After seeing steady improvement over the last couple of games from the Havre High boys basketball team, the Blue Ponies suffered a set back in their two games this weekend.
The Central A Po
nies played one at home and one on the road. Playing at home at the Havre High gymnasium on Friday, the Ponies fell to the conference rival Browning Indians 64-36. And on Saturday on the road, the Ponies offensive struggles continued as they faced the Class B Conrad Cowboys. The Cowboys defeated the Ponies 35-26.
With the two losses, the Ponies overall record dropped to 3-7, and their conference record dropped to 2-2.
On Friday, the Pony defense just couldn’t contain the high-octane offense that makes the Indians so tough year in and year out. And on offense, the Ponies just couldn’t produce the shots to keep pace.
HHS was sluggish through he first eight minutes and trailed 16-9 after the first. But HHS showed signs of life in the second quarter as they outscored the Indians 14-13 and trailed 29-23 at intermission. During the much better second quarter, the Ponies got six points from Thurman Holdsclaw, while Brandon Smith and Rydell Ruff combined for the other eight.
Turnovers also played a role in the first half for HHS, and that continued in the second. So did lack of rebounds, as the Indians sometimes saw three and four shot opportunities as the outrebounded the Ponies all night. The Blue Ponies had 11 turnovers in the second half, adding to the 10 times they coughed up the ball in the first half.
Turnovers and rebounds were both huge factors in who would win this game, and the Ponies knew that going in. It just wasn’t the Ponies night as they were outscored 35-14 in the second half.
Holdsclaw led the Pony efforts with 12 points. Ryan Brandt scored eight, and Ruff, Smith and Kade Rismon all finished with four each.
On Saturday, the Ponies had another stout game on defense, holding Class B Conrad to just 35 points. But the HHS struggles continued on the offensive side of the ball, scoring just 28 of their own.
Havre fell behind 12-9 after the first quarter, and both teams combined for just five points in the second quarter. Both defenses really stepped up, not what the Pony offense wanted, as they continually search for shooters to step up and accent the scoring of Brandt and Smith.
The Cowboys outscored the Ponies 9-5 in the third frame, but the Ponies bounced back in the final frame. Offensively they had their best quarter of the game with 10 points, but the Cowboys also stepped up on offense and posted 11 on the Ponies, dashing any hopes of a comeback win in a very tight matchup.
This time around the Ponies scoring efforts were led by Smith with 10 points. Brandt and Rismon also posted six each.
Havre High will try to rebound after a tough weekend with three more games coming up. Havre will host Malta on Tuesday before returning to the road for two conference games. HHS will face Livingston on Friday and Belgrade on Saturday.
Browning 64, Havre 36
Browning 16 13 17 18 — 64
Havre 9 14 5 9 — 36
Browning — Kurt Redcrow 2, Jon Skuncap 3, John Hall 4, Jason Calfrobe 11, Josiah Davis 11, Charles Oldchief 5, Vince Omeason 9, Gary Monroe 2, DeeJay Lazyboy 14, Cliff Ollinger 3. Totals 25 8-14.
Havre — Ryan Brandt 8, Rydell Ruff 4, Spencer Morkrid 2, Brandon Smith 4, Ramsey Drew 2, Thurman Holdsclaw 12, Kade Rismon 4. Totals 13 7-13.
Total fouls: Browning 19, Havre 14. Fouled out: Smith. 3-point fieldgoals: Skunkcap, Calfrobe, Davis, Oldchief, Lazyboy 2, Brandt 2, Smith.
Conrad 35, Havre 26
Havre 9 2 5 10 — 26
Conrad 12 3 9 11 — 35
Havre — Ryan Brandt 6, Rydell Ruff 2, Brandon Smith 10, Thurman Holdsclaw 2, Kade Rismon 6. Totals: 10 2-4.
Conrad — Devin VandenBos 5, Kesler Martin 11, Clay Winters 5, Ben Moerkerke 9, Seth Moerkerke 5. Totals: 9 16-22.
Total fouls: Havre 17, Conrad 7. Fouled out: None. Technical Fouls: None. Three point goals: Brandt 2, Smith 2, Martin 1.