4th win over Wolves has New Town dancing

It seems like a pretty straightforward formula: just beat Watford City four times and you’re in.

That’s how New Town advanced to the Class B state tournament in 2011.

This year, the Eagles dropped Watford City 76-52 in the Region 8 championship to secure their first berth in the big dance in three years.

Unseeded New Town (20-2) plays No. 1-seeded Rugby at 6:30 tonight at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks.

The top-ranked Panthers (25-0) – the two-time defending Region 6 champions – are the tournament favorites. But New Town has plenty of momentum, too. The Eagles have won 10 straight games dating to Jan. 28. Three of those 10 wins came against, you guessed it, Watford City.

New Town beat the Wolves twice in the regular season before besting them in the District 15 tournament and Region 8 tournament championship games.

Senior guard Wayne Fox and junior forward Daryl Grady have each averaged 19 points per game in the postseason. Both were named to the all-region team, as was junior center Elijah Grady.

New Town ranks eighth in Class B in scoring at 72.6 points per game and 11th in points allowed at 49.3 per contest. Its 23.4-point average margin of victory is good for fourth.

In 2011, the Eagles placed third after losing a tight semifinal game against Grafton. This season, New Town has faced just one tournament team, Beulah. The Miners posted a 73-55 home win on Jan. 17. New Town lost eight days later to New England. The Eagles haven’t suffered defeat since.

Ryan Holmgren covers Minot State athletics and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgren.