Havre Daily News
The Havre High girls basketball team went on a road trip this weekend with a lot of questions that needed to be answered. By the end of the weekend, the Ponies got all the answers they were looking for.
Friday night the Ponies opened their 2005-06 season in Livingston, and earned a hard-fought 64-50 win over the Rangers. Steph Flatau led the Ponies with 17 points and 17 rebounds. Keelie Solomon contributed with 11 points. Alexa Lipp had nine points and pitched in with really solid defense.
“Steph had 17 points and 17 rebounds and she played great defensively,” HHS second-year head coach Jason Wirt said. “Alexa Lipp did a good job on the defensive end, and Keelie Solomon really got us going in the first quarter. I also had three sophomores who came off the bench and played some good minutes.”
The Ponies came out of the gates crisply, as they opened up a 21-9 lead. Then, just as quickly as they were up 12 points, they were down by one, as the Rangers went on a 15-2 run to take a 24-23 lead.
It wouldn't take the Ponies long to recover, however, as they went into the halftime break with a 30-25 lead.
The Ponies put the game on cruise control in the second half as they rolled to a 14-point victory.
“We played well. We caused them problems with our guard play and did a good job of executing,” Wirt said. “We withstood the run they made, but we could never put them away.”
Saturday night the Ponies went to Belgrade looking for a weekend sweep and they got exactly that.
The Ponies got off to a fast start and never looked back as they jumped out to an 18-9 lead after the first quarter. HHS, despite being in foul trouble, stifled the Panthers with their defensive pressure as they forced Belgrade into 40 turnovers and rode their early momentum to a convincing 66-49 victory.
“Our defensive pressure really hurt them,” Wirt said. “We did a good job on defense, except for fouls. We were aggressive on offense and we shot the ball well.”
The Ponies had four players in double figures, led by Flatau, who had 17 points. Lipp continued her solid play with 15 points. Solomon added 15 points, and Kelsey Evans also pitched in with 10 points for the Ponies.
“Those four seniors really played well and they showed a lot of leadership,” Wirt said. “Everyone really had a great weekend. There isn't a player that didn't have a good weekend.”
In the big picture of things, this was a big weekend for the Ponies. To go on the road and get two conference victories is big for a team coming off of a somewhat down year.
“It's great that we got these two games,” Wirt said. “It was a positive weekend and we gained a lot of confidence. We just need to make sure we don't let up and keep up the pressure.”
Havre High will open its home schedule on Friday night when the Ponies host Central A rival Browning in an important conference showdown. The Ponies will travel to Great Falls High on Saturday.
Havre 64 Livingston 50
Havre 19 11 16 18 - 64
Livingston 5 20 13 12 - 50
Havre - Tricia Samson 5, Steph Flatau 17, Kelsey Evans 8, Katie Mariani 6, Alexa Lipp 9, Keelie Solomon 11, Steph Stremcha 5, Lena Suek 4. Totals: 30 18-30.
Livingston - Baily Goodwine 6, Sara Mayes 10, Sara Jolandi 4, Lydia Thiry 6, Brianna Ackerman 21, Brittany Larson 1, Lauren Stanley 2. Totals: 19 11-21.
Totals fouls - Havre 21, Livingston 23. Fouled out - Suek, Thiry, Goodwine. Technical fouls - Evans. 3-pointers - Sampson, Evans 2, Solomon, Suek, Thiry.
Havre 66 Belgrade 49
Havre 18 20 14 14 - 66
Belgrade 9 13 11 16 - 49
Havre - Tricia Samson 2, Steph Flatau 17, Hope Hedges 2, Kelsey Evans 10, Katie Mariani 4, Alexa Lipp 16, Keelie Solomon 15. Totals: 23 6-12
Belgrade - Necia Knuchel 10, Jessica Kailestad 4, Jera Clark 2, Carissa Boulton 4, Jill Hobbitt 3, Lyndsey Green 9, Sadie Locken 10, Brittney Harvey 7. Totals: 16 15-26.
Total fouls - Havre 25, Belgrade 21. Fouled out - Lipp, Lena Suek (H), Steph Stremcha (H). 3-pointers - Evans 2, Lipp 3, Solomon, Knuchel 2.