Havre Daily News
The Havre High girls basketball team came into this weekend unbeaten in Central A Conference play and had a chance to make a huge statement against league-favorite Browning at home.
When it was over, the Ponies would find out they are still not quite where they want to be, as they fell 63-52 to the Indians on Friday night.
The Ponies started off well, jumping out to a 5-1 lead early on, and after the teams went back and forth in the first quarter, the game was tied at 13-13.
Browning began to pull away in the second quarter, but a Keelie Solomon 3-pointer cut the lead to five points at 28-23.
In the final minutes of the first half, the Indians would grab control of the game with a 10-0 run and never let go, giving them a 38-23 lead. The 10-point run blew open a relatively close game and put the Ponies in a hole they could not dig themselves out of.
“I thought we gave up too many possessions early,” HHS head coach Jason Wirt said. “We beat their pressure early and made them pay, but then we just failed to knock down shots.”
Entering the third quarter down by 15 points, the Ponies needed to make a run to get back into the game, but Browning would have none of it. The Ponies could never muster up the run to get themselves back in the game as the Indians maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the period.
The Ponies got a lot of good looks at the basket, but they just couldn't get them to fall as they were 4-16 from beyond the arc, a percentage that is not good enough to beat one of the top teams in Class A.
“We got a lot of good looks tonight and we didn't knock them down,” Wirt Said “But, we are going to knock down shots, and when we get good looks we will make them.”
The Ponies made a late charge to try and get back into the game, closing to within 11 points after being down by as many as 18 at one point. They just could not get shots to fall when they needed them most.
“We continued to play, even down 16 points,” Wirt said. “To me, that shows a lot. They believe that if we keep working we can find a way to get back into the game.”
Despite the loss, there was one bright spot for the Ponies as senior Steph Flatau tore down a school-record 22 rebounds to go along with her 18 points. Flatau held the previous record as well. Solomon also had a solid night, adding 12 points.
The Indians were led by Bobbi Woodworth and Jenna Skunk Cap with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
On Saturday night, the Ponies hit the road to take on Great Falls High at the Bison Field House in Great Falls.
The Ponies got off to a slow start and trailed by five after one quarter. The second quarter wasn't any better, as Havre had trouble figuring out the Bison's matchup zone defense. The Ponies were held to 18 points off of 4-22 shooting, as they trailed by eight at the break.
“We struggled in the first half,” Wirt said. “We just couldn't really figure out their matchup zone and they were very effective at executing it.”
The Ponies hung on in the third quarter, and heading into the fourth quarter they trailed by just nine points. Despite their poor shooting, they were still within striking distance.
The Bison would parlay a 21-point fourth quarter to bury the Ponies and cruise to a 62-42 win.
“We had some more success against their defense in the second half, but we just couldn't get any shots to fall,” Wirt said. “We were only down nine starting the fourth, but then they extended their lead.”
The Ponies got another good effort from Flatau, as she had 15 points and eight rebounds in the loss. Solomon added seven points for the Ponies.
The Bison's Sam Schermele led all scorers with 17 points, and Kirilynn Winkler also scored in double figures, as she pitched in 14 points.
“We did some good things, and we did some bad things this weekend, but I'm not overly disappointed,” Wirt said. “We just need to shoot the ball better.
“I don't really subscribe that the nonconference games mean anything,” he added. “We are 2-1 in conference and that's all that matters.”
The Ponies will play host to CMR on Tuesday at 7:30 pm at the HHS gymnasium.
Indians 63, Ponies 52
Browning 13 25 15 10 - 63
Havre 13 10 13 16 - 52
Browning - Mel Calf Boss Ribs 6, Brittany Bird Rattler 5, Erica Edwards 6, Rikki Ollinger 5, Irene Harrison 2, Bobbi Woodworth 12, Jenna Skunk Cap 10, Tahni Edmo 7, Phyllis Kipp 10. Totals: 27 5-14.
Havre - Tricia Samson 1, Steph Flatau 18, Kelsey Evans 3, Alexa Lipp 7, Keelie Solomon 12, Steph Stremcha 2, Lena Suek 6.
Fouls - Havre 12, Browning 19. Fouled out - none. 3-pointers - Bird Rattler, Skunk Cap 2, Edmo, Evans, Lipp, Solomon.
Bison 62, Ponies 42
Havre 6 13 13 10 - 42
Great Falls 11 16 14 21 - 62
Havre - Steph Flatau 15, Alexa Lipp 5, Lena Suek 1, Kelsey Evans 8, Keelie Solomon 7, Steph Stremcha 2, Tricia Samson 4. Totals: 13-44 14-21.
GFH - Marissa Francis 5, Frankie Brady 6, Kirilynn Winkler 14, Sam Schermele 17, Gina Schermele 11, Sara Hocker 2, Megan Stubbs 7. Totals: 24-45 11-17.
Total fouls: Havre 18, Great Falls 16. Fouled out: Francis. Three-pointers: Lipp 1, Evans 1, Sam Schermele 2, Gina Schermele 1.
Rebounds: Havre 17 (Flatau 7), Great Falls 31 (Winkler 9). Turnovers: Havre 19, Great Falls 24.