By Kim Staudinger
The Havre Blue Ponies boys basketball team is entering its final weekend of regular season play.
The Ponies have just two games left, both at home. The first game is tonight against Chinook at 7:30 with Great Falls High coming to town Friday for senior night.
"We know Chinook will come ready to play," Havre coach Mark West said. "We know Chinook felt they should have played us a lot better at their place."
The Ponies defeated the Beeters, 65-52, Jan. 3 in Chinook.
"We know we have a chance to win," West said. "We've been playing hard and we expect them to also."
West said he had a chance to see Chinook take on Malta late in January. Chinook easliy defeated Malta, 57-43, and had three players score in double figures Casey Schmitt (15 points), Jordon Nissen (15 points) and Micky Haney (10 points). Havre lost to Malta Saturday 63-60.
West said Chinook looked tough against Malta.
"They played very well," he said. "They shot the three well, played good defense and took good shots."
Chinook and Havre also play Glasgow and Harlem. Both the Ponies and the Beeters have lost to the Scotties and Wildcats.
The Great Falls High game will be the last at home for seniors Titus Pedraza, Kevin Harada, Doug Ireland, Kyle Sheppard and Mike Frey.
The Bison have yet to win a road game this season and Coach West said his team would "like to keep it that way."
The key to the Bison game will be Great Falls' shooting guards.
"If we can contain their two guards and rebound, we'll be fine," he said. "But that's a big chore."
West said he hopes senior night will give his team extra incentive to end the season on a winning note.
"It's their last home game and I know they take a lot of pride in being a Blue Pony," he said.
Havre is trying to battle its way out of last place in the division before heading into the divisional tournament next weekend in Great Falls. Coach West said he is confident the Ponies will be out of last place after this weekend, even if the Ponies fail to win a game. But, if Havre wins both games, West said there is a possibility the Ponies could end in sixth place. Either way, West said his team feels good about the bracket it will be in come tournament time.