By HDN Editorial Board
Basketball is more than a sporting event during Montana's long winters. Hoops are a large part of the social life of our communities. Every town lives and dies with the exploits of its team, and February is Christmastime for basketball fans. Tournaments start this month. Havre and our area of the Hi-line are fortunate to also have Montana State University-Northern athletic teams to watch.
Noteworthy last week were the play of the Havre Blue Ponies at the divisional tournament, the performance of the rest of our area school teams jostling for seeding at their own tournament, and MSU-N's games Thursday and Saturday nights.
Havre's boys basketball team came within an eyelash of earning a trip to the state tournament. Their strong showing in Great Falls last weekend may have surprised some folks. Too many times, as in life, we judge success by the number of wins and losses. We should be proud of this team. The Blue Ponies could have gotten down on themselves and pointed fingers. Instead they worked harder to get better.
Chinook and Harlem finished their regular season and are off to the district tournament at Glasgow this week, and we wish them continued success. J-I and Chester also finished their regular seasons and are headed to the 10C tourney in Shelby. The rest of our area teams finished their regular season and are preparing for the 9C tournament beginning Wednesday in Havre. The Havre Area Chamber of Commerce and Havre Public Schools work hard to bring this tournament to town, and for those of you who think you're about to suffer from hoops withdrawal, this a show worth checking out.
The teams at MSU-N have been going through their own trials this season. The lady Skylights have dealt with unique issues that no college player should ever have to deal with. Thursday night's game was their first back after a self-imposed team boycott that ended with the removal of Kevin Emerick as their coach. Standing in their way was the No. 3 team in the nation Western Montana and ESPN cameras. The Skylights showed signs of rust and lost to a good basketball team.
Saturday night the focus turned back to the teams. Both the women's and men's teams thrilled the crowd with overtime victories. The victories were exciting and are what sports should be all about. Overtime games should be the story on the sports page. With all the Skylights have been through this year, normal was a great place to be.