Wolves take second at District 15 Tournament
By Neal A. Shipman
The Watford City boys basketball team wrapped up its regular season play on Monday, Feb. 10, with a 70-63 win over the Ray Jays, before heading into the District 15 Tournament.
At the District 15 Tournament, the Wolves, who were the No. 2-seeded team, received an opening round bye, and then defeated North Shore/Plaza, 56-54, to advance to the title game against New Town on Saturday. While the Wolves were hoping to avenge their earlier season losses to the Eagles, New Town battled back from a 14-point first half deficit to edge the Wolves, 60-54.
Watford City will now be advancing to the Region 8 Tournament, which gets underway on Monday, Feb. 24, at Williston State College. The Wolves will take on Ray, the No. 3 seed from District 16, at 7:30 p.m.
Watford City 70, Ray 63
Watford City battled back from a 23-16 first quarter deficit to down the Ray Jays, 70-63, in the Wolves’ final regular game of the season on Feb. 10.
Behind the scoring of David Kline, Seth Indergard and Logan Fettig, who all scored in double digits for the Wolves, Watford City was able to trim the Jays’ lead to one point, 36-35, at the end of the first half. Kline ended the game with a game high 22 points, while Indergard and Fettig netted 17 and 13 points, respectively, for Watford City.
The Wolves led Ray by one point, 49-48, after three quarters, and then pulled out the win outscoring the Jays, 21-15, in the final eight minutes of play.
Rounding out the scoring for Watford City was Mitchell Liebel and Andrew Sampsel with four points each, Dustin Kleppen with two points and Cole McGorman with one point.
Watford City 16 35 49 70
Ray 23 36 48 63
District 15 Tournament
Watford City 56, North Shore/Plaza 54
Watford City definitely dodged a bullet in the semifinals of the District 15 Tournament as the Wolves edged the North Shore/Plaza Wildcats, 56-54, on Friday evening.
After holding a huge 13-point, first half lead, Watford City very nearly gave the game away as the Wildcats deadlocked the game, 54-54, with nine seconds left on the scoreboard. But a breakdown in North Shore/Plaza’s defense left Watford City’s Mitchell Liebel open under the basket, and the senior put in the winning basket with just one second in regulation play.
Watford City led the Wildcats, 16-11, at the end of the first quarter, and then upped their lead to 13 points, 36-23, at halftime.
But the Wolves’ offense struggled in the second half as North Shore/Plaza began its rally. The Wildcats outscored Watford City, 16-11, in the third quarter to cut the Wolves’ lead to just eight points, 47-39, going into the final eight minutes of play.
Watford City continued to see its lead slowly evaporate, until Liebel hit the game winner as time ran off the score clock.
David Kline led the Wolves in scoring with 19 points, including three, three-pointers, while Seth Indergard and Logan Fettig netted nine points each.
Rounding out the scoring for the Wolves was Mitchell Liebel with eight points, Dustin Kleppen with seven points and Andrew Sampsel with four points.
Watford City 16 36 47 56
NS/P 11 23 39 54
District 15 Tournament
New Town 60, Watford City 54
For the first quarter and half of the District 15 championship game, fueled by four, three-pointers by David Kline, it was all Watford City as the Wolves led the New Town Eagles by as much as 14 points. But New Town would battle back in the second half en route to a 60-54 win over the Wolves.
The third quarter was a battle between the two teams as Watford City trailed the Eagles by one point, 35-34, with 4:47 left in the quarter. But Watford City would go on a 10-4 scoring spree, capped off by a Dustin Kleppen three-pointer in the final four minutes, to hold a 44-39 lead going into the final eight minutes of play.
New Town would once again battle back in the fourth quarter cutting Watford City’s lead to one point, 44-43, with 6:03 left to play. But Watford City would build its lead to eight points, 52-44, on back-to-back baskets by Mitchell Liebel with 3:48 left in the game.
A three-pointer by New Town’s Payton White Owl with 2:15 left in the stanza would finally give New Town a 55-54 lead. And it was a lead that the Eagles would never give up as New Town rattled off the next five points for a 60-54 win.
David Kline led Watford City in scoring with 23 points, while Mitchell Liebel and Logan Fettig netted 13 and 10 points, respectively, in the losing effort.
Also scoring for the Wolves was Dustin Kleppen with six points and Bo Cook with two points.
Watford City 15 32 44 54
New Town 12 27 39 60