Daniel Horton Havre Daily News email@example.com
The Havre High Girls basketball team entered the week coming off of two tough wins, but in a rare Monday matchup the Blue Ponies found them selves up against a tougher Class AA Great Falls CMR Team. On Monday night at the CMR Fieldhouse, the Ponies were on the road to play the CMR Rustlers in a makeup game, after their previous scheduled meeting was canceled in early Jan. 2 The Rustlers defeated the Ponies 58-36. It was a rough start for the Ponies, and they never really seemed to get things going. “We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well.” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “Part of that is how they came out and defended us, but we had some open looks and didn’t knock them down.” At the end of the first quarter the Ponies found themselves trailing by 13 points, as the Rustlers came out and outscored them 21-8. The Ponies did however make a run in the second quarter to narrow the gap to nine points. Defense came up big for the Ponies, holding the Rustlers to only five points. The Rustlers scored only one field goal, and scored the other three points from the free-throw-line. But the Ponies 28 percent first half field goal percentage sent them into halftime trailing the Rustlers 26-17. HHS had a little more success offensively in the third quarter scoring 14 points, but the Rustlers still managed to put up 17, clinging to a 43-31 lead. All night the Rustlers executed their half-court-press very well. They were quick, physical and contested the Ponies' shooting and passing constantly. And on offense the Rustlers were very patient, and played a little more physical down low. They also utilized their speed, and scored a number of points while the Ponies were still in transition. “We credit CMR for how they played.” Kraske said. “They were better than us tonight (Monday) that’s for sure. We have a few things that we have to improve upon before we play them again.” The final quarter of play ended with the Rustlers outscoring the Ponies 15-5 to get the victory. Hope Hedges led the Pony scoring with 13 points, and Cassi Darrah pitched in with nine. Cali Freier and Madison Ruff also scored four points each. Monday night's loss was only the first out of the last five games for the Ponies, and they are still sitting in good position at 6-3. “We are working on getting better every time we play.” Kraske said. “I think sometimes you maybe take a step back before you go forward again. That’s what our focus is going to be the next couple nights, what we can do to progress forward on our season.” HHS is preparing for a two game home stand against two tough division opponents. On Friday the Ponies face the Belgrade Panthers at 7:30 p.m. and on Saturday they face the Livingston Rangers at 2 p.m. Both games will be at the Havre High gymnasium.