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Movin' On To State: Pony girls 3-peat

Ponies clobber Indians in Central A championship game


Dan Chesnet/Belgrade News

Havre High's Morgan Mazurkiewicz, right, dribbles the ball against a Browning defender during Saturday night's Central A championship game in Belgrade. The Blue Ponies beat the Indians to capture their third straight Central A title.

Two wins was all that the Havre High girls basketball team needed to bring a third consecutive Central A divisional title back to Havre.

And the Blue Ponies took care of business in a big way as they dominated the Central A field in Belgrade over the weekend. The Ponies first took care of the Belgrade Panthers 56-33 in the semifinals Friday night. That punched the Ponies’ ticket to the championship game where they then defeated the Browning Indians 51-50 Saturday night.

The Ponies entered the weekend as the No. 1 seed. Now sitting at 14-6 the Ponies will enter the state tournament in two weeks as a No. 1 seed.

“Our kids played very well together, they made the extra pass, communicated well defensively and did all of the tings that we have been practicing,” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “Our kids were really focused, they went down there with the purpose of playing well and they did. The goal at the divisional tournament is to win it, and they did that as well. I was really happy for them; they did a great job this weekend, and it was a total team effort this entire weekend.”

Browning put up a fight in the first half, but the Ponies proved to bee too much to handle down the stretch as they outscored the Indians 30-15 in the second half.

But the Ponies didn’t start out as hot as they finished. Neither team scored in nearly four minutes of action, and Shelby St. Goddard actually gave the Indians the early 3-0 lead on a 3-pointer at the 4:20 mark. But Peyton Filius sparked the HHS offense that would close the opening frame on a 7-2 run. Filius converted a two-point bucket with 3:34 left to play then got help with a Brandy Lambourne 3-pointer and a 2-for-2 free throw appearance from Morgan Mazurkiewicz.

Before the Ponies could run away in the second half, they first got a steady second quarter that helped set the pace. The Ponies had to overcome the early pressure and trap by the Indians. Browning was searching for turnovers, but the Ponies committed just three in the entire second quarter. Some in-game adjustments helped the Ponies attack the Browning defense, getting into the paint for points or earning a trip to the charity stripe.

Havre was 10-for-11 from the free-throw-line in the second quarter. Lacey Waid helped the Ponies steady their game through the first half with six boards.

Once the Ponies figured out the Browning defense, the second half seemingly came easy. Filius led the Ponies with her 20 points, but Lambourne also kicked in 13. Morgan Mazurkiewicz finished with seven and Waid added five points.

And as good as the Ponies played Saturday night, more specifically the second half, the Ponies had an outstanding weekend opener in a win over the Panthers.

“We came out relaxed,” Kraske said. “The first few possessions of offense we came out and scored each time. Our kids read the defense well and gave it to the correct kid to shoot, and that was nice to see them play so relaxed against Belgrade. Against Browning I thought we were tight. We weren’t playing poorly, just maybe a little hyped up.”

HHS came out and controlled the semifinal contest right out of the gate. The Ponies held a 29-8 lead after holding the Panthers to just six points in the first quarter and just two in the second quarter. The Ponies added a 27-25 second half to the mix and handled the Panthers easily.

Lambourne led the Ponies with her 16 points and Morgan Mazurkiewicz had a another solid game with her 13 points. Filius came up with seven, Waid finished with six, and Haley Ohm added four. Morgan Mazurkiewicz hit two of the Ponies’ three treys, while Waid led the Ponies with five of the teams 28 rebounds.

But as good as the offense was, the HHS defense was on full display in both games. Coach Kraske praised the team on their defense all weekend, saying his team had great defense, active hands and active feet.

“In both games I think our offense did some good things,” Kraske said. “But quite frankly, our defense was why we won both of our games. Both teams had a tough time scoring against us, and that is a credit to our kids. Our help side was great and we are pretty happy.”

Havre will being play at the Class A state tournament against the runner-up from the Northwest A. The state tourney runs March 13-15 in Great Falls.

Havre 51, Browning 30 (1st)

Browning 5 10 10 5 - 30

Havre 7 14 19 11 - 51

Browning – Rachel Heptner 1 0-0 2, Courtney Littledog 1 0-0 2, Myndi Gallagher Horn 0 0-0 0, Shelsey St. Goddard 1 0-0 3, Shelby St. Goddard 2 1-1 5, Tiara Gilham 3 3-3 10, Cydnie Sharp 1 1-2 3, Ivannah Spotted Eagle 2 0-2 4, Hailey Jordan 0 0-0 0, Kaylea Skunkcap 0 0-0 0, Shania Hoyt 0 0-0 0, Jayla Wells 0 0-0 0. Totals: 11 6-10 30.

Havre – Breck Don 0 0-0 0, Brandy Lambourne 3 5-5 13, Dani Wagner 2 0-0 4, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 2 2-4 7, Naomi Terry 0 0-0 0, Rachel Majeres 0 0-0 0, Lacy Waid 0 5-6 5, Peyton Fillius 7 4-4 20, Tori Mazurkiewicz 0 0-3 0, Haley Ohm 0 2-2 2, Lindsey Kudrna 0 0-2 0, Holly Purkett 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 18-26 51.

3-point goals: Brown 2 (Shelsey St. Goddard 1, Gilham 1), Hav 5 (Lambourne 2, Fillius 2, M. Mazurkiewicz 1). Rebounds: Brown 28 (Shelsey St. Goddard 4, Skunkcap 4), Hav 36 (Waid 7). Fouls: Brown 22, Hav 14. Fouled out: none. Technicals: none.

Havre 56, Belgrade 33 (sf)

Belgrade 6 2 10 15 - 33

Havre 13 16 20 7 - 56

Dan Chesnet/Belgrade News

Havre senior Peyton Filius, right, drives by a Browning defender during Saturday night's Central A championship game in Belgrade.

Belgrade - Kindall Bethke 0 0-0 0, Sadie Reddick 2 1-2 5, Alexis Clingingsmith 2 0-0 4, Judy Taylor 0 0-0 0, Madison Cade 0 0-0 0, Taylor Salsbury 0 0-0 0, Skyla Neubauer 1 0 0-0 2, Madison Page 1 0-0 2, Erin Singleton 4 2-4 11, Tanna Holliday 2 0-0 5, Shaylee Ragar 0 2-2 2, Jamie Woolman 1 0-1 2. Totals: 13 5-9 33.

Havre - Breck Don 1 0-1 2, Brandy Lambourne 6 3-3 16, Dani Wagner 1 1-1 3, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 5 1-3 13, Naomi Terry 0 0-0 0, Rachel Majeres 0 0-0 0, Lacy Waid 3 0-0 6, Peyton Fillius 2 3-5 7, Tori Mazurkiewicz 0 0-0 0, Haley Ohm 2 0-0 4, Lindsey Kundrna 1 0-0 2, Holly Purkett 1 1-2 3. Totals: 22 9-15 56.

3-point goals: Bel 2 (Singleton 1, Holliday 1), Hav 3 (M. Mazurkiewicz 2, Lambourne 1). Rebounds: Bel 24 (Holliday 7), Hav 28 (Waid 5). Fouls: Bel 13, Hav 12. Fouled out: T. Mazurkiewicz. Technicals: none.


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