By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
It wasn't the ending that the Havre High girls basketball team was hoping for on Friday night in Browning. In their regular season finale, the Ponies were hampered by foul trouble all night long as they were defeated by the Browning Indians, 60-49.
The loss in Browning means Havre winds up with a 8-10 overall record. The Ponies will now face Butte Central on Wednesday in Belgrade in the opening round of the 2005 Central A divisional basketball tournament.
Even though his team didn't end the season on the highest of notes, HHS head coach Jason Wirt said that all is certainly not lost.
"We played pretty well in the first half in Browning," Wirt said. "But we were in early foul trouble and that causes us to be less aggressive in the second half. It is hard to come back on a good team in that situation.
"Still, I think we're fine right now," Wirt added. "We just have to shore up a couple of little things, but I think we are where we need to be for the divisional tournament."
One of those little things Wirt is speaking of is offensive rebounding. He said that aside from the foul trouble his team was in, they were also beaten badly by the Indians on the offensive glass.
Trailing 15-9 after the first quarter, the Ponies played Browning to a standstill in the second with both team's scoring 19 points. That stretch gave the Indians a 34-28 lead heading into halftime.
But Havre's starting guards Amy McLain and Steph Flatau were already in foul trouble, and Wirt said that that hampered the way his team played in the second half.
"We played pretty good up until halftime," Wirt said. "But I think the kids got a little gun-shy in the second half. We just weren't as aggressive on the offensive end."
The Ponies managed just six points in the third quarter, which allowed Browning to open up a 48-31 lead with eight minutes to play. Havre did outscore the Indians 15-14 in the final stanza, but it wasn't nearly enough to come back.
Junior Alexa Lipp reached double figures for the fourth straight game off the bench to lead Havre. Lipp scored 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Flatau chipped in with 10 points. The Indians were paced by Kendall Edmo with 11 points, and Bobbi Woodworth added 10 points.
Browning (16-2) will be the No. 2-seed at the divisional tournament and have a first-round bye as will top-seeded Lewistown. If the Ponies should beat Butte Central on Wednesday night, they would get another shot at the Indians in the semifinals.
The other first-round game on Wednesday will pit Livingston against Belgrade.
Browning 60, Havre 49
Havre 9 19 6 15 - 49
Browning 15 19 14 12 - 60
Havre - Steph Flatau 10, Kelsey Evans 1, Alexa Lipp 11. Justine Erhard 7, Keelie Solomon 4, Lena Suek 4, Whitney Barnekoff 7, Rebecca Hilliard 5. Totals - 12-1 22-36
Browning - Erica Edwards 8, Joena Eagle Feathers 6, Loris Whiteman 8, Noel Higgins 2, Teresa Kennerly 2, Bobbi Woodworth 10, Jenna Skunkcap 9, Kendall Edmo 11, Phyllis Kipp 4. Totals - 18-1 21-41
Total fouls - Havre 28, Browning 28. Technical foul - Havre Bench. Fouled out - Amy McLain (Havre), Evans. 3-point goals - Lipp, Edmo.