By Tiffany L. Rehbein
HAVRE One more ember was thrown on a smoking homecoming fire as the Havre Blue Ponies overpowered Central A rival Fergus County Golden Eagles 56-40 in the Blue Pony Corral Thursday.
Senior Tiffany Shrauger and junior Alyssa Matter wrote the first chapter in the Blue Pony book as they tallied all 17 Havre points in the first quarter.
They swapped perimeter shots and penetrating drives. Matter hit two 3-pointers in the quarter to finish with 11 points. Shrauger finished with six.
At the half, the Shrauger-Matter duo combined for 27 of the teams 31 points. By the end of the game, they tallied 39 total points in the win.
Shrauger finished with a game-high 20 followed closely by Matter with 19.
Tiffany is shooting the ball extremely well, head coach Dennis Murphy said. She has been in the gym all summer shooting the basketball and because of that, its paying off.
Alyssa is a very good athlete, Murphy continued. Three years ago, when she played junior high, we knew shed be good. Shes got great athletic ability.
Lewistowns Cassie Chapman, a 5-foot-9 post player, notched the only Golden Eagles first-quarter points with six, which included one basket and four freethrows.
They responded very well tonight, Murphy said about his Blue Ponies. They played extremely well and shot the ball well.
The Blue Ponies were outscored 17-14 in the second, the only quarter in which Lewistown scored in double figures, to narrow the Havre lead to eight points going into the half at 31-23.
In the second, Shrauger continued with the hot hand, nailing two of her game-high four threes in the quarter. Junior Nikki Baltrusch and sophomore Jeri Matter joined in the scoring fun and chipped in two points each. Alyssa Matter added four in the quarter.
Offensively, especially early, we found the open man, Murphy said.
Early-game foul trouble kept sophomore Jayla McPherson, senior Erin Patera and Baltrusch, all with three fouls, on the bench for more than half the quarter, sending Murphy to his bench early.
Id like to use the bench when it isnt urgent, Murphy said.
Defensively, the Blue Ponies played a tough zone, collapsing on Chapman when the ball went inside, keeping her eerily quiet throughout the game.
Defensively, we held them in check, Murphy said.
Up 20-8, Shrauger and Alyssa Matter alternated three plays, diving for loose balls on the court. Matter also tallied nine rebounds on the night including one offensive rebound with a put-back for a Blue Pony score.
Lewistown, without stand-out Chapman, opened the third quarter with two points by senior Amanda Bakkedahl who tallied six in the game. Chapman returned with more than four minutes remaining to add four points in the quarter. She finished with a team-high 14.
However, Havre expanded its scoring drive in the third when Jeri Matter notched six points in the quarter to lead the Ponies.
Up by 14 points going into the fourth, the Blue Ponies sealed the victory the old fashioned way from the free throw line. The Ponies outscored Lewistown 11-9 in the quarter without making a two-point conversion.
Shrauger nailed another three and combined with Baltrusch, Alyssa Matter, Patera and McPherson to notch eight points from the charity stripe in the final three minutes of play.
Lewistown, who only hit one-of-17 three-point attempts in the second half, was briefly sparked from the perimeter by senior Jamie Slagel. She finished in double figures with 10 points, including two 3-pointer shots.
Amy Ranes stepped off the bench for the Blue Ponies in the fourth quarter to snag one steal and two rebounds.
She came in the second half and had a good series for us, Murphy said. I just thought that we played a complete game tonight.
Lewistown Jamie Slagel, 3 2-4 10; Kristin Hagen, 1 2-2 4; Amanda Bakkedahl, 3 0-0 6; Cassie Chapman, 4 6-11 14; Sarah Wilber, 2 0-1 4; Lindsay Garcia, 1 0-0 2; Total: 40
Havre Nikki Baltrusch, 1 4-7 6; Tiffany Shrauger, 7 2-3 20; Alyssa Matter, 6 5-8 19; Erin Patera, 0 1-2 1; Jeri Matter, 4 0-1 8; Amy Ranes, 0 2-2 2; Total: 53
Total fouls: Lewistown, 19, Havre, 16; Fouled out: Slagel, McPherson; Three-pointers: Lewistown, Slagel, ; Havre, 6, Shrauger, 4, A. Matter, 2.