By Jason Shoot
After hitting a second-quarter lull and leading just 16-13 at halftime, the Havre Blue Ponies decided in the second half that nap time was over.
Havre used a tenacious full-court press to force 12 second-half turnovers and race away for a 48-27 win over Chinook in a non-conference basketball game at Havre High School.
"In the first half we were pretty shaky," said Havre guard Dan Wirtzberger, who finished tied for the game-high with 10 points and also had four steals. "But in the second half we turned it up and played at the level we're capable of playing."
Corey Brothers also scored 10 points for the Blue Ponies, who led 12-7 after the first period but was outscored 6-4 in the second.
But Havre tightened up its defense in the second half, especially against Chinook standout Adam Zinn.
Zinn, who also finished with 10 points to pace the Beeters, scored eight first-half points. But he found little free space in the second half as the Blue Ponies clamped down with its aggressive zone defense.
"What we knew about Zinn coming into the game was that he could shoot the ball," Havre coach Dennis Murphy said. "(At halftime) we just asked if somebody was going to cover him. If we're going to be in a zone, we gotta have somebody there."
Murphy was pleased with Wirtzberger's effort at point guard.
"He had a couple turnovers early in the first half," Murphy said. "But he calmed down and played much better after that."
CHINOOK (27) Fritz 5, Zinn 10, Hanson 7, Strauser 2, Schmitt 3, Beck 0, Terry 0, Steyee 0, Haney 0, Nissen 0.
HAVRE (48) Wirtzberger 10, Pedraza 2, Vincent 2, Brothers 10, Daniel 4, Frey 7, Lorang 2, Fink 5, Harada 6.