Daniel Horton Havre Daily News email@example.com
Both the Havre High boys and girls basketball teams achieved a great deal of success this season, and just as the Blue Ponies deserved, they received an ample amount of recognition. The Blue Pony girls finished the regular season at the top of the Central A with a 13-5 overall record, and carried their success over into the postseason. At the divisional tournament the Ponies walked away as in the No. 2 team, and in doing so ensured themselves a spot in the state tournament. While at the state tournament, HHS then went on to finish in fourth place, their second four-place finish in as many years. “It was another real successful year.” Havre High girls head coach Dustin Kraske said. “And our kids deserved the recognition they got.” Senior Hope Hedges earned Class A All State honors as well as First Team Central A accolades. Cassi Darrah was named second-team all-conference and Sarah Blessum earned honorable mention all-conference honors. “That shows you the kind of recognition that other coaches in our league have for them.” Kraske said. “And that’s really special for them. For us to get three kids, that was really nice. It was nice for them to get some individual recognition for a team sport.” And in addition to being recognized by coaches across the league, Kraske honored his players with team awards as well. The top newcomer was awarded to Karly Evans, while Blessum was honored again with the senior leader award. And the leading scorer was awarded to Darrah after she averaged 12.7 points per game this season. Hayley Donovan earned two team awards for her team leading rebounds and production from the free-throwline. Donovan grabbed over 100 boards this season and averaged just fewer than seven per game. And her 69 percent free throw percentage led the team as well. Hedges added to her accomplishments, and earned awards for leading the team in steals, assists, two-point percentage and 3-point percentage. Hedges ended the season with 64 steals, 109 assists, a 56 2-point percentage and 32 3-point percentage. “That says that Hope is a great player.” Kraske said. “We already knew that and I have been saying it for a while now. She makes all the stuff that we do look good, and she has done that for three years now. We are going to really miss her to graduation.” The Pony boys really came into their own towards the end of the regular season and got the honors they deserved as well. Finishing the season with two wins out of their last three games, the Ponies rolled into the Class A divisional tournament with momentum at their backs. But in a tough outing against the Butte Central Maroons in the challenge game, the Ponies came up just short of the state tournament. At the divisional tournament Mike Hickman earned first team divisional tournament and Kaden Keto earned second team divisional tournament. Kaden Keto was named First Team Central A All Conference for the Ponies, while Tucker Parman was awarded second- team honors. Both Mike Hickman and CJ Evans were named honorable mention. “It was nice to see them get some postseason accolades.” Havre High boys head coach Andy Smith said. “I was happy for the kids. Last year we only got one kid, and this year to get four was pretty good.” After other coaches honored the Blue Pony boys with their votes, Smith had team awards to hand out in recognition. Parman averaged 11 points per game this season and received honors for most improved player as well as offensive player of the year. Most inspirational was awarded to Colt Reddies, and the coaches’ award was given to Nate Christianson. Jordan Van Voast was selected for the Blue Pony hustle award while Hickman earned the senior leader award after leading the team in assists and free throw percentage. Hickman ended the season with 77 assists and shooting 69 percent from the free throw line. Keto also eared more recognition, but this time as the Blue Pony MVP and defensive player of the year. He averaged over 10 points and 10 rebounds per game and led the conference with 223 total rebounds, 60 block shots and 66 steals. But the Ponies hard work and dedication wasn’t just applied in the gym. Keto, Hickman and Parman also earned Academic All-State honors for their dedication in the classroom. “They are all a good group of kids.” Smith said. “And they were very enjoyable to coach. I was happy to see them get some of those honors."