The Havre High girls basketball team was in complete control of the Central A Conference following a sweep of Belgrade and Livingston this past weekend at home.
However, on Monday night, the Browning Indians wrestled some of that control away from the Blue Ponies. In a game which was postponed two week’s ago by a severe winter storm, the Indians dominated the second half Monday night on their way to a 57-44 win in the HHS gymnasium. The loss was Havre’s first in league play this season, but the Ponies are still atop the Central A standings at 5-1. HHS is 7-5 overall with two more non-conference games this week.
And playing their third game in four days, HHS got forced into a somewhat sloppy affair via a pressuring Browning defense. HHS lost both the turnover and the rebound margin Monday night, and that combined with a cold-shooting second half, led to the Ponies’ demise.
“Congrats to Browning, they played a great game,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “They did a really good job tonight and they exposed some things we need to get fixed as the season goes on.”
The Ponies opened the game on an 8-2 run as Lacey Waid came out firing. However, the Indians quickly responded with 10 unanswered points to close out the first quarter, and HHS found itself trailing 15-10.
But the Ponies didn’t take long to bounce back. Peyton Filius opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer and a put back bucket, while Brandy Lambourne also hit a three, sparking HHS on a 11-2 run. Lambourne’s second three of the quarter gave HHS a six-point lead, but the Indians once again fought back and trimmed that lead to 30-28 by halftime. In all, the Ponies nailed four triples and scored 20 points in the eight minutes before halftime, but they also lost Filius to what looked to be an ankle injury.
“Peyton going down was unfortunate. We’ll have to get her healed up,” Kraske said. “I thought we were doing some nice things offensively, but later on, we got out of sync somewhat offensively, and we started turning the ball over too much. That kind of played right into Browning’s hands and they did a really nice job of taking advantage of our mistakes tonight.”
And the Indians did just that in the second half. Morgan Mazurkiewicz opened the third period with a trey, but the Ponies wouldn’t score again for six minutes, and by the time Waid hit another three, HHS was behind 45-38. Browning went on to control the fourth quarter as well, as Havre managed on field goal in the final eight minutes, and the Indians did just enough to put the game away.
“We had trouble checking them off the boards, and when we did, we weren’t fully committed to it,” Kraske said. “Rebounding and turnovers really hurt us tonight, and those are things we’re going to have to get better at. And we will.”
Waid paced the Ponies with 11 points, while Filius scored seven in a shortened game for her. Lambourne, Morgan Mazurkiewicz and Tori Mazurkiewicz each chipped in with six. The Indians got 13 points from Marti Eaglefeathers and 10 by Courtney Littledog in the victory.
Havre will be back in action on Thursday night when the Ponies travel to Great Falls to meet the Class AA Great Falls High Bison. HHS is at home Saturday to play the CMR Rustlers.
“We’ve played five games in a pretty short amount of time and we haven’t had many practices, so we haven’t been able to work on some of things that we need to fix,” Kraske said. “So that’s what this next two days will be about. Great Falls is one of the better team’s in AA . It’s going to be a fun game, but a very tough game for us, so we’ll need to get better before then.”
Browning 57, Havre 44
Browning 15 13 19 10 – 57
Havre 10 20 10 4 – 44
Browning – Rachel Heptner 6, Courtney Littledog 10, Jessica Magee 3, Mariah Ingraham 4, Tiara Gilham 8, Brooke Carlson 6, Marti Eaglefeathers 13, Ashley Burd 7. Totals 20 5-12 57.
Havre – Brandy Lambourne 6, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 6, Lacey Waid 11, Peyton Filius 7, Tori Mazurkiewicz 6, Haley Ohm 4, Neya Bischoff 4. Totals: 8 8-17 44.
3-pointers: Lambourne 2, M. Mazurkiewicz 2, Waid 2, Filius 1, Littledog 2, Gilham 1, Eaglefeathers 1. Fouls: Havre 12, Browning 18.