Havre Daily News
Peaking at the right time, the Havre High boys basketball team ended its season on a high note with a 59-47 victory Friday night over the Browning Indians.
Browning has been a tough place to play for Blue Pony basketball teams over the years, so when the Ponies traveled to Browning to take on the 4-12 Indians, they knew it wouldn't be easy.
And, after the first half it was turning out to be anything but easy, as the Ponies led by just one point 37-36.
But the Ponies were up to the challenge. They took control of the game with their suffocating defense and efficient offense. The Ponies held Browning to 11 points in the entire second half on their way to the victory.
“We played pretty well, and we played especially well in the second half,” HHS head coach John Barnhorst said. “The game was fairly close after the first half. But in the third quarter we took control of the game.
“We executed a lot better on offense in the second half,” he added. “It was just a lot better half, especially defensively.”
Jared Weigel sparked the HHS offense, as he poured in 25 points, including three 3-pointers. Tanner Veis contributed 11 points and eight rebounds, and Jeremy Giardina added 10 points.
“Jared shot the ball very well tonight,” Barnhorst said. “And, Veis had probably his best offensive game of the season.”
With the win, the Ponies finish off the season at 8-2 in conference play and 12-6 overall. They will head into the Central A divisional tournament with a three-game winning streak and playing some of their best basketball of the season.
Havre will have a first-round bye in the Central A tournament, which gets under way in Belgrade on Thurday.
The Havre High girls basketball team went to Browning on Saturday night, but the results were much different than the boys'.
Coming into the game with an 11-game winning streak and playing as well as anyone in the state, the Ponies seemed to be in prime position to upset the undefeated Indians. However, things did not go as planned as the Ponies were dealt a 59-39 loss - their first in over a month and a half.
The Ponies got off to a sluggish start and never found a rhythm offensively. Browning controlled the boards and the paint in route to a 28-16 halftime lead.
“It was an interesting game,” HHS head coach Jason Wirt said. “We did some good things. We beat their pressure and we attacked the basket, but we lost because we didn't shoot very well.”
Things didn't get any better in the second half - the Indians only extended their lead. By the end of the third quarter the game was all but over as the Indians held a convincing 49-29 lead.
Havre was plagued by a horrific shooting night from the free-throw line. The Ponies were 10-for-27.
“We were aggressive but we just kept getting it thrown back into our faces,” Wirt said. “But we have to shoot the ball better. Going 10-for-27 from the free-throw line is just not going to get the job done against any team, let alone a good team like Browning.”
On a night where points were hard to come by, the Ponies failed to have any players reach double figures. They were led by Kelsey Evans and Steph Flatau, who each scored eight points.
With their wining streak over, the Ponies now look toward the divisional tournament and a possible re-match against the Indians in the championship game.
“We have a solid group of seniors and they have to understand that this is their time to shine,” Wirt said. “These girls have had a great season and hopefully that will translate into a successful postseason.”
Like the boys, the HHS girls will have a bye in the opening round of the divisonal tournament in Belgrade.
Havre 59, Browning 47
Havre 15 22 13 9 - 59
Browning 18 18 6 5 - 47
Havre - Tanner Donovan 2, Scott Miller 2, Jeremy Giardina 10, Jared Weigel 25, Tanner Veis 11, Mike Barton 9. Totals - 20 15-20 59.
Browning - J. Tailfeathers 5, J. Running Wolf 9, C. Juneau 7, R. Ingraham 12, TJ Lafambois 2,TJ Fish 10, N. Vielle 2. Totals - 19 6-16 47
Total fouls - Havre 17, Browning 22. Fouled out - Veis, Gardinia. 3-pointers - Tailfeathers, Running Wolf, Juneau, Giardina, Weigel 3.
Browning 59, Havre 39
Havre 8 8 13 10 -39
Browning 15 13 21 10 -59
Havre - Tricia Sampson 3, Steph Flatau 8, Kelsey Evans 8, Katie Mariani 6, Alexa Lipp 4, Keelie Solomon 3, Steph Stremcha 4, Lena Suek 3. Totals 13 10-27.
Browning - Melanie Calf Boss Ribs 2, Britany Bird Rattler 3, Erica Edwards 10, Rikki Olinger 14, Bobbi Woodworth 4, Jenna Skunkcap 14, Tahni Edmo 2, Phyllis Kipp 10. Totals 23 9-19.
Total fouls - Havre 19, Browning 19. Fouled out - none. 3-pointers - Mariani 2, Lipp, Bird Rattler, Olinger 2, Skunkcap. Technicals - Havre coach.