The Havre High girls basketball team put together another solid night of basketball, but even with their improvements, the Blue Ponies still struggled to find the win column.
Monday night the Central A Ponies played host to the Class B Malta M-Ettes at the Havre High gymnasium. But in front of the home fans, the Ponies were defeated 52-43 in nonconference play.
“I am pleased with our kids,” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “They are hanging in there and we are pretty excited to get the next couple of weeks going and move on to divisionals and see what we can do there.”
The Ponies played from behind all night long. But with another night of all around good play, offensively and defensively, the Ponies kept themselves in contention.
Malta took an 18-14 lead after the first eight minutes of play. HHS kept within four points on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and only three turnovers in spite of the Malta full court pressure. But the Ponies let the M-Ettes grab the lead after giving up four easy buckets at the basket on missed assignments on defense.
In the second quarter things changed. Malta gained more of lead and continued to build on it throughout the remainder of the game. It started with a 16-10 outscoring of the Ponies, a lot in part of Paighton Gilman leaving the game for good with a rolled ankle with over six minutes still to be played in the first half.
“Losing her was huge,” Kraske said. “But she isn’t seriously injured thankfully. But when she went down, the kids could have decided that they had enough or they could have decided what they did. They played hard and played together and did a good job.”
After Gilman left the game Peyton Filius and Christina Mack kept the game close.
Filius had three points in the second quarter and added three more in the fourth. And Mack moved into Gilman’s spot down low and grabbed five points in the second, four in the third and six in the fourth, finishing with a team high 15. Filius finished with 8.
“What impressed me the most was players like Christina Mack who doesn’t play at the basket very much,” Kraske said. “Stepped up and did a good job. Other kids had to step up and make things happen at the hoop for us and Mack played outstanding there. She is a handful and very strong at the basket.”
Jaclyn Evan finished with 10 points, while Gilman finished the game with six points and Sammy Evans finished with three. Brandy Lambourne also finished with one point for the Ponies.
Next up for the Ponies is the Conrad Cowgirls on Friday at the Havre High gymnasium for the HHS senior night.
Malta 52, Havre 43
Malta 18 16 6 12 – 52
Havre 14 10 7 12 – 43
Malta – Courtney Henry 9, Jessica Cole 2, Jayla Graham 4, Kori Kindle 11, Katie Czereda 12, Krischelle Zwiers 14
Havre – Jaclyn Evans 10, Peyton Filius 8, Chris Mack 15, Paighton Gilman 6, Sammy Evans 3, Brandy Lambourne 1