The Havre High girls basketball team has been desperately looking for its first win of the season, and with the Blue Ponies back in conference play, they picked a good weekend to find it. On Friday night, the Central A Blue Ponies played host to the Lewistown Golden Eagles where HHS earned a 40-31 win. And on Saturday the Ponies were on the road where they fell 60-30 to the Butte Central Maroons. It was nice to get their first win, but the Ponies know they still have a ways to go, and have a lot of work to do. With the win the Ponies moved to 1-3 in the conference and 1-6 overall. “We didn’t play our best this weekend in either game,” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “However it was nice to get a win, especially to get a conference win. (Lewistown) is a nice team, they play hard, and they did that against us from start to finish. “I think our kids felt good about it,” Kraske added “But what pleased me the most about them, they didn’t seem real satisfied. We just took care of business, got the win and played a little better than Lewistown.” Throughout the game the Ponies didn’t have much of a shooting rhythm. But they played well enough on defense to keep themselves in the game, and consistently enough to maintain a lead. They didn’t give the Eagles any major runs, and didn’t let their shooters get hot. HHS held an 11-4 lead after one quarter of play, and a 22-17 lead at the half. And after holding the Eagles to just four more third-quarter points, the Ponies took a 28-21 lead into the fourth quarter. In the fourth quarter Hayley Donovan stepped up in a big way. She scored six of her 16 total points to keep the Ponies in command. Donovan was able to post up down low and control the paint, something the Ponies knew they had the personnel to do. “That was our game plan all week,” Donovan said. “We wanted to throw it down low to the post and it worked for us. “We all have to step up because teams are looking at Cassi (Darrah) because they know she is a very good offensive player,” Donovan added. “Other people have to step up because they are going to concentrate their defense on shutting her down.” Darrah scored nine points in the Pony victory, and Paighton Gilman had five. Cali Freier and Jaclyn Evans both had four a piece. On Saturday, simply put, Kraske said, the Ponies just didn’t play well. “Butte is a tough trip,” Kraske said. “But we aren’t looking for excuses. They played a lot better than us, there is really no other way to describe it.” Through the first quarter the Ponies played well. They came out and executed very well against the Maroon's zone defense, and trailed by only three points. Darrah scored six of the Ponies' first 10 points, and at half the Ponies trailed by only seven. But in the second half, things began to unravel for the Ponies. Coming out of the break the Maroons ran away with the game with a 39 points in the last 16 minutes. The Ponies put up only 16 second-half points, and could never find an answer for the Maroons. On the night, Darrah led the Ponies with 10 points, while Donovan finished with nine. “They just came out and blitzed us,” Kraske said. “Our defense wasn’t up to speed, we gave them open shots and we turned the ball over.” Defensively the Ponies struggled in the second half. And, according to Kraske, what they can take away from this game is they just have to play better. “I think for us,” Kraske said. “We just need to continue to come to practice and do the things that we do and try to do them as well as we can. We’ve relied on our defense all season long and for the last few years and it let us down on Saturday. We need to do a better job of that, and quite frankly it falls on my shoulders because that’s the thing we take pride in. I am not disappointed in the kids at all, just disappointed collectively on what we did. We are better than what we showed and I think our kids know that.” This weekend brings two more tough games for the Ponies. On Friday they are on the road to face the Browning Indians, and on Saturday the Ponies will play the Conrad Cowgirls at 5 p.m.
Blue Pony girls earn coveted first win
Published: Monday, January 11th, 2010
Click Here To See More Stories Like This