It wasn't for a lack of effort and it wasn't because the they didn't play well, in fact it wasn't just the opposite.
Instead, the Havre High boys basketball team was just outsized in a 69-52 loss Tuesday night to the Class AA CMR Rustlers in Great Falls.
The Blue Ponies played an outstanding game against the two-time defending AA state champion Rustlers, and trailed by just four points at intermission. And while CMR outscored HHS 38-25 the rest of the way, Pony head coach Andy Smith was more than excited about the way his team played.
"The score doesn't reflect how well the kids played," Smith said. "I'm just really proud of the effort and the determination they played with tonight. We really came out and played hard and played very well in that first half.
"And we continued to play well, but what changed was CMR's size inside really started to wear us down in the second half. They were bigger than us at every position and they really took advantage of that in the second half. But I can't say enough good things about the way our kids played tonight. It's very exciting to see us go and play so well against a very good team like CMR."
Logan Connor and Anfernee Standing Rock have started the season on a tear for the Ponies and they both caught fire on Tuesday.
Connor poured in 27 points, hitting four 3-pointers, while Standing Rock added 18 points and nine rebounds. Tyler Stanich led three Rustlers in double figures with 21 points.
The loss dropped HHS to 1-2 on the season, but Smith is excited about how his team has started the season.
"This game, to go with the win we got in Livingston, really gives us momentum going into the break," Smith said. "We are playing well, and now we'll go back to work and get ready for the rest of the season."
The Ponies return to action Jan. 7 when they make their home debut against Lewistown.