In the final regular season game of the year, the Havre High girls basketball team got a lot done.
Not only did the Central A Blue Ponies earn a win in Browning, they played very well overall, they avenged their only conference loss of the season and they claimed the regular season title and the No. 1 seed in this week’s Central A divisional tournament in Great Falls.
Friday night, the Ponies defeated the Browning Indians 44-37 in Browning.
It is the second straight regular season title for the Ponies who finished 7-1.
“In all honesty,” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “It was nice to go to Browning and play as well as we did. It was a very tough, physical game and our kids matured a lot. To win the league, that was just a nice part of that I think.”
When the Ponies were defeated by the Indians last month in Havre, they didn’t play well at home. But going into the second meeting, the Ponies knew exactly what they wanted to do to turn the tables. And after a solid week of practice, the Ponies did exactly what they wanted to do.
“I think the biggest thing,” Kraske said. “Was that we defensively rebounded very well. And we were able to handle their pressure and didn’t turn the ball over which result in layups like we did at home. Basically those are two things that we stressed and worked on in practice, and we did very well.”
HHS led big early, 14-4 after the first quarter. The Ponies stretched the lead to 24-12 at the break and looked like they were going to cruise to the win.
But the Indians came alive at home, and made a game of it late. Both teams scored nine in the third quarter, but the Indians outscored the Ponies 16-11 in the final frame. The Ponies’ cushion they earned early was crucial in holding off the Indians.
Peyton Filius had a great final regular season game, leading the Ponies with 21 points. Lacey Waid and Neya Bischoff both scored six, and Morgan Mazurkiewicz added five. Brandy Lambourne also scored four points, while Hayley Ohm finished with two points.
Overall, the Ponies played very well and are ready to enter the Central A tournament as the No. 1 seed.
“We treated last week like a preparation week for divisionals,” Kraske said. “Our kids executed very well all week in practice, and we expect the same thing this week.”
The Ponies earned a first-round bye, and will play the winner of the Lewistwon/Livingston game in the semifinals. Friday night at the CMR Fieldhouse in Great Falls.
Havre 44, Browning 37
Havre 14 10 9 11 – 44
Browning 4 8 9 16 – 37
Havre – Brandy Lambourne 4, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 5, Peyton Filius 21, Lacey Waid 6, Hayley Ohm 2, Neya Bischoff 6.
Browning – scoring not available.