Just one night after a tough loss to a conference opponent, the Havre High boys basketball team was able to come away with a win.
Saturday at the Havre High gymnasium the Central A Blue Ponies improved to 3-5 overall with a 51-46 win over the Class B Conrad Cowboys.
“That was kind of a gut check,” Havre High head coach Andy Smith said. “We were disappointed with how we played against Browning, we didn’t do a good job whether it was offensively or defensively. But I thought the kids came out and played awfully hard on Saturday.”
Being Conrad was a Class B opponent played no role in the Ponies' win.
The Cowboys are a very tough and talented squad, and proved that on Saturday. Conrad has a very talented post player in Ben Moerkerke who gave the Ponies matchup problems all night, scoring a team high 16 points. But they also have a solid core of guards including Graham Grubb and Grant Grubb, who combined for 23.
But the Pony defense stepped up in a big way.
HHS trailed 40-39 heading into the fourth quarter, but managed the win. And a big reason for that was the Ponies' defense holding the Cowboys to just six fourth quarter points. That was big ordeal, especially since the Cowboys posted 13 in the first quarter, 12 in the second and 15 in the third.
“We had good team defense,” Smith said. “That’s what I was really proud of, all the kids played hard and it was good effort by everybody.”
Ryan Myers really showcased his defensive skills. Graham Grubb is one of the top scorers for the Cowboys, but Myers held him to just eight points.
And Drew Kafka had his best game of the season on both sides of the ball. Even with some foul trouble, Kafka knocked down 10 points.
“That was probably Drew’s best game of the year I thought,” Smith said.
Logan Connor led HHS with 18 points. And Anfernee Standing Rock sat out nearly the entire third quarter and half of the fourth with a stomach situation, but still managed to pitch in 10 points.
Overall the Ponies played well against a good team. It was a much-needed win, and will hopefully give the Ponies a boos as they prepare to host yet another very talented squad.
Tonight at 5:30 p.m. the Ponies will host the Class AA Great Falls High Bison at the Havre High gymnasium. The Ponies will also be at home on Friday and Saturday, hosting Central A rivals Belgrade and Livingston, respectively.
Havre 51, Conrad 46
Conrad 13 12 15 6 — 46
Havre 15 13 11 12 — 51
Conrad — Graham Grubb 8, Grant Grubb 15, Clay Winters 3, Sam Larson 4, Ben Moerkerke 16. Totals: 18 8-12.
Havre — Logan Connor 18, Ryan Myers 6, Corderro Strickland 1, Sam Lippy 4, Kade Rismon 2, Anfernee Standing Rock 10, Drew Kafka 10, Totals: 23 2-6.