Havre Daily News
The dream is dead for the Havre High boys basketball team. The Ponies saw their state title hopes stripped away by Glendive in the first round of the Class A state tournament Thursday afternoon at the Brick Breeden Fieldhouse Bozeman.
The top-ranked Red Devils stole the ball and hit a game-winning shot as time expired to upend the Ponies, 52-50.
After trailing the entire game, the Ponies rallied from a six-point fourth quarter deficit behind the sharp outside shooting of Jared Weigel and Jeremy Giardina to even the game up at 50-50.
Then, the Red Devils handed the Ponies a golden opportunity when they turned the ball over with 1:06 to play, giving Havre a chance to hold the ball for the final shot.
The Ponies were able to milk the clock and work it all the way down to the final seconds leaving just enough time to run one more play.
Unfortunately, that is precisely when Havre's dream of an upset turned into a nightmare.
Giardina had the ball stripped away by Jess Johnson of Glendive with four seconds left and then as the Ponies watched in horror, Johnson hit a streaking Shane Germann for a wide-open lay up as time expired, giving Glendive the dramatic.
“We thought we had them,” HHS head coach John Barnhorst said. “We got the ball with just over a minute left and we held for the last shot. I was concerned that we wouldn't be able to hold the ball for that long but we executed our four corners well and then we set up our play.
“At that point we figured the worst we could do was go to overtime,” he added. “But then Jeremy got stripped and still thought we were ok until I saw a red jersey streaking up the sideline.”
The Devils came into the game as heavy favorites but early on they got all they could handle from the Ponies. And, after the first quarter of play, the game was all tied up at 13-13.
However, in the second quarter Mike Barton was forced to the bench because of foul trouble and the Red Devils took advantage with their plethora of big men, and by halftime the Glendive had taken a 31-21 lead.
“We got off to a good start, but then Mike got in foul trouble and they were able to take advantage because of their size,” Barnhorst said. “We didn't shoot the ball very well and it started to look like we were in a little bit of trouble.”
But, when the second half started the Ponies came out guns blazing as Giardina connected on six second-half 3-pointers to bring the Ponies back from a 13-point deficit. That run included back-to-back treys by Giardina in the final minutes to tie the game up at 50-50.
“We got down 13 points early in the third quarter, but we didn't panic and we just tried to get back into the game one possession at a time,” Barnhorst said. “Then we were able to knock down some 3-pointers and get some momentum to get ourselves back into the game.”
Giardina led the Ponies (14-8) with 20 points, including 18 in the second half. Weigel also contributed with 15 points in the loss.
The Red Devils (20-1) got 18 points from Germann, two of which came on the game-winning shot. Drew Milne also added 13 points for the Devils in the win.
“It's very disappointing. The kids are awfully disappointed,” Barnhorst said. “We had our chances to win the game and we just didn't execute. That's all you can ask for really is a chance and we didn't get it done. We thought the worst-case scenario would be overtime and then all of a sudden you lose, it's heartbreaking.”
In the other first-round games in Bozeman, Butte Central knocked off Sidney 50-41, Columbia Falls knocked off Corvallis 52-43 and Frenchtown defeated Polson 57-43.
The Ponies will have to pick up the pieces in a hurry because this afternoon they will take on Polson in loser-out action.
“I couldn't ask for much more out of these kids. They did everything they could,” Barnhorst said. “Now, we will have to bounce back like we have done all year long. We can't win first or second, so our goal now is to win that third place trophy. It may not be what we set out for, but it's the next best thing.”
Glendive 52, Havre 50
Glendive 13 18 7 14 - 52
Havre 13 8 11 18 - 50
Glendive - Jason Erickson 0-3 0-0 0, Shane Germann 4-11 10-11 18, Jess Johnson 2-6 2-2 6, Derek Selvig 3-9 3-6 10, Drew Milne 6-10 1-1 13, Brent Dion 1-2 0-0 2, Mike Person 1-4 1-1 3. Totals 17-45 17-21 52.
Havre - Tanner Donovan 1-2 0-0 2, Jeremiah Moog 1-2-0-0 2, Jeremy Giardina 6-13 2-2 20, Jared Weigel 4-12 4-10 15, Logan Grant 2-5 0-1 6, Tanner Veis 0-5 2-4 2, Mike Barton 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 15-40 9-19 50.
3-pointers: Glendive 1 (Selvig); Havre 11 (Giardina 6, Weigel 3, Grant 2). Rebounds: Glendive 35 (Person 11); Havre 23 (Veis 6, Barton 6.