March 18, 2014

Wolves punch their ticket to State Tournament

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Watford City’s varsity girls basketball team punched their ticket to the 2014 State Class B Basketball Tournament  on Thursday with a thrilling 70-63 overtime win over the Parshall Braves.
The Wolves advanced to the title match against the Braves with a 53-50 win over the New Town Eagles.
In the first round of the State Class B Tournament, Watford City will take on Central Cass, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, at 8:15 p.m. on Thursday, March 20.
Region 8 Championship
Watford City 70, Parshall 63 (OT)

Watford City’s Amanda Mogen had the game of her life as the senior helped propel the Wolves to a 70-63 overtime win last Thursday in the Region 8 championship game.
And for Mogen, who netted a game high 20 points while hauling in 13 rebounds for a double double to help her teammates to a return trip to the State Class B Girls Basketball Tournament in Fargo this weekend, the win was extra special. Mogen is the lone player on this year’s Watford City girls basketball team who was part of the team that played at State in 2011.
“I’m so happy that we made it to State,” stated Mogen after the win. “We found out how to be a family team and be there for each other when the times got tough.”
And playing together as a team was a key ingredient in the Wolves’ championship win in a hard fought game against Parshall.
While Watford City jumped out to a huge 11-2 lead in the opening minutes of the game, the Wolves would find themselves holding on for dear life at the end of the game.
The Wolves led the Braves by six points, 16-10, at the end of the first quarter and then went on a 7-2 scoring spree that was capped off by a basket by Amanda Mogen with 4:50 left in the second quarter to take an 11-point, 23-12, lead.
Watford City then extended its lead to 27-14 on two quick baskets by Lea Arndt and Ricki Lindley to give the Wolves a 27-14 lead with just over two minutes left in the first half. After trading baskets with the Braves for the remainder of the first half, Amanda Mogen again came up big for the Wolves as she drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to put the Wolves on top, 34-20, at halftime.
But Parshall was able to regroup in the third quarter as the Braves cut  Watford City’s lead to just four points, 45-41, at the end of the stanza.
From then on, it was a championship game to be remembered as the two teams battled to the finish.
While Watford City would never relinquish the lead, the Braves would cut the Wolves’ lead to two points early in the fourth quarter, and ultimately, tie the game at 55-55 with 14.2 seconds left in regulation.
With just five seconds left on the clock, Katie Mogen, who also ended the game with a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, had a chance to ice the win for Watford City at the free-throw line. But she came up short on both free throw attempts sending the game into overtime.
In overtime, it was all Watford City as the Wolves led by two points, 59-57, with two minutes left in the game.
But a foul by Parshall’s Kiara Packineau and a technical foul against the Parshall bench proved to be the game-changing moment. Kara Langerud drained three of the four free throw attempts to put the Wolves on top, 62-57, with Watford City getting possession of the basketball. Watford City then ran down the shot clock before Amanda Mogen scored to give the Wolves a seven-point, 64-57, lead with just over a minute left in overtime.
The Wolves then sealed the win and their trip to the State Class B Tournament at the free-throw line.
“We got out to a great start right away,” stated John Zenz, Wolves’ head coach on the win. “But we almost gave it away in the second half as we didn’t play our best defense.”
Ricki Lindley joined Amanda and Katie Mogen in double-figure scoring for the Wolves with 11 points. Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was April Spruell with eight points, Kara Langerud with seven points, Jeanna Zenz with three points, and Lea Arndt with two points.
For the game, the Wolves hit on 23 of 59 attempts from the field and were good on 19 of 34 at the charity stripe.
Watford City    16    34    45    55    70
Parshall            10    20    41    55    63

Region 8 Semifinals
Watford City 53, New Town 50

Watford City used a strong third quarter to overcome a 30-26 halftime deficit to edge the New Town Eagles, 53-50, in the Region 8 semifinals on Tuesday evening.
In the an extremely close game, the Wolves pulled ahead of the Eagles, 41-40, at the end of the third quarter and then hung on to win the game, 53-50.
Katie and Amanda Mogen provided the majority of Watford City’s attack as the pair combined for 38 of the Wolves’ points. Katie Mogen led both teams in scoring with 25 points, while Amanda Mogen netted 13 points in the winning effort.
Also scoring for Watford City was Ricki Lindley with nine points, Kara Langerud with four points and Kaitlyn Grimes with two points.
For the game, the Wolves shot 22 of 58 from the field and were good on nine of 20 at the free-throw line.
Watford City    17    26    41    53
New Town      19    30    40     50