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  • Blue Pony swimmers succeed in Helena

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    With the regular season winding down, high school swimmers are starting to gear up for the final races of the season. For the Havre Blue Ponies, those races come in two weeks at the all-class state meet in Butte. But before the Ponies get to Butte, they had one last meet in which to prepare. And in many ways, they took full advantage. The Pony boys and girls were at the Carroll College pool Saturday for the prestigious Helena Invitational, and while they faced off against some of the best individual swimmers in Montana, they...

  • Westminster women take care of MSU-N

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Two blowout wins at home one week, two tough road losses the next. That's life in the Frontier Conference and that's been the life of the Montana State University-Northern women's basketball team the last two weeks. The Skylights were red-hot coming into this week's trip to nationally-ranked Frontier powers LC State and Westminster. But after the week began with a tough loss at LC State, it ended on a difficult note for the Skylights. On Saturday night in Salt Lake City, Northern fell to 11th-ranked Westminster College,...

  • Griffins pull away from Lights

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    What a difference a week can make in the Frontier Conference. Heading into Thursday night's game at Lewis-Clark State, the Montana State University-Northern men's basketball team was riding high, ranked No. 19 in the NAIA, sitting in first place in the league standings, and coming off a sweep of league powers Carroll College and RMC at home. But Northern lost by nine points at LC State on Thursday and things didn't get any better two days later in Salt Lake City. On Saturday night, the Lights fell to the No. 23 Westminster... Full story

  • Rustlers prove too big for Blue Ponies

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    For 32 minutes of basketball this season, the Havre High boys have given the Class AA CMR Rustlers all they wanted. Unfortunately for the Blue Ponies, it's the last 32 minutes that have been the difference. Just like in last month's game in Great Falls, the Blue Ponies gave the Rustlers a big scare in the first half of Saturday night's rematch at the HHS gymnasium. But just like back in December, the Rustler's size took over in the second half. CMR broke open a 16-13 halftime lead by going inside to 6-7 center Russ Morin, and...

  • Aloha: Mariani shatters Pro Bowl return records

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Marc Mariani said earlier this week that Pro Bowl traditions for rookies include players who make the least amount of money pick up plenty of tabs during their stay in Hawaii. So while he may be out some bucks when he leaves Honolulu, he'll still be leaving with plenty to smile about. Although the NFC pounded Mariani's AFC squad 55-41 Sunday afternoon in Hawaii, the Tennessee Titans receiver and former Blue Pony star left his own mark on the game by returning nine kickoffs for an astounding 326 yards — both new Pro Bowl r...

  • Independence Bank wins B-League title

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Another baseball champion has been crowned in Havre. On Sunday morning at Elks Park, Independence Bank was crowned the 2011 Havre Youth Baseball Association B-League champion. Independence Bank defeated Bob's Greenhouse 8-1 Sunday morning to wrap up the three-day, five-team tournament. Havre Daily News/Daniel Horton Joey Bender, of Independence Bank swings at a pitch during Sunday morning's HYBA B-League championship game at Elks Park in Havre. Independence Bank beat Bob's Greenhouse 8-1 for the B-League championship. The...

  • Chinook finishes fourth in B-C tennis

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    The Chinook Sugarbeeters came to the Class B-C state tennis tournament as the defending girls champions. Unfortunately, graduation can hamper a team's chances for a repeat. Chinook lost several key seniors off of last year's state title team, and the Beeters, while still a B-C power, just didn't have the depth to keep pace at the 2011 B-C state tournament this past weekend in Missoula. Chinook scored 16 points to finish in a tie for fourth place with Conrad and Fort Benton. Cut Bank, coached by veteran Jim Gregg earned its...

  • Saints coming off a big week

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    If there's one thing that's becoming quite clear as it relates to Frontier Conference basketball this season, it's that nothing is clear. After just two weeks of league play on the men's side, no team is undefeated any more, and the team picked to dominate the conference this winter, Westminster College already has two losses. Westminster was beaten by Carroll College this week in Helena, and to show the respect the country has for the Frontier, the Saints jumped all the way from being un-ranked, to No. 16 in the latest in... Full story

  • HDN Athlete Profile: Max Payne

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Montana State University-Northern redshirt-freshman Max Payne is from the deserts of Prescott, Ariz. But he's certainly getting used to the Montana winters. That's because Payne is already one of the elite wrestlers in the NAIA, in what is his first full season at MSU-N. Payne, a two-time Arizona high school state champion, redshirted last season, but is having a breakout first varsity campaign for the Lights. He's had to overcome some injury problems this season, but in the most recent NAIA rankings, Payne is ranked seventh...

