Sometimes a team can do a lot of things right on the basketball court, but if the shot just isn’t falling on offense, it becomes very hard to win.
The Havre High boys basketball team found that out on Saturday, as the Blue Ponies ran into a solid, but beatable Class B Conrad squad. The Cowboys defeated the Ponies 50-46 at the Havre High gymnasium. With the loss, the Ponies' overall record dropped to 2-6, while they remain 1-2 in the Central A.
“Their zone defense wasn’t that great,” Havre High head coach Curt Leeds said. “But we weren’t hitting any shots in the first half so they went into the zone, and we still couldn’t hit any shots. I think we outmatched them physically in man, so that is why they switched to a zone look, but why wouldn’t you stay in zone when we can’t hit shots?”
It was a 14-13 Conrad lead after the first quarter, and a 28-25 Conrad lead at the half. Neither team was playing incredibly well through the first eight minutes, but it was the halftime adjustments by the Cowboys that made the biggest difference.
“I think it was completely our defense," Conrad head coach Tyson Anderson said. “They were getting to our man-to-man a little bit, so we made that adjustment and said, if they are going to beat us, they have to hit some shots and beat us that way. They were handling our man-to-man too easily so that was just a mid game adjustment.”
And it worked.
The Ponies only scored eight points in the third quarter and 14 in the fourth. The Cowboys didn’t set the nets on fire with their offense either, but they did enough to keep the Ponies from coming back.
The Cowboys scored 13 in the third and nine in the fourth, but Conrad also shot 28 free throws, compared to the Ponies' seven. And the majority of the Conrad points came right at the hoop, as they made getting to the rim look very easy on Saturday night. Conrads first bucket that came from beyond the free throw line didn’t land until there was 3:25 left in the third quarter, an Austin Zomer three-pointer.
“Our kids just move well without the ball,” Coach Anderson said. “They (Havre) were switching on our screens, so we just ran a lot of cutters and caught them sleeping. Our guys run the floor well, and pounding the ball inside is our mentality. We want to attack the rim, make the officials blow the whistle, and get to the foul line.”
The Ponies were 4-of-8 from the field in the third quarter, but just 5-for-15 from the field in the fourth quarter. They shot just 39 percent from the field in the second half.
“We are learning,” Leeds said. “Today was another learning experience. When we shoot seven free throws to Conrad’s 28, that isn’t going to cut it. That is really when you have to pound the ball inside, when you aren’t hitting shots. You have to find different ways to score on a poor shooting night.”
Havre was led by Kade Rismon with 19 points, while Thurman Holdsclaw and Nate Rismon scored five points each. Conrad was led by Zomer’s 15, Shane Larson’s 13, and Devin Vanderbos’ 12.
The Ponies are back on the court this weekend with two conference games. HHS hosts Belgrade on Friday and hosts Livingston on Saturday. Havre will also travel to Browning next Monday.
Conrad 50, Havre 46
Conrad 14 14 13 9 – 50
Havre 13 12 8 13 – 46
CONRAD — Devin Vanderbos 12, Cameron Janzen 0, Austin Zomer 15, Shane Larson 13, Tristen Diedrich 2, Terence Kleinsasser 8, Clark Judisch 0. Totals: 17 15-28 50.
HAVRE — Kody Hickman 2, Nate Rismon 5, Dane Warp 11, Ramsey Drew 2, Thurman Holdsclaw 5, Kade Rismon 19, Jase Kato 2. Totals: 20 4-7 46.
3-pointers—Conrad 1 (Zomer), Havre 2 (Rismon, Holdsclaw). Total fouls—Conrad 10, Havre 21. Fouled out—Warp.