By Tiffany L. Rehbein
After one week off from action, the Havre Blue Ponies travel to Chinook to take on the Sugarbeeters tonight.
When the two met Oct. 5, the Blue Ponies came out on top, 49-40.
A balanced scoring attack from Nikki Baltrusch, Erin Patera and Amy Ranes led the Pony offense.
They each tallied 10 points, while Sam Velk chipped in nine.
Chinooks Rhenda Birky led all scorers with 14 points, while teammate Katie Hoffman added nine.
The Ponies full-court pressure and smothering zone defense choked the Sugarbeeters offense earlier this year.
The Blue Ponies (11-3) have not played a game for one week, but are coming off a win against Eastern AA Great Falls High Bison last Tuesday.
At Great Falls, the Blue Ponies nailed 21-of-26 free throws en route to a 55-48 win.
Jeri Matter led the Blue Ponies with 13 points and hit 6-of-8 shots from the stripe.
Alyssa Matter and Nikki Baltrusch were also in double figures with 11 points each.
Matter went 2-of-3 from the line, while Baltrusch nailed 6-of-8 free throws for the Ponies.
Jayla McPherson came off the bench and shot 100 percent from the stripe, while senior Tiffany Shrauger hit 5-of-6 to sew up the hot shooting from the free throw line.
Chinook (6-4, 9-5) is coming off a 58-47 conference loss to Wolf Point Saturday.
Kelsie Whitney had a team-high 12 points in the loss.
One week ago, Chinook overpowered non-conference Cut Bank 66-41 behind the strong offensive play of Birky, who notched a season-high 28 points against the Cardinals.
Chinook, playing its fourth-straight home game, will be looking to control the tempo of the game and to break down the Blue Pony press.
Both teams face tough conference play this weekend as well.
Havre faces Class A opponent Browning, who has only lost two games this season.
One loss came at the hands of Havre, and the other to District 1-B leader Conrad.
Saturday, the Ponies travel to Malta to take on the District 2-B leader M-ettes.
Maltas only loss of the year came at Havre on Sept. 25.
Chinook faces District 2-B opponent Glasgow on the road Friday.
Varsity tipoff is 7:30 p.m. at the Chinook High School gymnasium tonight.