Wolves power their way to District 15 title
By Neal A. Shipman
After receiving a first round bye as the No. 1-seeded team entering the District 15 Girls Basketball Tournament, the Watford City Wolves cruised to the district title posting easy wins over New Town in the semifinals and Parshall in the championship game.
The Wolves, who are the No. 3-ranked team in Class B, will now advance to the Region 8 Tournament, which begins on Feb. 22, at the Ray High School. Watford City, the No. 1 team from District 15, will be taking on Ray, the No. 4 team from District 16, at 3 p.m. in opening round action.
District 15 Tournament
Watford City 66, New Town, 38
The District 15 semifinals proved to be a walk in the park for the Watford City girls basketball team as the Wolves crushed the New Town Eagles, 66-38, on Friday evening to advance to the title game for the third straight year.
In a game, where the Wolves were never challenged, Watford City jumped out to a 12-6 first quarter lead before blowing the game wide open in the second quarter. Watford City would go on a 21-11 second quarter scoring spree to take a commanding, 33-17, lead into the lockers at halftime.
While the Wolves would back off on their pressure defense in the second half, the Eagles had no answer for Watford City’s dominating offense that saw three players connect for double-digit scoring and 10 players make the scoring column.
Ricki Lindley paced the Wolves in scoring with 15 points, while Mackenzie Sparby and Katie Mogen would net 12 and 11 points, respectively, in the win.
With the win easily in hand, John Zenz, Wolves’ head coach, went to his bench frequently in the second half to give the reserves some quality playing time.
Watford City led the Eagles by 19 points, 45-26, at the end of three quarters of play before coasting to the 66-38 win.
Also scoring for the Wolves was Lea Arndt and ReiAnn Lindley with seven points each, Kaytlyn Grimes and Krystal Wold with four points each, Avery Sundeen with three points, Iida Lehto with two points, and Kennidy Chapin with one point.
For the game, the Wolves hit on 21 of 39 attempts from the field and were good on four of eight three-point tries. At the free-throw line, Watford City connected on 12 of 28 attempts.
Watford City 12 36 45 66
New Town 6 17 26 38
District 15 Tournament
Watford City 65, Parshall 43
Maybe it was a case of the championship jitters. Or maybe it was the fact that the Wolves were playing in front of nearly 1,200 fans who turned out for District 15 championship action in the new Watford City High School gymnasium. Who knows what the problem was, but Watford City had their share of struggles against Parshall in Monday night’s title game of the District 15 Girls Basketball Tournament.
But even though Watford City had an uncharacteristic 25 turnovers and committed more than their share of fouls against the Braves, the Wolves still managed to pull out a 65-43 win over Parshall for a three-peat District 15 title win.
While Parshall would get on the scoreboard first in Monday night’s championship game, Watford City would go on a 20-2 scoring barrage that sent the Braves reeling.
But Parshall would put together an offensive run of their own in the second half as they would cut Watford City’s 19-point lead to just nine points, before the Wolves would regroup to take a 30-19 halftime advantage.
While the outcome of the game was never in question in the second half, Parshall would take advantage of Watford City’s miscues to keep the contest interesting.
The Wolves would increase their lead to 19 points, 49-30, after three quarters of play, before cruising to a 65-43 win.
Watford City had two players score in double figures with Ricki Lindley posting a game high 22 points, while Mackenzie Sparby would end the game with 17 points.
Rounding out the scoring for the Wolves was Katie Mogen with nine points, Avery Sundeen with seven points, Kaytlyn Grimes with four points, while Lindsay Peterson, Lea Arndt and Krystal Wold would net two points each.
For the game, the Wolves connected on 18 of 42 attempts from the field and were good on just five of 18 attempts from behind the three-point line. At the charity stripe, the Wolves made 14 of 21 attempts.
Watford City 20 30 49 65
Parshall 3 19 30 43