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Rustlers corral the Blue Ponies at the buzzer


Last updated 1/31/2020 at 9:14am

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Havre High senior Jake Huston passes around the CMR defense during Thursday night's game in the HHS Gymnasium. The Rustlers beat the Blue Ponies with a last-second shot in what was an exciting game.

There will be close losses in a season and the Havre High boys basketball team has seen some of that heartbreak on the court, most often on the road. But Thursday night, the Blue Ponies experienced a close loss at home.

Havre faced off against the CMR Rustlers Thursday night in the Havre High Gymnasium, where the Ponies fell in a tough battle with the Rustlers, 49-47. But, despite the loss, the Havre boys never quit fighting throughout the game.

And that was something HHS boys head coach Walynn Burgess was proud to see on the court, even if CMR beat them in the end.

"We ran into a really good CMR team," Burgess said. "They play tough and physical, they're athletic, and we got a little flat by digging that hole going into halftime. I thought we came out and responded really well. We're getting there. It just takes steps and it's a process. I was proud of the way the boys fought and played. That's a great quality to have."

Much to the dismay of Havre, it was a buzzer-beater by Trey Wasson that gave CMR the win in the Pony Corral. There was a lot of intense back-and-forth throughout the game, but the Rustlers maintained the lead after each quarter.

The start of the game was just the same. The Ponies and CMR went head-to-head throughout the first period, with Clint Owens, Kellen Detrick, Mason Rismon, Josh Warp and Jake Huston each getting some points for the Ponies. But in the end, a quick field goal at the last minute by Bryce Nelson lifted CMR ahead 13-10.

Detrick tied the game back up early in the second stanza. Owens and Huston also helped to keep Havre in the game, but the Rustlers pushed ahead with some quick runs to stay on top 26-17 at the half.

After the break, the Blue Ponies went on an 11-0 run, led by Owens, Detrick and Rismon to take the lead 28-26, but CMR responded in kind with a quick 6-0 run of its own to take the lead right back at the end of the third quarter, 32-28.

In the fourth period, Detrick and Owens combined on an 8-0 run to grab the lead once again 39-34, but the Rustlers sank some big 3-pointers to get right back in it. Owens, Rismon and Huston put up shots for Havre, but missed free throws proved to be costly. Down by one, Havre did tie the game up with 9 seconds left, but the Rustlers played for the final shot, and after a timeout, ran a great baseline play for Wasson to perfection, and he didn't miss.

It was a tough loss, but Burgess saw something positive that he took away from the game.

"Our heart," Burgess said. "The kids stayed in it. They don't have a quit in them. They play hard. That's one thing they will always do, which is great."

What does not kill you makes you stronger, which is what will motivate Havre moving forward. Their next matchup will be a home once more Saturday against the Malta Mustangs, a Class B team ready for a rematch and aiming to get revenge on the Ponies.

Burgess saw a lot of things to look out for the last time his team played the Mustangs and this time around will be another great matchup.

"Malta is a scrappy team who returns their big man, Tanner Smith, that adds another dimension to their game," Burgess said. "They are led by Smith, Kooper Oxarart and Ben Costin. Coach Costin always has his teams playing with a ton of energy and we are just going to have to match it come Saturday. Malta is going to come out and fight for it. They're not gonna roll over and give you anything easy. They are going to be a completely different team than the first time we played them early January."

Last time Malta and Havre met, the Ponies won on the road 66-47. It was a nice game for HHS, which aims to repeat the past success. With Smith back in the lineup, too, the Blue Ponies will have another challenge on their hands. Malta has been a team that always gives it their all on the court and has a no-quit attitude to top it.

Havre (8-5) takes on the Malta Mustangs Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Havre High Gymnasium for the second non-conference showdown of the week.

CMR 49, Havre 47

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson

Clint Owens shoots over the CMR defense Thursday night in Havre.

CMR 13 13 6 17 - 49

Havre 10 7 11 19 - 47

CMR – Trey Wasson 13, Raef Newbrough 7, Bryce Nelson 6, Harrison Goss 6, Keegan Barnes 8, Rogan Barnwell 9. Totals: 18 8-13 49.

Havre – Josh Warp 2, Jake Huston 7, Mason Rismon 9, Kellen Detrick 16, Clint Owens 13. Totals: 17 12-20 47.


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