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Havre girls blow by Rocky Boy at home


January 12, 2018

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Rocky Boy standout Kendall Windy Boy, right, tries to block Havre's Austin Jones' shot during Thursday night's game at the HHS gymnasium. The Stars beat the Blue Ponies 58-45.

To say that the Havre High girls basketball team has been starting fast this season is an understatement. The Blue Ponies' domination in the first quarter has been a key part of their undefeated record.

And Thursday night in the HHS gymnasium, the Rocky Boy Morning Stars were the latest to fall victim to one of the Ponies' frenzied starts, as a 26-4 run early in the game, helped Havre blow out its closest rival 81-38.

"Our kids' energy has just been fantastic," HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. "Their mental thoughts and preparation has really led to us playing really well, particularly early. I just think our kids are coming out of the locker room ready to go. Defensively they are ready to go and they have just that mindset, and that's something I really, really like."

Senior Marca Herron agreed with her head coach.

"We have good team chemistry and we really click together," She said. "It's just kind of easy for us right now."

Of course, beating a 6-2 team, like Rocky Boy was coming into the game, is no easy task. The Morning Stars are a contender in the Northern B and for the first few minutes they played like it, as a Adrienne Gopher three-pointer helped them get a 3-0 lead. It would be their only lead of the night.

Sophomore Kadia Miller got things going early for Havre with five points, courtesy of a three-point play. Another three-point play, this one via Kyndall Keller, put Havre in front 10-4. From there, the floodgates opened.

Keller connected from three, then Herron and Ryen Olson buried shots from beyond the arc and in the blink of an eye, Havre led 27-8. The Ponies soon got another three-point play, their third of the first quarter, and a fourth trey from Kylie Walker, which helped propel the Ponies to a 35-12 advantage after the opening eight minutes.

"We really feed off each other," Herron said. "We get really excited when we see each other making shots and that just gets our tempo going and we start making things happen."

It's been a common theme. Thursday was the third 70-point game of the season for Havre and the fourth time it forced a running clock due to the mercy rule in the second half of play.

"I think we have kids that are really looking to score," Kraske said. "We want to catch the ball to score and we are doing a much better job of that. Kadia, she came out and did a great job there of being aggressive in the first quarter. That was great to see from her. Overall, we are just playing with a lot of confidence."

In the second quarter, it was the same old story. Herron hit from beyond the arc early, followed shortly by Keller, who drilled her second trey to put Havre in front 45-14. Keller scored six more points before the first half closed, giving her 15. It also led to a commanding 55-19 lead for the Ponies.

In the third quarter, the hot shooting continued for the Ponies. Olson made a two-point shot from just inside the arc. Then, to put the cherry on top of an incredible scoring night, Herron came through with a rare four-point play, knocking down a three-pointer as she was knocked to the ground.

"That was pretty exciting. I wasn't expecting that to happen," Herron said. "I kind of flopped a little, I think, but it went in, so that was nice."

It was Herron's third triple of the night, which led to a 12-point outing for the senior. Keller tied Sean Henry of the Morning Stars with a game-high 17, and Olson also pitched in with 10. Miller also contributed with seven points, and when it was all said and done, all 11 players who dressed out for Havre scored at least two points.

"I don't know what percentage we shot," Kraske said, "but I know it was really good. The kids are just ready to go. It's just awesome basketball. How many shots did we force tonight? Early when the game mattered, one or two. We are sharing the basketball really well, everyone is involved, everyone is working hard. That is the sign of a team, team, team."

The third-ranked Ponies will now take their 9-0 record into Browning tonight, for a showdown with the No. 4 team in Class A. The Indians, formerly of the Central A, are now in the Northwest A, where they are currently 4-0. The two teams will tip-off at 7.

"It will be a good test for us," Kraske said. "If scores mean anything, it will give us a chance to see with Browning playing the whole Northwest A, maybe it will give us a snapshot, maybe, of how we stack up."

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre's Ivar Aageson, right, makes a move during Thursday's game against Rocky Boy. The Blue Ponies are right back home tonight, to host Browning.

Havre 81, Rocky Boy 38

Rocky Boy 12 7 11 8 - 38

Havre 35 20 18 8 - 81

Rocky Boy - Jaynah Gopher 2, Sean Henry 17, Sasha Coffe 5, Naomi Daychild 3, Rochelle Pease 4. Adrienne Gopher 7.

Havre - Ryen Olson 10, Kyndall Keller 17, Kylie Walker 5, Kassidy Compton 3, Kaylee Nystrom 2, Kadia Miller 7, Marca Herron 12, Katie Wirtzberger 4, Loy Waid 2, Kyley Verploegen 4.


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