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Watford City beats Bulldogs for fifth

Photo by Michael Linnell/Minot Daily News Bowman County senior Tyson Harding, right, is cut off by Watford City's Casey Jore during the fifth-place game at the Class B state boys basketball tournament on Saturday, afternoon at the Minot State University Dome.

MINOT -- It didn't take Randy Cranston long to determine the type of game that would favor his Watford City team against the interior size of Bowman County.

"We wanted to dictate tempo," Cranston said. "We didn't want it to be 45-42, we wanted it in the 60s."

The Wolves used a full-court press and half-court trap to get into the 60s. The Wolves topped Bowman County 62-46 for fifth place at the Class B state boys basketball tournament Saturday at the Minot State Dome.

The Wolves forced 15 turnovers, in large part thanks to the full-court press they used to attack the Bulldogs.

When they were in the half-court set, the Wolves tried to force Bowman County's guards to make tough passes into its big trio of Alex Wolf, Tyler Fischer and Tyson Harding.

"We did a pretty good job on their inside guys," Cranston said. "We really wanted to make their guards make tough passes (into the post)."

Christian Schulz led the Wolves with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Schulz used an aggressive attack to get to the basket for high-percentage opportunities.

"We just played the game we wanted to play and keep it up-tempo," he said. "I've always liked to get to the basket, but sometimes I settle for the 3. It's our last few games, I thought I had to help our team out and get to the hole. It worked most of the time."

Cranston said Schulz has picked up his aggressiveness at state.

"He was probably the most aggressive he's been his whole career," Cranston said. "We always knew he had a quick first step and he can finish when he gets there."

Kevin Sanford added 16 for the Wolves.

Bowman County was led by Wolf, who finished with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds. Wolf also went over 1,000 career points during the game.

For box score, see Scoreboard on Page B2.