Browning boys spoil Havre High's regular season finale
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To get a good look at how far they have come, the Havre High boys basketball team wanted to play well in their last game of the regular season. And though they suffered a home loss to the conference rival Browning Indians, the Blue Ponies did just that. At Havre Central, the Indians defeated the Ponies 74-71 in a Central A shoot out Thursday night. "When playing a good team we want to be in position and have chance to win and we did," Havre High head coach Andy Smith said. "You have to compliment the kids, they played 32 minutes and in the last minute we had a chance. That's a tribute to the 31 minutes they put in before. Just because you didn't win it doesn't mean you didn't play well." At the start of the fourth quarter the Ponies trailed 60-57, but after five lead changes in the final frame, HHS trailed 71-70 with just over a minute to play. And after a crucial Ponies turnover, the Indians' Derek Desrosier knocked down a two-point bucket with just 18 seconds left, giving the Indians a 71-74 lead. The Ponies C.J. Evans and Ryan Myers both attempted a 3-pointer in the last seconds of the game, but came up short. The Indians ran a very sound full court press, forcing the Ponies into more turnovers than they probably would have liked. After the Ponies went up 22-14 in the first quarter, and 40-36 at the half, turnovers let the Indians stick around. In the third quarter the Ponies turned the ball over six times and in the fourth quarter the Ponies turned the ball over another five. But even with the turnovers, the Ponies shot well and continually found a way to knock down the big shots. "The thing was, our kids continued to battle back," Smith said. "I know we had some turnovers, but they just kept coming back, they didn't quit. They were finishing at the hoop and attacking the basket. I thought the kids came up with some big shots." Evans continued to have an outstanding season, leading all scorers with 25 points on eight field goals, including four treys. Anfernee Standing Rock pitched in 15, and Brandon Smith netted 10. Myers also added eight for the Ponies, while Thane Gray finished with seven. With the loss the Ponies dropped to 4-6 in the conference and 9-8 overall, but all along the Ponies knew they had a chance against he No. 1 Indians. "Regardless of our record," Smith said. "We have felt all along that if we come out and compete and defend we are going to have a chance to win." Next on the colander for the Ponies is the Central A divisional tournament, Thursday through Saturday at the CMR Field House in Great Falls.