The Havre High girls basketball team has some unfinished business over the course of the final two games of the regular season. And the Blue Ponies checked one team of their to-do list in what was their final home game of the year.
Friday night at the Havre High gymnasium, the Blue Ponies sent senior Neya Bischoff out in style, by dominating the Conrad Cowgirls 49-25. Havre lost to the Class B Cowgirls on the road last month, but the Blue Ponies made sure Friday night was a different story.
“Our defensive enthusiasm, our work ethic, playing together, for the most part, we were fundamentally sound for four quarters,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “Those were things that were big differences than the first time we played them (Cowgirls). And I really liked those things tonight.”
Havre’s defense showed up right from the opening tip. The Blue Ponies smothered Conrad and didn’t allow the Cowgirls to score a single point until there was just :33 left in the first frame.
Then, it was Havre’s turn on offense. Back-to-back buckets by Bischoff on the inside sparked a big second-quarter run, a run which was aided by 3-pointers from Brandy Lambourne and Payton Filius. By the time the second quarter was in the books, Havre had gone on a 16-4 run and led 23-8 at intermission.
“I thought we did a lot of things very well tonight,” Kraske said. “I thought we slowed the pace down in the second half and forced them (Cowgirls) out of their aggressive, trapping defense. It was good for us to go against that this late in the season and I thought we handled that really well tonight.
“I also thought we got more good shots in rhythm,” he continued. “And that comes from really moving well, screening for each other and sharing the ball. Our kids did a really nice job of playing together, and playing for each other tonight.”
Laci Waid scored two quick baskets to start the second half, and Havre was never really threatened from that point on. The Ponies led by 17 points after the end of three quarters and they cruised home from there.
In fact, the margin was big enough, that Kraske was able to take Bischoff, the Ponies’ lone senior out, near the end of the game, to an appreciative standing ovation. She finished with just four points, but led the ponies in rebounding, and was a defensive stalwart as she normally is.
“Neya has been on varsity for three years. She’s had a great senior season,” Kraske said. “Tonight was an example of the player she is. She was physically strong, she rebounded really well and she continues to play hard, even when we miss her inside. I really appreciate that about her. So tonight was a good way to send her off in her last game at home.”
Filius paced the Ponies with 13 points, while Lambourne and Waid each scored 10. Morgan Mazurkiewicz scored seven, while Conrad was led by Morgan VanDyke and Taylor Judisch, each with nine points.
The win pushed Havre’s overall record to 10-7 on the season. The Ponies have just one game left before the Central A Divisional, and it’s a big one, with the Central A title on the line next Saturday in Browning.
“I was pleased with how we played tonight,” Kraske said. “We have just one game left, and then we can start trying to figure out how to keep our season going at the divisional tournament.”
Havre 49, Conrad 25
Conrad 4 4 11 6 -- 25
Havre 9 16 8 16 -- 49
Conrad – Tasyn Erickson 3, Makayla Baringer 2, Taylor Judisch 9, Krista Judisch 2, Morgan VanDyke 9. Totals: 10 4-6.
– Brandy Lambourne 10, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 7, Lacy Waid 10, Peyton Filius 13, Tori Mazurkiewicz 1, Haley Ohm 2, Dani Wagner 2, Neya Bischoff 4. Totals: 18 9-12.
Total fouls: Conrad 12, Havre 9. Fouled out: None. Three pointers: VanDyke 1, Lambourne 2, M. Mazurkiewicz 1, Filius 1.