LEWISTOWN Despite shooting 73 percent overall in the first quarter and jumping out to an early six-point lead Thursday night against Fergus, Havre shot only 33 percent in the second half, falling to Lewistown 60-54.
"We shot the ball real well to start with, for the simple fact we were taking shots we could make," Havre coach Dennis Murphy said. "In the first quarter, we only took one shot that was hurried.
"I was pleased with our start of the game, up six in the first, because we were doing simple things."
The Blue Ponies, backed by Jayla McPherson's six points and four each by Carrie Flatau and Jeri Matter, led 21-15 after the first quarter, holding Katie Edwards to just four points in the stretch.
Edwards made two free throws in the first quarter to pass Loree Payne for third on the all-time leading scorers for Montana.
According to Murphy, holding Edwards was a key point to the game, but when McPherson got in foul trouble, Edwards had an easier time scoring.
"It hurt us because Katie has two baskets in the first and Jayla gets her second foul. In the second quarter we had to sit (Jayla) and Katie has seven points," Murphy said referring to McPherson getting in foul trouble early. "Jayla is on her in the third and (Katie) has zero points. Then Jayla picks up her fourth foul and Katie has nine points."
Still, the Ponies held Edwards to only 22 points, one of the lower scoring games for her this season.
"We did a really nice job on her," Murphy said. "We came in with a defensive plan against her where we were willing to give up some penetration so we wouldn't get killed with three-point shots."
Havre's shooting cooled off somewhat in the second quarter, scoring 11 points to the Eagles' 20, giving Lewistown a three-point halftime lead. The Eagles also shot 12-for-12 from the free-throw line in the first half, while the Ponies shot 7-for-11.
"In the first half, we played 14 good minutes of basketball," Murphy said. "The two minutes we played poorly in may have been the difference in the game."
The Eagles would increase their lead to six after three quarters of play and would hold on to that lead throughout the fourth quarter to come away with the 60-54 victory.
Jeri Matter led the Ponies with 19 points, followed by McPherson with 10.
Three Lewistown players finished in double figures including Edwards with 22 and Shaylynn Conroy and Megan Berg with 11.
Havre is on the road against Great Falls High Saturday night.
Havre Julie Wagner 4, Katie Malsam 4, Carrie Flatau 6, Sara Suek 2, Alysia Kato 3, Jeri Matter 19, Amy Ranes 6, Jayla McPherson 10.
Lewistown Brenda Bassett 3, Monique Moen 7, Shaylynn Conroy 11, Emily Roche 2, Megan Berg 11, Dani Buehler 4, Katie Edwards 22.