The good news continues to poor out of the Montana State University-Northern women’s basketball program. And this time, the good news includes another local standout.
Thursday, Skylights head coach Chris Mouat announced the signing of Havre High’s Brandy Lambourne.
Lambourne is gearing up for her senior season with the Central A Blue Ponies and has already proven to be a talented player under the guidance of HHS head coach Dustin Kraske.
In her junior season with the Blue Ponies, Lambourne was the only player in the Central A with more assists (46) than turnovers (43). Lambourne is a natural at the point guard position, where she’s led the Ponies in assists for two straight years. She also averaged 9.6 points per game last season, while leading the Ponies in field goal percentage, shooting better than a 50 percent clip. She shot 29 percent from 3-point range and 64 percent from the foul line.
Lambourne has also been a key part of Havre High teams which have won back-to-back Central A championships the last two seasons. She and several of her Havre High teammates also took a basketball trip to Australia in the summer of 2012.
And Lambourne isn’t the only high school senior with the weight of a college signing off her shoulders, as the guard play of Lambourne will hopefully highlight the post play of players like Chinook senior Makhayla Farmer for the next several years at Northern. Farmer verbally committed to play for the Skylights as a sophomore.
Now, Lambourne is the second player in what could be a huge 2013-14 recruiting class for Northern, and she is amped to continue her career in Havre.
“I really just wanted to get a lot of this weight off of my back and focus on my last season of high school,” Lambourne said. “I go to all of their (Skylights) games and all of their camps. I also talk to their players and coaches, and just really like the program. I really like the atmosphere, and I already know a lot of the players.”
But Lambourne wasn’t the only one excited about the signing. Mouat was just as excited to add local talent to an already impressive recruiting class.
“We were really excited to sign Brandy,” Mouat said. “I think the job that coach Kraske is doing at Havre High is outstanding, and I think that Brandy is a big part of something special down there. They should be set for a great year, and getting to watch them this summer, I was able to see Brandy improve a lot. Their whole team stands out, but Brandy has really improved on both ends of the floor. She is leading by example, playing extremely hard and really stood out. She is familiar with our program, she wants to be a part of our program, and wants to play in front of friends and family, and that is really exciting.”
And now, knowing where she is going to attend school and play ball for the next four years, Lambourne truly can focus on her final season as a Blue Pony.
Havre High has made it a habit of making the Class A state tournament, but for a senior, that isn’t enough. Lambourne knows she is part of a great program, and is part of a team that has the potential to make a run at a state title this upcoming season.
“We are going to win as many games as we can,” Lambourne said, “and hopefully take state this year. We have been at state the last couple of years, so hopefully we can just seal the deal. I think we need to just treat the postseason like a regular game, not focus on the fact that it is the state tournament. We just need to play the way that we play normally.”
Havre's Brandy Lambourne drives around a Browning defender during the Central A girls tournament back in February. Lambourne will be a senior at HHS this season and was a First-Team All-Conference performer a year ago.
“We have been able to watch her since she was a freshman and her game has improved a lot,” Mouat said. “But I see her entering her senior year with a team that has a chance to do some really special things at the state tournament level. I do think this signing will take some pressure off of her, and I see her having a great final season.”
Lambourne will finish up a great career at Havre High where she is also an excellent student. During her athletic career, Lambourne is already a two-time Central A All-Conference basketball player. She has lettered three years in volleyball and three years in tennis including earning back-to-back trips to the Class A state tournament. Lambourne finished tied for seventh at the state tennis tournament this past spring in Polson.
Lambourne plans to major in biology at Northern and has an interest in pursuing medical school in the future. She is the daughter of Tim and Maria, has two older sisters, Lissette, who lives in South Carolina, and Monica, who also attends MSU-N, and younger sister, Kate, who is a sophomore at HHS.
Note: Havre Daily News Sports Editor George Ferguson contributed to this story.