after the first quarter. But the Wolves’ poor shooting, along with foul trouble, didn’t help Watford City’s cause.
The Wolves seemed to have the game well in hand in the first quarter as Watford City was able to build a comfortable, 17-12, lead. But midway through the second quarter, the Wolves’ scoring troubles began.
“We really had issues in our half-court offense,” stated John Zenz, Wolves’ head coach. “Dickinson Trinity played very good half-court defense and forced us into 26 turnovers. They were more aggressive than us on the defensive end.”
Watford City trailed the Titans, 21-20, at the end of the first half after only scoring three points in the second quarter.
But poor shooting woes weren’t Watford City’s only problem as fouls began to pile up on Ricki Lindley and Katie Mogen, the Wolves’ two leading scorers, who eventually fouled out of the contest.
“We played too many minutes with two of our starters, Katie Mogen and Ricki Lindley, on the bench in foul trouble,” stated Zenz. “We need their experience on the court and we didn’t have that at key times in the game.”
Dickinson would take advantage of Watford City’s offensive woes as the Titans outscored the Wolves, 15-6, to take a 36-26 lead into the final eight minutes of play.  
While neither team burned the nets with points in the fourth quarter, the Titans would emerge with the 43-29 win.
“Defensively, we played pretty well as we only gave up 43 points to a top 10-ranked team in the state,” stated Zenz. “The main take-away was that we need to get better against a team that plays very aggressive half-court defense. It’s early in the season and we have plenty of time to get better in that part of the game if we keep working at it.”
Ricki Lindley would lead the Wolves in scoring with 10 points, while Katie Mogen would net nine points. Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Mackenzie Sparby with seven points and ReiAnn Lindley with three points.
For the game, the Wolves only made eight of 30 attempts from the field for 27 percent, and were good on just four of 11 attempts at the free-throw line.
Watford City    17    20    26    29
Dick. Trinity      12    21    36    43