Havre Daily News sports editor
Today marks the beginning of an extremely busy weekend for Havre High athletics as all sports begin 2006. The HHS basketball teams kicked off their new year Thursday night with the boys defeating CMR in Havre and the girls falling to the Rustlers in Great Falls.
The basketball season continues tonight as the HHS girls host Cut Bank at 7:30 at the Havre High gymnasium.
Today is also the opening day of the prestigious Cut Bank Invitational wrestling tournament. The Havre High wrestling team will be heavily favored to repeat as champions. The Ponies ran away with the tournament a year ago.
Havre is coming off of a 74-0 thrashing of tournament host Cut Bank on Tuesday night in Havre. The Ponies are ranked second in the latest Class A power poll. Sidney is still ranked first.
The Ponies have 12 wrestlers on the roster who are ranked, led by Beau LaSalle at 125 pounds, Evan Hinebauch at 171 pounds and Matt Schnittgen at heavyweight. All three wrestlers are still undefeated this season.
Four Blue Ponies carry No. 3 rankings into the weekend, including Ryan Shelstad (98), Myles Mazurkiewicz (105), Loren Mack (112) and Cody Seely (215). Four HHS grapplers are also ranked fourth this week, including Nate Harada (130), Ethan Hinebauch (135), Logan Reichelt (140) and Philip Sutherland (145). Sophomore Chad Ranes is ranked sixth at 119 pounds.
The two-day Cut Bank Invitational gets under way this afternoon and runs through Saturday night. The HHS junior varsity team will also compete in the Browning Invitational on Saturday.
Saturday morning will mark the beginning of a very busy day for all Havre High teams. The HHS swimming team will host the Class A swim meet, which gets under way at 10 a.m. at the Montana State University-Northern pool.
Even though the meet carries the Class A title, there are only three teams in Class A swimming, including Havre. Hardin and Billings Central, both of which have very strong boys and girls teams, will be the other Class A squads in attendance. Class B Harlem and Class C Great Falls Central will also participate in the meet.
The HHS swim team is returning to action for the first time since Dec. 17 when it had a solid finish at the Great Falls Relays. The Class A swim meet will be the final time fans will see the Blue Ponies in Havre this season.
The weekend will wrap up Saturday night with the the HHS boys basketball team hosting Class A's No. 1-ranked team, Butte Central, at 5 p.m. at the HHS gymnasium. The Blue Pony girls are on the road on Saturday to face Butte Central in Butte.