By Alan Sorensen
Havre High School's Blue Ponies head into this weekend's basketball action in fourth place in Central A standings with a 9 and 2 record.
Based on the complicated seeding points system adopted a few years ago, the Ponies have a firm grasp on fourth place with 35 points.
Leading the conference standings are the Lewistown Golden Eagles with a 13 and 1 record and 45 seeding points, according to figures released this week by head coach Dennis Murphy. Dillon's Lady Beavers are tied with the Browning Indians at 12 and 2 records, but have a one-point seedings advantage with 40 points to 39.
Butte Central, Anaconda and Belgrade have identical 7 and 8 records, but the Maroons hold a two-point advantage over the other two teams. Butte Central has 26 seedings points to the 24 points compiled by the Copperheads and Panthers. The Park County Rangers of Livingston occupy the league cellar with a 5 and 9 record and 21 seeding points.
Individually, the Blue Ponies performing well on the year. Though their strength has been a stingy defense, they have two girls among the top 10 in field goal shooting percentages Jayla McPherson at 53 percent and Amy Ranes at 46.2. Alyssa Matter ranks sixth in 3-point shooting percentage at 32.7. She also ranks eighth in scoring per game at 12.1 points and eighth in 3-point field goals made at 16 in 14 games.
Two Havre hardcourters are ranked in the top 10 in rebounding, McPherson at 6.1 per game and Jeri Matter at 5.8. Point guard Nikki Baltrusch ranks second in assists with 6.1 per outing. She and Alyssa Matter are both leaders in steals, too. Matter averages 2.9 per game and Baltrusch has been taking the ball away from opponents at a clip of 2.6 per game.