The Class AA CMR Rustlers are a tough team for anybody to handle, and the Havre High girls basketball team definitely had its hands full.
Saturday the Central A Blue Ponies were in Great Falls where they were defeated 61-32 by the Rustlers. With the nonconference loss the Ponies remained 2-5 in league play, but dropped to 3-8 overall.
“We were pretty pleased with our kids,” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “CMR is obviously better than us right now at this point in the season where we both are at, but I was pleased with how hard our kids competed and played. Regardless of the score I thought we finished very strong.”
With an opponent like the Rustlers on the schedule, the Ponies were just looking for good, solid competition and a chance to get better. And the Ponies got both.
HHS did a much better job of handing the defensive pressure. The Ponies still committed 16 turnovers on the night, but that was an improvement from recent games. The Ponies were also able to apply some pressure of their own with good success, as well as work on some offensive strategies. HHS really worked on their post exchange, which benefited Paighton Gilman down low.
“That’s the best part about playing CMR,” Kraske said. “You know you are going to get a good game and they are going to do their best to beat the heck out of you. You have to be ready to go from the very start and handle it and playing teams of their quality will only make us better at the end of the season.”
The Blue Pones scored just two points in the first quarter, but added nine in the second, seven in the third and 14 in the fourth. CMR took control early with 20 first quarter points, but kept rolling with 16 in the second, 12 in the third and 13 in the fourth frame.
Gilman led the HHS offense with 11 points, and Jaclyn Evans added eight while Kassala Holdsclaw scored six. Peyton Filius also scored six points and Neya Bishoff finished with one.
Next up for the Ponies is Malta on Tuesday night at the HHS gymnasium. The Ponies also host Lewistown on Friday night and visit Butte Central Saturday.
CMR 61, Havre 32
Havre 2 9 7 14 —32
Rustlers 20 16 12 13 —61
Havre — Jaclyn Evans 2-7 2-5 8, Kassala Holdsclaw 2-6 2-4 6, Sammy Evans 0-2 0-0 0, Peyton Filius 2-8 2-5 6, Paighton Gilman 3-10 5-6 11, Neya Bishoff 0-1 1-6 1, Chris Mack 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 9-34 12-28.
CMR — Millie Reed 0-2 0-0 0, Kaydee Parsons 0-1 0-0 0, Lexi Pyette 1-3 2-2 4, Cailyn Schroeder 1-2 0-0 2, Alison Sullivan 2-5 0-0 4, Jessie Hardin 0-1 0-0 0, Brandy Kumm 2-9 0-0 5, Hannah Vining 1-2 1-2 3, Diondra Denton 6-9 7-9 20, Sara Wier 4-9 1-2 9, Deanna Rothwell 0-1 0- 0, Allison Sexe 2-6 0-2 4, Ashlee Atchinson 1-1 0-2 2. Totals 24-55 11-19.