The Havre High boys basketball team had a lot on the line Tuesday night traveling to Great Falls High to take on the Bison and it was more than the Ole Goat that they wanted. The Ponies also had a two-game losing streak they would have liked to get rid of.
But the Bison, who have had possession of the Ole Goat since 1992, were also riding a two-game losing streak. The Ole Goat is a trophy that since the 1930s has resided in the gym of the team that wins the season series.
Unfortunately for the Ponies, it was the Bison who had the hot streak early, mounting a 26-11 lead after the first quarter en route to a 91-72 win and the end of their losing streak. With the win the Bison evened their season record at two wins, two losses, while the Ponies fell to 1-4.
Havre had problems defending from three-point range, giving up 10 three-pointers on the game, three of which were in the first quarter.
The Ponies kept the quarter score even in the second and the third quarters, each team scoring 18 points in the second and 28 in the third. The Bison outscored Havre 18-15 in the fourth.
The Ponies made five three-point shots of their own, all at the hands of senior Mike Frey. Frey ended the game with a team-high 26 points, all coming after the first quarter.
Junior forward Ryan Lusin, starting his second consecutive varsity game for Havre after being moved up from the junior varsity team, scored six points in the first quarter, on the way to 14 total for the game.
Great Falls' Ray Keatts scored 10 points in the first quarter on the way to 34 for the game. Keatts was unstoppable from beyond the arch, nailing six three-pointers. Brian Lynch followed with 22 points on the game, eight in the first quarter, including a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line and two three-pointers. Cody Gillespie added six points in the key first quarter and finished with 15 on the game. Tom Claytor was the fourth Bison player to score in double figures with 12 points.
Bryce Erickson added five points for Great Falls, while Jacob Tronson had three and Tyler Corwin one.
Frey's spark for the Ponies came in the third, hitting three three-pointers, a field goal and a free throw for 12 points. Frey also had nine in the second and five in the fourth.
Behind Frey and Lusin, Danny Wirtzberger scored eight points and Titus Pedraza seven. Cory Brothers, Doug Ireland and Tyler Vincent each scored four points in the loss, while Kyle Sheppard added two. Vincent's four points all came in the fourth quarter.
Havre Danny Wirtzberger 8, Kyle Sheppard 2, Mike Frey 26, Cory Brothers 4, Doug Ireland 4, Titus Pedraza 7, Tyler Vincent 4, Ryan Lusin 14.
Great Falls Ray Keatts 34, Jacob Tronson 3, Bryce Erickson 5, Brian Lynch 22, Tom Claytor 12, Cody Gillespie 15, Tyler Corwin 1.