After the Havre High girls basketball team was able to win four out of the last five games, with relatively consistent play on both sides of the ball, the Blue Ponies came across another hurdle on Saturday.
The No. 1 Central A Ponies faced the Class B Conrad Cowgirls on Saturday in Conrad, but failed to win their third straight game.
The Cowgirls defeated the Ponies 38-35 in non-conference play. The loss dropped the Ponies' overall record to 4-4. And it wasn’t the most consistent game for the Ponies, to say the least.
“We didn’t play very well,” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “And we didn’t coach very well. Conrad had a nice game, therefore they win.”
It is a goal for any team to put together 32 solid minutes of basketball. HHS struggled to do so over the weekend, as the Cowgirl offense and defense edged the Ponies in a slim, three-point game. The Conrad defense held the Ponies to a total of just six points in the second and third quarters, while the Conrad offense was led by Morgan VanDyke’s game-high 17 points. The Cowgirls got seven different girls in the book, including Hayley Orcutt’s six points in a supporting role.
HHS did show signs of that explosive offense, but came up just short of the win.
The Ponies took a 10-5 lead after the first quarter was in the books, but then cooled way off. They made nice run in the fourth quarter with 19 points in the final eight minutes, but the Cowgirls’ 14 in the same eight minutes was just enough to keep the Ponies at bay. Morgan Mazurkiewicz led the Pony efforts with 11 points, but the Ponies' leading scorers, Brandy Lambourne and Peyton Filius had quiet nights. Lambourne and Filius finished with five points each. Lacey Waid also added nine points for the Ponies.
“We had a nice fourth quarter offensively and defensively,” Kraske said. “But it wasn’t enough. I think the biggest difference was just us. We didn’t screen very well, we didn’t attack the basket very well, and like I said, I didn’t coach very well. We will have to learn from this, but I think the kids will ,and we will be fine. Conrad deserved to win, they outplayed us.”
The Blue Ponies were also scheduled to face the conference rival Browning Indians on Friday, but the matchup was canceled due to the heavy snow fall.
Conrad 38, Havre 35
Conrad 5 11 8 14 — 38
Havre 10 5 1 19 — 35
Conrad — T. Erickson, 2; Hayley Orcutt, 6; M. Barringer, 4; T. Judisch, 4; K. Judisch, 3; Morgan VanDyke, 17; J. Richardson, 2.
— Brandy Lambourne, 5; Morgan Mazurkiewicz, 11; Lacey Waid, 9; Peyton Filius, 5; Tori Mazurkiewicz, 1; Neya Bischoff, 4.