  • 2011 Frontier Women's Basketball Preview

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    There's never been a shortage of good women's basketball teams in the Frontier Conference. After all, many consider the league to rival the Golden State Athletic Conference as the best in NAIA Division I. And that balance of power isn't likely to change in the near future. Coming into the first week of the 2011 Frontier season, the league has three ranked teams in LC State, Westminster and Carroll College, while programs at Montana Tech, MSU-Northern and Rocky have also put together strong nonconference runs this season. And...

  • 2011 Frontier Men's Basketball Preview

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Men's basketball in the Frontier Conference has become as powerful as anywhere else in the country. In just the last two seasons, the Frontier has made five NAIA tournament appearances with four different teams, and it was less than two years ago that the Frontier produced a national champion when Rocky Mountain College captured the 2009 NAIA title. And while the faces and names on the back of the jersey's change around the league, the high level of basketball doesn't. Two-time Frontier champion Westminster starts the year...

  • Northern spikers roll in South Dakota

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    If the preseason is about building a team, about getting the most preparation a team can before the start of conference play, then the Montana State University-Northern volleyball team certainly accomplished that mission. This past weekend, the Skylights ended nonconference play by going 4-0 at the Dakota Wesleyn Tournament in Mitchell, S.D. And MSU-N head coach Bill Huebsch said things are right where they need to be heading into to Northern's Frontier Conference and home debut against UM-Western this Friday. "It was really... Full story

  • Skylights, Lights well prepared

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    When it comes to the Frontier Conference season, the Montana State University-Northern men's and women's basketball teams have similar approaches in preparing for league play. And with their Frontier openers at UGF just two days away, the Lights and Skylights are hoping their philosophy has paid off. Both Northern teams have spent the last two months taking on a rigorous nonconference schedule, mostly built around difficult road and neutral sight games. The hope is, that after the schedule both teams played in November and...

  • 2011 Frontier Women's Preview

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Year and in a year out, Frontier Conference women's basketball is arguably the premier conference in all of the NAIA. The Frontier is loaded with good teams and very good players at both the guard and post position, and the 2011 season will be no different. Already, Lewis-Clark State and Westminster are ranked in the Top 10 nationally, and Carroll College, Montana Tech and MSU-Northern look to have deep and talented teams as well. And when talking about Frontier teams, it isn't just the teams that are good. On any given...

  • Ponies get back to work

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    The Havre High boys and girls basketball teams were not set to return to action until Jan. 7. But because of this notoriously rough winter on the Hi-Line, plans have changed. The Pony boys and girls teams will return from the holiday break on Monday night when they make up their postponed season-opening games in Malta. The games were to take place back on Dec. 10 but were postponed because of a winter storm which pounded the area that week, which in turn resulted in poor travel conditions. But on Monday night, the Ponies...

  • Skylights finish Vegas trip with a win

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    When the Montana State University-Northern women's basketball team went to Las Vegas for the annual Las Vegas Shootout earlier this week, the Skylights had three games in which to prepare for the upcoming Frontier Conference season. So playing well in Las Vegas was at a premium. And after a hard-fought 75-62 win over Siena height College out of Michigan on Thursday night, the Skylights can come home feeling prepared for the start of conference play. "Overall, I think we played four halves of basketball this week where were ve...

  • Pro Bowl a fitting end to Mariani's storybook year

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Marc Mariani got a phone call on Tuesday afternoon from Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher. In the call, Fisher reminded Mariani that Sunday was the Titans final game of the 2010 NFL season. He then went on to tell Mariani that Sunday's game in Indianapolis wasn't going to be his last this season. Instead, the longtime veteran head coach of the Titans was calling to tell his rookie, seventh-round pick from the University of Montana that his last game will come Jan. 30 in Hawaii when Mariani suits up for the AFC in the an...

