Wolves to host Heart River in boys basketball season opener
By Neal A. Shipman
Armed with a strong group of seniors and four returning starters from last year’s boys basketball team, Randy Cranston, Watford City head coach, is looking forward to another excellent season when the Wolves take to the court in their season opener on Thursday, Dec. 2 against Heart River.
“This looks to be another exciting year with a team that has four returning starters and a good group of senior leaders,” states Cranston, who guided the Wolves to a 20-4 record last season. “Practices have looked good and we are excited to get things rolling with three tough home games to start out.”
Returning starters for Cranston will be senior guards Trey Jacobson and Nick Liebel, senior forward Tyler Flatland, and senior center Shawn Fulwider, while senior Curtis Lohse has earned himself a starting position as a guard.
Leading the way for the Wolves will be Jacobson, a 5’11” guard who was an All-District selection and averaged 11 points, three rebounds, four steals and four assists per game last year, while Liebel, a 5’9” guard who was also named to the All-District team, averaged seven points, 3½ rebounds and five assists per game. Fulwider, a 6’4” center who was named to the All-District and All-Region teams, averaged six points and 5½ rebounds per game for the Wolves, while Flatland, a 6’2” forward averaged 5½ points, three rebounds and three assists last year.
Other returning letter winners for Watford City will be seniors Jason Shipman, a 6’3” center; Sterling Ross, a 5’9” guard; junior Lucas Nicholson, a 5’10” guard; and sophomores Tyler Bates, a 6’3” forward; and Cole Rolfsrud, a 6’1” center.
Rounding out the varsity team this year will be seniors Sean Walker and Ryan Monsen and junior Casey Bolman.
“With four returning starters from a team that was very competitive last season, our expectations are going to be high this year,” states Cranston. “This will be a very quick group of players that will look to push the ball up the floor looking for easy baskets.”
While the level of competition within the district and region will be down somewhat this season, Cranston predicts that the Wolves will be in the hunt for the district and region championships and believes this year’s squad has the ability to make it to State.
“New Town is going to be our toughest competition,” says Cranston. “And Stanley, Parshall, North Shore and Mandaree will be among the better teams in our area.”
Thursday night’s boys basketball action begins at 4:15 p.m. with the C-squad game, with the Junior Varsity game scheduled for 5:45 p.m. Varsity action will start 20 minutes after the conclusion of the JV game.
Against Minot Ryan on Saturday, the C-Squad game will begin at 4:30 p.m. JV action is set for 6 p.m. with the varsity starting 20 minutes after that game.