By Harvey Brock
Havre's boys basketball team started Thursday night's game at neighboring Chinook with a full-court press and trapped its way to a 65-52 win.
Junior guard Steve Heberly and sophomore guard Trent Normandy made their first start of the season and keyed a press that led to 11 steals and forced Chinook into 17 turnovers.
Havre sophomore guard Cory Brothers' 17 points guided the team to a nine-point lead at the half.
"I saw some openings and drove the lane for a couple of lay-ups and hit a few shots," said Brothers, who led all scorers with 20 points.
"Brothers had a great first half," Havre coach Mark West said. "They couldn't stop him."
Brothers and the Blue Ponies didn't let up after the break. Havre turned up its press a notch to start the second half en route to a 17-6 run. The Ponies led by 22 points before Chinook called timeout with three minutes to play in the third quarter. Chinook cut the lead to 13, with four minutes left in the game, but could get no closer.
On offense Havre accomplished its goal of working the ball in to the post. Junior post Ryan Lusin, who scored 12 points, led a host of Havre inside players who outmuscled the Sugarbeeters.
"The kids did a good job of getting the ball into the post," West said.
West said he was pleased with his team's overall effort, and the way his team started the first and third quarters.
"I thought the kids played hard tonight. It was nice to get a win. I was happy to see the kids having fun out there again," he said.
Havre played Thursday night's game without seniors Dan Wirtzberger, Kevin Harada and Kyle Sheppard. Harada and Sheppard were listed on the program but did not dress. Wirtzberger's name was not on the program.
West had said earlier Thursday that a player had been permanently suspended from the team and that two other players were suspended for two weeks. He said school policy prohibits coaches from disclosing the names of players suspended for rules violations.
Junior guard Casey Schmitt led the Sugarbeeters in scoring with 13 points. Chinook coach Derek Miller was surprised and disappointed in his team's performance. Thursday night's game was the team's first after the holiday break.
"It was like the team was starting the season all over again," Miller said. "Not to take anything away from Havre, but that was the worst game we played all season. Havre played a good game, but we played without any emotion or heart."
The Sugarbeeters travel to Glasgow on Saturday night. Miller said he thinks his team will match up well with Glasgow.
The Blue Ponies' next game is at Browning tonight. They will be at home Saturday to play Malta. The Browning Indians are ranked No. 1 in the state A power polls.
"Browning is going to be tough, but I look forward to the challenge," Brothers said.