By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The story is simple. The ending, not so sweet for the Blue Ponies.
Lewistown made 18 freethrows. Havre made four.
The Fergus County Golden Eagles upset the No. 1 Havre Blue Ponies 49-41 in Central A action Saturday at Lewistown.
They got to the foul line more often than we did, head coach Dennis Murphy said. When you get an opportunity to shoot 26 times without people guarding you, thats obviously the difference in the game.
Lewistown went 18-of-26 from the line, while Havre hit 4-of-10.
Sarah Wilber of Lewistown nailed 10-of-13 free shots, all in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. She finished with a game-high 16 points.
In the second half, Lewistown scored one field goal off its set offense. The other points were scored on put-backs and free throws.
We put them to the foul line where they were able to get an uncontested shot, Murphy said.
Havre opened the contest against a Golden Eagle zone that allowed for some open perimeter shots early.
They played a zone for the first time since 1991, and that caught me by surprise, Murphy said. We had good shots that just didnt go in.
Senior Tiffany Shrauger led the offensive attack with 11 points, followed by junior Alyssa Matter with 10. Matter also grabbed five rebounds in the contest.
Junior Nikki Baltrusch had nine assists, four steals and five points in the contest.
Erin Patera tallied four points in the contest, but was challenged underneath guarding Cassie Chapman, who scored 15 points for Lewistown.
Lewistown, who had accumulated more than 70 points during its last two games, was held to just one 3-pointer.
Havre hit five, led by Sam Velk with two. Shrauger, Alyssa Matter and Baltrusch also hit the trey. Velk finished with eight points in the contest.
Lewistown led 26-22 going into the locker room, but Havre held the Golden Eagles to just two points in the third quarter to lead 29-28 going into the fourth.
However, it was the only lead the Blue Ponies would have, as a put-back by sophomore Amy Ranes on an offensive rebound fell short, and Lewistown scored on the ensuing fastbreak, putting the Eagles up by one point.
With the free shots, Lewistown exploded for 21 fourth-quarter points to sew up the win.
Tuesday, the Blue Ponies travel to Great Falls to take on the Bison.
Havre won the contest 55-46 when the two met earlier this season. Alyssa Matter exploded for 23 points in the Blue Pony win.
I think theyve improved since the last time I saw them, Murphy said. They will be extremely ready for us when we get down there Tuesday.
The Missoula Sentinel Spartans blew out the Bison 80-44 Thursday at Great Falls. Great Falls high senior Erin Peterson said the Bison would bounce back and were looking forward to meeting Havre.
We know what theyre going to do, Murphy said. They run the system and it doesnt change much from game to game.
Varsity tip-off is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the Bison Fieldhouse.