By Tiffany L. Rehbein
The Havre Blue Ponies boys' basketball team opened the Central A divisional tournament with a 74-58 win over the Browning Indians on Thursday at the Belgrade Sports Events Center.
Senior Ricky Brown led four players in double figures with 21 points, including four 3-pointers. He had 19 points at halftime.
Landen Grant put together a double-double and continued his fine play on the boards, pulling down 10 rebounds and chipping in 13 points in the win.
Cliff Cooper put together one of his finest offensive games, pouring in 10 points for Havre.
Scott Rice continued his fine play and added 11 points in the win.
Alden Spoonhunter led the Indians with 18 points and four 3-pointers. Jesse Edwards added 15, Dan Edmo scored 13, and Cody Morris had 10 in the loss.
The Blue Ponies outrebounded the Indians 40-28 in the contest.
The Blue Ponies shot 53 percent from the field in the win. Browning struggled behind 35 percent shooting from the field.
The Blue Pony bench once against proved its strength, outscoring Browning 22-0.
Every Pony scored in the game. Danny Wirtzberger went 1-for-2 from the free throw line, Chris Young came off the bench and scored nine points, Nate Baltrusch had five, Ryan Fink tallied two, and Jesse Suek had two in the win.
The Ponies will face the Butte Central Maroons at 6:30 p.m. in the semifinal game.
The No. 2 Maroons defeated the Anaconda Copperheads 67-55. Tom Boyle and Tyler McIntyre scored 18 points apiece for Butte Central. They were the only players to score in double digits.
McIntyre also grabbed a team-high eight rebounds in the win.
Mike Miller scored 13 for Anaconda, while Jonathan Clark added 12, and Jim Maes chipped in 11 in the loss.
In other action, Lewistown defeated Belgrade 52-37. Newell Roche poured in a game-high 22 points in the victory for Lewistown.
Ken Herbst led Belgrade with 14 points.
Defending state champion Dillon handed Livingston an 85-36 loss to close the evening.
Richard Griffin went 10-for-15 from the field and scored a game-high 24 points for Dillon.
Tyler Thomas added 17, and Kellen Hildreth scored 11 for the Beavers.
Dillon will play Lewistown at 8 p.m. in semifinal action.
In loser-out action this afternoon, Browning will play Anaconda at 12:30 p.m. and Belgrade will meet Livingston at 2 p.m.
Three teams will advance to the state tournament which will be held at MetraPark Feb. 24-26 at Billings.
Havre Danny Wirtzberger 0 1-2 1; Chris Young 3 3-9 8; Nate Baltrusch 2 1-2 5; Ryan Fink 1 0-0 3; Ricky Brown 7 3-3 21; Scott Rice 3 4-4 11; Landen Grant 6 0-0 13; Jesse Suek 0 2-4 2; Cliff Cooper 5 0-3 10. Totals: 27-51 14-27.
Browning Jo Von Fisher 0 0-0 0; Jon Lee Edwards 0 0-0 0; Jesse Edwards 5 4-4 15; Delbert Trombley 0 0-0 0; Cody Morris 3 2-2 10; Alden Spoonhunter 7 0-0 18; Eric Butterfly 0 2-2 2; Dan Edmo 4 2-2 13. Totals: 19 10-10.
Total fouls: Havre 11, Browning 22. Fouled out: J. Edwards. Three-pointers: Brown 4, Rice, Grant, J. Edwards, Morris 2, Spoonhunter 4, Edmo 3.