Daniel Horton Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
It has been a difficult stretch of close losses for the Havre High boys basketball team, but on Thursday night the Ponies were looking for a win over a tough Central A rival to turn things around. However, Thursday night the Blue Ponies were on the road to take on the Browning Indians, where the Indians defeated the Ponies in another close game, 78-72. “The kids are disappointed.” Havre High head coach Andy Smith said. “But I think there a lot of good things that we can take out of that game. That was the best team in the conference.” Over the past few games the Ponies offensive production has really been struggling, but last night they took a step in the right direction of turning things around, by having for players score in double figures. Mike Hickman led the way with 21 points, but Tucker Parman also gave the offense a boost by adding 15 of his own. Kaden Keto pitched in with 14 points, while CJ Evans rounded things off with 12 and two 3-pointers. “Our offense has been struggling this year.” Smith said. “We had all those guys in double figures, that was great.” HHS started the game extremely well, and held a 17-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. And even though they were off to probably one of their best starts of the season, the Ponies found themselves trailing by two points heading into half time as the Indians took over the lead, 29-27. But in the third quarter, the Indians offense found a nice groove and went on a number of scoring runs over the Ponies. The Indians came out of the locker room and hit three big shots from behind the 3-point-line to contribute to the 57-46 lead they held over the Ponies. After being outscored by nin -points, the Ponies were heading into the fourth quarter trailing by 11 points. “We contributed to their spurts at times by giving up some crucial turnovers down the stretch.” Smith said. During the fourth quarter the Ponies made a run at the Indians by scoring 21 more points, but after the Indians managed to put up 26 of their own, six points, that would be as close as the Ponies would get. Free throws also played a factor in the Ponies' close loss. They were 15-for-28 from the line, while the Indians were almost 20 percent better, going 21-of-30. “These last few games that we have played have been two and three possession games.” Smith said. “And we feel like we are losing points at the freethrow- line.” HHS knew that playing the Indians on their home court wasn’t going to be easy, but they gave it an overwhelming effort. It was the most offensive productivity by the Ponies in a while, and they are working in the right direction to get things turned back around. “I thought we came out with good intensity, and did a good job.” Smith said. “And I thought that they (Browning) came out and hit some tough shots. I know it sounds like a lot, giving up 78 points, but it seemed like Browning really stepped up and hit those tough shots.” The Ponies(3-4) play another tough opponent tonight when they take on the Class AA CMR Rustlers at the Havre High Gymnasium at 7.