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Back-to-Back: Pony boys roll

Havre turns away Lewistown, Sidney for Northeast A wins


January 13, 2020

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre High senior Tyrel Kjersem goes up for a layup during the Blue Ponies' Northeast A win over Lewistown Friday night in the HHS gymnasium. For more photos from the game, go to www.havredailynews.com.

After falling into a 0-2 hole in conference play, the Havre High boys basketball team aimed to even its record with two wins over a pair of Northeast A rivals. A couple of wins would give the Blue Ponies hopes of moving higher in conference standings. There were wins to be claimed.

And that is exactly what Havre did against the Lewistown Golden Eagles Friday and the Sidney Eagles Saturday. The Ponies started the great weekend with a hard-fought win over long-time rival Lewistown in the Havre High Gymnasium 69-55, followed by a road-win over the Eagles 74-35 down in Sidney.

For HHS head coach Walynn Burgess, the win over Lewistown Friday was a big one for the Ponies.

"Overall, it was just good for us to start playing team basketball like that," Burgess said. "Jake Huston came out and had a great game. Jake Huston had a great game and we knew he was gonna start turning the corner. Like I said, Christmas break was really big for us. The lightbulb kind of went off for him and you can see tonight (Friday) he had a lot of confidence. Kellen Detrick had another double-double, getting rebounds and was big in the paint. We had a great balance with Mason Rismon playing defense. It was just an overall team effort for us. We were focusing on what we really wanted to do and executing the game plan."

The matchup against the Golden Eagles at home was no easy bout for HHS, even with the big start. Havre opened the game by going on a 10-0 run led by Detrick and Rismon, followed by answers from Lewistown, but then Huston dropping some baskets, as well. The Golden Eagles added a quick field goal at the end of the quarter, but the Ponies led 16-8.

The second quarter started with Lewistown thinning Havre's lead, but Josh Warp and Detrick led Havre on a 7-0 run to keep the lead. Still, the Golden Eagles fought right back and cut into the Blue Pony lead, but Huston went to work and kept up the pace to keep Havre ahead 36-26 at the half.

Huston had a big game against Lewistown, having his fair share of baskets throughout the game alongside some great defensive plays.

"It was good," Huston said. "I felt like we needed it. We started off slow with an 0-2 start on the way. We've got to start somewhere, so it's great to set it at home."

Huston pushed Havre further in the lead with a 3-pointer and two field goals to open the third quarter, but the Golden Eagles responded quickly with some free throws and a three to gain some momentum. What followed was a lot of back-and-forth play, with Detrick, Huston and Tyrel Kjersem putting up some big shots, while Lewistown kept aiming to cut deeper into Havre's lead. But, the Ponies still stayed on top 54-45 at the end of three.

The fourth quarter saw the Golden Eagles strike quickly and only be down by nine points, but another Huston trey and some free throws by Detrick and Kjersem put HHS up by 10. Lewistown tried to keep up, but Clint Owens and his three free throws put a stake in the game and sealed it for the Blue Ponies.

The hard-fought battle kept the reputation that rival games bring and Burgess found that Lewistown provided them with a great challenge on the court once more.

"Those guys play hard and we just had to match their energy," Burgess said of the Golden Eagles. "And I thought coming out, being back in the Pony Corral for the first time in over a month, it was great to see the huge fan scene here and coming out and supporting the boys. The boys knew they wanted to come out and play with a lot of energy."

That energy led to some great results, with Huston leading the team with 26 points, followed by Detrick's 19 points.

Havre snagged another conference win over Sidney the following day in a road game, as well. Burgess was pleased with that performance, too. Detrick finished the win in Sidney with a game-high 22 points, while Rismon added 10 and Warp chipped in with nine points and five steals.

"The Sidney game was a good overall team win," Burgess said. "We shared the ball really well and had 16 assists on 23 field goals. It just makes us that much better when we share it like that. The boys really responded to the challenge that was in front of them this weekend. The best part of it all is we get to start all over again come Monday and get ready for two real tough teams in Browning and Fairfield."

The Ponies now sit at 2-2 right behind Miles City. The big weekend in conference will be a great confidence booster going forward. But now the next challenges are ready to take the court.

Havre (4-4) will play some non-conference games next, with a home-game against the Browning Indians this Friday in the Havre High Gymnasium at 6 p.m., followed by a matchup against the Class B Fairfield Eagles this Saturday at 5 p.m. in Fairfield.

Havre 69, Lewistown 55

Lewistown 8 18 19 10 - 55

Havre 16 20 18 15 - 69

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Clint Owens scored during Friday's game against Lewistown.

Lewistown – Carson Weeden 4, Gabe Arndt 9, Luke Clinton 4, Gage Clinton 16, Bryce Graham 4, Jalen Robinson 4, Grayden Sanders 12, Royce Robinson 2. Totals: 13 11-15 55

Havre – Josh Warp 7, Jake Huston 26, Tyrel Kjersem 7, Mason Rismon 7, Kellen Detrick 19, Clint Owens 3. Totals: 13 22-27 69.

Havre 74, Sidney 35

Sidney – Cooper McGlothlin 8, Carter Johnson 3, Boston Peters 10, Jerome Entz 6, Riley Jackson 4, Dillon Sheetz 1, Kaston LeRoy 1, Jed Fox 2.

Havre – Josh Warp 9, Jake Huston 8, Tyrel Kjersem 6, Mason Rismon 10, Kellen Detrick 20, Caden Jenkins 7, Clint Owens 7.


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