By George Ferguson
Havre High School girls basketball head coach Dennis Murphy knew that this weekend was an important one for his team: The Ponies needed to pick up a pair of victories over two Class B opponents.
That is just what Havre did as it routed the Harlem Wildcats, 87-38, in Havre on Friday night, and then hammered Glasgow, 52-19, in Glasgow on Saturday.
Friday night the Ponies used stellar shooting and a swarming defense to overwhelm the undermanned Harlem Wildcats.
Sophomore Amy McLain nailed three three-pointers in the first three minutes to spark Havre to a 12-0 run. By the end of the period the Ponies had converted eight Harlem turnovers into easy transition baskets to give themselves a very comfortable 27-4 lead.
Harlem started the second quarter on a 6-0 run behind three straight field goals from Olivia Main. However, the Ponies responded to Harlem's spurt by going on an 11-0 run to close the half. That run gave the Ponies a 44-13 lead at the break.
"I was really pleased with the way we started the game," said Havre head coach Dennis Murphy. "It was really nice to see Amy (McLain) come out and drill those threes right away, and I think that really got us going tonight."
With the game in hand the Ponies came out in the third quarter and maintained their large lead. Carrie Flatau scored six straight points in the middle of the quarter to increase the Ponies' lead, while the Wildcats continued to struggle to find answers for Havre's attack.
Murphy sat down his starters in the fourth quarter and played a lot of his younger players, and Havre did not miss a beat. The Ponies outscored Harlem 19-9 in the final eight minutes of the game and closed the contest on a 14-3 run. That final run was sparked by reserve players like Rebecca Hilliard, Kelsey Evans, Alexa Lipp, Alicia Overcast, Rylee O'Connell, Whitney Barnekoff and Andee Peterson.
Despite the lopsided victory Murphy said the game was a tough one.
"This is a difficult type of game to play because of all the fouls and the stoppage of play," Murphy said. "I was just happy that our kids kept their composure and remained focused during the course of the game."
Leading the way for the Ponies was freshmen Steph Flatau with 15 points. Carrie Flatau chipped in with 11 points and Kelsey Evans and Amy McLain added nine points apiece. Harlem got 10 points from Alicia Shields and seven from Belinda Horn.
On Saturday night the Ponies continued to roll as they routed the host Scotties 52-19.
In the first quarter the Ponies held Glasgow to a mere two points while scoring 20. The Scotties used a brief run in the period to try to get back in the contest, but Havre still outscored them 12-8 in the period. That gave Havre a 32-10 halftime lead.
The second half began much the same as the first. In the third quarter the Scotties were unable to get on the board at all as Havre outscored them 16-0. The Ponies were then able to rest their starters in the fourth quarter and cruise to the 33-point victory.
Havre got a game-high 14 points from Carrie Flatau while sister Steph Flatau added 10.
The pair of victories means the Ponies earned a season sweep over both Harlem and Glasgow. But more importantly it evened their record to 6-6 as they enter the stretch run of the 2002-2003 season.
Havre will be back in action on Tuesday night when the Ponies host the Class AA CMR Rustlers. They will travel to Lewistown on Saturday.