By Kim Staudinger
The last time the CMR girls basketball team won a game was nearly a month ago. Their opponent? The Havre Blue Ponies.
Despite playing opponents tough since defeating the Ponies, the Rustlers have not been able to get over the hump and back into the win column, which any team would easily tire of.
"They (CMR) beat us and then they played one of the best teams in the state in Bozeman and lost by one," Havre coach Dennis Murphy said. "The last team they beat was us, so I am sure they are ready."
The Rustlers are ready, but the question is, are the Ponies? The Ponies have been consistent about one thing this year they play just like they practice throughout the week. Last week, the Ponies practiced well and played well, but this week the Ponies practices have been "sluggish" at best.
Murphy said the biggest problem he sees with CMR is the lack of consistency the Rustlers have shown throughout the season, but mentions that "on any given night, they can be really good," noting his team cannot afford to overlook tonight's game.
CMR coach Kerry Parsons tends to mix defensive strategies well, said Murphy, which was a problem his team had in the first game against the Rustlers.
"We didn't handle the pressure well," Murphy said. "Sometimes they would press us after free throws. They really mix it in and show a good combination of the press, man and zone."
Sophomore Erin Goodman, one of three 5-foot-11 players for CMR, will challenge the Ponies under the basket, matching up well against Havre's size.
"CMR's talented and they have fair size," Murphy said. "They have a really good post player in Erin Goodman. She's one of the best players in the state, especially with her age."
Tonight's game is senior night for the Ponies, marking the last time seven players will play competitive basketball in the Blue Pony Corral. Senior night is traditionally a challenge for the team due to high emotions and the desire to win in your last home game.
"You have to have senior night before you go to tournaments," Murphy laughed. "We just want to play well. You can lose and play well, or you can win and play bad."
NOTES: The freshman game with CMR tonight will be played at Havre Central Gym at 4:15 p.m.