By Tiffany L. Rehbein
A 75-46 score sounds like Skylights basketball conquering a Havre Play Corps fifth grade team, not the top two Central A teams in head-to-head action.
But the Havre Blue Ponies girls basketball team, shooting 63 percent from the floor, easily handled the Browning Indians Friday at the Blue Pony Corral.
Anytime you shoot 63 percent, youre going to win a lot of games, said head coach Dennis Murphy.
The Blue Ponies, up 15-12 after one quarter, exploded for 25 second-quarter points to lead 40-20 heading into the locker room.
Junior Alyssa Matter had seven first-quarter points, including one 3-pointer, and went 2-for-2 from the free throw line to spark the Ponies. Matter had 14 points in the victory.
To open the second quarter, sophomore Amy Ranes pulled down an offensive rebound and scored on the put-back. Four possessions later, Ranes scored again underneath to lift the Ponies, 19-13. Ranes tallied eight points and went 2-for-2 from the free throw line in the game.
The Ponies scored 13 unanswered points in more than four minutes of play to expand its lead in the quarter.
With 3:28 remaining in the half, sophomore Jayla McPherson missed the first end of a one-and-one free throw situation, and sophomore Jeri Matter snagged the offensive board.
Matter fed senior Tiffany Shrauger who nailed the 3-pointer that tore open the game, 29-17.
McPherson, who came off the bench, went 7-of-7 from the field, and 1-of-2 from the free throw line to tally a season-high 15 points for the Ponies.
She got her shots in the right places, Murphy said. Those places included three buckets from the low block on three in-bounds plays in the fourth quarter.
Shrauger had a team-high 20 points in the contest. Shrauger went 9-of-12, and shot 75 percent from the field, and went 2-for-2 from the free throw line to lead the Ponies.
She shot the ball extremely well, Murphy said. We adjusted her shot a little this last week, and its really paid off.
Jeri Matter finished with five points and six rebounds in the contest.
Havre continued to pour on the offense in the second half en route to the victory.
For the second time this season, every Blue Pony scored in the matchup.
Junior Sam Velk had four points, Breyon Briese hit one free throw late in the game, LaShae Michaels hit one free throw, senior Erin Patera notched six points and five boards in the contest, and Nikki Baltrusch tallied one point and 10 assists.
The Ponies nailed 11-of-17 free throws in the game.
They played a complete game, Murphy said. The bench came in and did a great job.
Brownings Laura Jo Kipp, who leads the Central A in scoring, averaging 21.1 points per game, was held to just 14 points.
Kristin Madman, the Central As 3-point leader, scored only six points in the matchup.
Nikki (Baltrusch) did a great job of guarding Madman, Murphy said. She (Baltrusch) had another great floor game. Baltrusch leads the Central A is assists, averaging more than seven per game.
However, for as well as the Blue Ponies executed their offense Friday, three fourth-quarter points against No. 1-ranked Class B Malta does not win many games.
Saturday in the new M-ettes gym, the Ponies fell to Malta, 45-40 in non-conference action.
Havre scored first and maintained the lead until 3:53 remained in the game. Up 37-33 going into the fourth quarter, Malta scored eight unanswered points to take the lead, 41-37.
Shrauger hit one free throw to narrow the gap 41-38, and, with 2:17 remaining, Alyssa Matter hit the only field goal of the quarter to come within one point, 41-40, of the M-ettes.
However, unable to generate any offensive scoring, the Ponies were forced into a must-foul situation.
With :18 on the clock, Maltas Leeann Pekovitch nailed two free shots, and, with :05 remaining, Stacey Nevrivy hit two more shots from the charity stripe to seal the victory.
Shrauger finished with a team-high 13 points in the contest. Alyssa Matter had 10 points, eight in the first quarter and two in the fourth, for the Ponies. Matter notched two 3-pointers in the contest, the only shots from beyond the arc in the game, and had four steals in the effort.
Sophomore Jeri Matter added nine in the effort, including going 3-for-4 from the free throw line.
Baltrusch went 2-for-2 from the line and finished with four points in the contest. She also tallied five boards in the contest.
The Ponies, 13-4, meet Eastern AA C.M. Russell for their final home and regular-season game on Thursday, Nov. 4. The seniors and parents will be honored at the contest that is slated to begin at 7:30 p.m.