The Havre High boys basketball team didn’t end its regular season as it hoped, but fortunately, the loss didn’t affect the Blue Ponies in the conference standings either way.
On Friday, the Central A Blue Ponies played their final regular season, as well as final conference game of the season. And playing the No. 1 Browning Indians in Browning, the Ponies struggled. The Indians defeated the Ponies 85-56, giving the Ponies a 4-4 conference record heading into the Central A tournament and locked in as the No. 3 seed.
The Indians played a great game on Friday. But the Ponies also hurt themselves with just three points in the first quarter.
“We had a really tough opening quarter, and we were buried under a big deficit early,” Havre High head coach Andy Smith said. “It made it tough on us, and because we were playing from behind, we ended up shooting 30 3-pointers. Browning is an awfully good team, but we made it tough on ourselves. We had some good looks, they just weren’t falling for us in that first quarter, it was like there was a lid on the hoop.”
The Ponies did get things rolling later, but it was just too little too late, as they couldn’t afford to let a team like Browning grab a lead that big, that early. The Indians utilized their speed and high-tempo to take control. They were active from start to finish, and did a solid job getting to the hoop with dribble penetration. That was something the Ponies’ defense struggled to stop Smith said.
But if there was a bright spot on Friday, it was the second outing for senior Logan Connor. He finished the game with a team high 20 points, hitting 5-of-12 from behind the three-point arc. He also had four rebounds, one steal and one assist for the Ponies.
Thurman Holdsclaw also played well, finishing with 13 points and three steals. Brandon Smith finished with nine points, while Ryan Brandt and Kade Rismon finished with seven points each.
The Ponies regular season may be over, but they still have the Central A tournament this weekend in Great Falls, running Thursday through Saturday.
Browning 85, Havre 56
Havre – Logan Connor 20, Thurman Holdsclaw 13, Brandon Smith 9, Ryan Brandt 7, Kade Rismon 7
Browning – No Stats Available.