By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre Blue Ponies girls' basketball team fell to the Chester Coyotes 67-58 in the championship game at the Chester Invitational during the weekend.
The Blue Ponies went 3-0 during pool play on Friday and entered the tournament with a first-round win over Belt, 65-37.
Havre rolled through the bracket, knocking off Class B Cut Bank (49-21), Class C Centerville (62-45), Class AA C.M. Russell (55-47), and Class A Browning (62-55) in the semifinal game.
"I was really pleased with them," Havre Head Coach Dennis Murphy said.
The Ponies used some different personnel to get through the weekend.
Seniors Nikki Baltrusch, Samantha Velk, and Alyssa Matter, juniors Jeri Matter, Amy Ranes, Alysia Kato, and sophomores Carrie Flatau, Jeanna McPherson, and Keelie Solomon each saw some playing time throughout the weekend.
With only six players in the rotation during tournament play on Saturday, the Ponies were up by two points with 4:40 on the clock against Chester. The Coyotes simply outlasted the Ponies, Murphy said.
The Blue Ponies will take this weekend off for the Fourth of July holiday, and will return to action July 7-8 at Billings.
Havre will play at the (Billings Skyview) Lady Falcon Invitational. Class AA Billings Senior, Skyview, Helena High, and Great Falls High and Class A Miles City and Havre will play.
Four-of-five teams qualified for their respective state tournaments last season.
Chester Invitational results
Pool play: 3-0
Havre def. Belt, 65-37
Havre def. Cut Bank, 49-21
Havre def. Centerville, 62-45
Havre def. CMR, 55-47
Havre def. Browning, 62-55
Chester def. Havre, 67-58