  • George Ferguson Column: Remembering 2010 for more than the wins

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Often times, sports have us so consumed, we often lose sight of what they were intended for in the first place. You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who will tell you that sports were first created as a means of exercise and recreation anymore, or even more so, anyone who truly believes that. But that's precisely why they were put on this earth in the first place. And does anyone really believe anymore that sports pull people together from all walks of life? That they are unique brand of socialization which bonds people,... Full story

  • Skylights roll past Ursuline

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Exactly 24 hours after losing a tough game to highly-touted Fresno Pacific the Montana State University-Northern women's basketball o9nce again showed its resiliency. Wednesday afternoon in Las Vegas, the Skylights won their second of three games at the Las Vegas Shootout, drubbing Ursuline College 83-57. The win was Northern's eighth overall in a year when the Skylights have played a rigorous non-league schedule while enduring injuries to three key players. Northern wraps up nonconference play tonight with one last game on...

  • MSU-N grapplers ranked ninth

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    The Montana State University-Northern wrestling team is on its holiday break, but the Lights are preparing to return to action. MSU-N will get back on the mat Jan. 8-9 in Cedar Falls, Iowa during the NWCA National Duals. In the latest NAIA Poll, the Lights are ranked No. 9, and have seven wrestlers ranked nationally. Northern junior Evan Hinebauch leads the way with a No. 2 ranking at 184 pounds. Heavyweight Rudy Schaffroth is ranked third, while Anthony Weerheim is ranked fourth at 149 pounds. Freshman Cameron Neiss (133),...

  • Skylights fall in Las Vegas

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    The Montana State University-Northern women's basketball team knew its game with Fresno Pacific at the Las Vegas Shootout would be tough, especially without starting point guard Taylor Keller. And while Tuesday's game against Golden State Athletic power Fresno was indeed a grind, the Skylights showed at times while they'll be tough to handle when Frontier Conference play opens next week. Fresno beat the Skylights 75-61 on Tuesday afternoon in Las Vegas, thanks I large part to a blistering second-half performance. But it was...

  • Mariani is Pro Bowl bound

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    The dream just keeps getting better for former Havre High star Marc Mariani. On Tuesday afternoon, Mariani received one of the most exciting phone calls he's gotten in some time. On the other end was his Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher informing the rookie from Montana that he was selected to represent the AFC in the 2011 Pro Bowl. Mariani was selected to be the return specialist for the AFC in the NFL's elite all-star game which will take place Jan. 30 in Honololu, Hawaii. Mariani, the Titans' 2010 seventh-round...

  • Big Return: Lights clobber Thunder

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Back-to-back road games, a 12-hour bus ride, little sleep and a dangerous nonconference opponent. Those are things that didn't affect the Montana State University-Northern men's basketball team in an 88-39 win over Concordia College of Alberta Sunday night at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse. The Lights romped to victory in their first home game since Nov. 7, and they did it on the heels of two tough games in Lewiston, Idaho over the weekend. "There were a lot of things that were different about this game and things we hard to...

  • MSU-Northern women survive a scare from Concordia

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    It wasn't easy. It wasn't pretty at times, but when it mattered most, the Montana State University-Northern women's basketball team found a way to win at home. Playing without injured point guard and leading scorer Taylor Keller, the Skylights struggled at times against Concordia College of Alberta, but used a late 7-0 charge to upend the Thunder 57-45 Sunday night at the MSU-Northern Fieldhouse. "I feel like we only played about 7 minutes of basketball like we are supposed to play," Northern head coach Chris Mouat said....

  • Mariani excited for his old quarterback

    George Ferguson Havre Daily News sports editor

    Marc Mariani and Gary Wagner have won championships together, literally. Not only did the duo help lead the Havre Blue Ponies to the 2004 Class A state football championship, but they teamed up to win a pair of doubles championships together in tennis for HHS. To say they've done a lot together is an understatement. And just last fall, Wagner showed he could also be a Mariani fan. Wagner was in the stands or on the sidelines for several games at Washington-Grizzly Stadium in 2009, cheering on Mariani as he completed his run...

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