The Havre High girls basketball team competed hard at the Central A basketball tournament this weekend, but just couldn’t get past two good teams in two very close games.
Over the weekend, the Blue Ponies were in Belgrade where they went two-and-out at the Central A divisional tournament. Thursday, the Ponies fell to Lewistown 43-47 in a six-point loss. And in loser-out action on Saturday, the Ponies fell to the Browning Indians 44-42, this time in a just a two-point loss.
“I am proud of our kids’ efforts,” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “I thought in both games they played as hard as they could. The Browning game was no different; we just needed a break and couldn’t get one. They played as hard as they could and did a nice job.”
Facing the Indians, the Ponies had a battle on their hands.
The score went back and forth all game long, but had one big determining factor. On the night the Ponies offense was strong. They attacked the basket and got the Indians in foul trouble, but missed a total of 19 free throws on the night.
“That was the biggest difference in the game,” Kraske said. “You miss 19 and lose by two, that’s kind of unfortunate. But it’s a real credit to our kids to get to the foul line, they did a nice job of attacking, but just had a heck of a time knocking them down.”
With a game so close, the Ponies could have really benefitted from the charity stripe.
In the first quarter the Indians took a 13-11 lead. But in the second quarter the Ponies outscored the Indians 13-9 to take a 24-22 lead at the break. The Indians retook the lead in the third with 11 points, and the Ponies fell just short as both teams scored 11 more apiece in the fourth quarter.
Peyton Filius had a huge game for the Ponies with a team-high 18 points. And Paighton Gilman added 10 points to the mix while Christina Mack added six. Ashlyn Van Voast also finished with four points while Brandy Lambourne and Sammy Evans had two points each.
But besides the free throw struggles, the Pony offense played well.
They saw steady improvement all season long and really came together not only against Browning, but also over the weekend as a whole. Everybody got involved and girls who would pass on an open shot earlier in the season were shooting.
And though it was a tough weekend for the Ponies as a whole, the future is looking very positive for the young squad that should return 10 players next season.
“It was unfortunate that our two seniors (Gilman and Mack) didn’t get to play anymore games,” Kraske said. “They have been such a big part of this program and we are going to miss them. But we have 10 kids coming back and I know they are excited about what the future holds. We have talked about the summer and the type of time effort we have to put in and I look forward to putting that time in with them to help us get back to a little different way of playing basketball. It’s no disrespect to the kids this year, they did a lot of growing up, learned how to play together and next year we are going to be even better.”
The Ponies finished their season with a 5-15 record overall.
Browning 44, Havre 42 (lo)
Havre 11 13 7 11 - 42
Browning 13 9 11 11 — 44
Havre — Brandy Lambourne 0 2-6 2, Ashlynn Van Vost 2 0-0 4, Jaclyn Evans 0 0-0 0, Sammy Evans 1 0-4 2, Peyton Filius 7 3-7 18, Christina Mack 1 4-7 6, Paighton Gilman 2 6-10 10, Neya Biscoff 0 0-0 0. Totals: 13 15-34 42.
Browning — Kailey Hall 1 0-0 2, Kristen Rattler 1 0-0 2, Brooke Carlson 0 3-4 3, Lynn Madplume 1 0-2 2, Shay Tatsey 2 0-0 4, Jordan Weatherwax 2 1-2 5, Ashton Smith 0 0-0 0, Shanelle Skunkcap 1 0-0 2, Marti Eaglefeathers 6 2-3 14, Danielle Madden 4 0-0 8, Krystene Desrosier 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 6-11 44.
3-point goals: Hav 1 (Filius), Brown 0. Rebounds: Hav 45, Brown 30. Fouls: Hav 13, Brown 27. Fouled out: S. Evans, Hall, Eaglefeathers.