Havre girls basketball defeats Fairfield, stumbles against Browning


Last updated 1/16/2023 at 8:24am

Portrait of a Pony

Havre's Sierra Parker dribbles the ball against Browning at HHS Gymnasium Saturday. The Blue Ponies opened the weekend with a 64-35 win over Fairfield on the road before losing, 59-58, to Browning at home.

Over the weekend, the Havre High girls basketball team returned to action with a pair of non-conference games. On the road Friday night, the Blue Ponies started the weekend with a 64-35 victory over Fairfield. However, the Ponies stumbled at home at Havre High Gymnasium Saturday with a 59-58 loss to Browning. While the weekend yielded mixed results, HHS head coach Dustin Kraske believes the Ponies are trending in the right direction.

"We had a great weekend. I'm pleased with our kids," Kraske said. "We're getting better. It's fun to watch."

The Ponies started slow in their game against Fairfield Friday. The Ponies were unable to buy a basket early on as Fairfield took a 5-0 lead early in the game. However, the Ponies took full control with an 18-0 run that lasted deep into the second quarter. Ariana Gary got going as she scored eight points during this stretch to help the Ponies take an 18-5 lead.

The Eagles eventually put an end to the run, but they were unable to take momentum themselves as the Ponies took a 29-12 lead into halftime. The Ponies started the third quarter strong as they pushed their lead to 37-16. After a slow start to the game, Kraske believes the Ponies' defensive energy took over.

"We played a lot harder defensively," Kraske said. "I was very pleased with how our kids played over there. Our half court pressure was good and the kids fed off each other."

The Eagles responded with a 6-0 run to cut the deficit to 37-22. But the Ponies did not let the Eagles grab momentum as the Ponies built themselves a 48-26 lead into the fourth quarter. In the final frame, the Eagles were unable to cut the deficit to less than 15 points as the Ponies cruised to a win to start the weekend. Amaya Jarvis had a strong start to the weekend with 14 points while Gary and Avery Carlson each scored 11 points.

The Ponies found themselves in a tougher fight at home against Browning Saturday. After Amaya Jarvis opened the game with a 3-pointer, the Indians responded with an 11-0 run to take the lead. Jarvis responded with another three and a bucket to cut into the deficit. After Browning stretched the lead to 14-8, Carlson scored to keep pace.

Over the last few minutes of the first quarter, the Ponies and Indians exchanged free throws that led to Browning holding a 15-14 lead to end the frame. Havre opened the second quarter with a bucket from Gary to take the lead, but Browning responded with a 6-0 run to take a 21-16 lead.

Through most of the second quarter, the Ponies and Indians exchanged scores until it was a 27-22 lead for Browning with just under two minutes left in the half. Looking to take momentum, the Ponies ended the half on a 6-2 run to cut Browning's lead to 29-28 at the halftime break.

That momentum carried over into the start of the second half as the Ponies scored eight straight points out of the gates. Jarvis continued to make plays for the Ponies with a pair of free throws and another three. After trailing for most of the contest, the Ponies now had a 36-29 lead.

The Ponies maintained their momentum through most of the third quarter. As the game headed to the fourth, the Ponies were in good position to win with a 46-37 lead. Through most of the fourth, the Ponies continued to play well as they stretched their lead to 53-43 with about five minutes remaining in the game.

But the Ponies could not close it out. Lish Spoonhunter got the run going with a pair of free throws and then a layup to cut the deficit to 53-47. Mecca Bullchild then knocked down a three and Amari Calfrobe made a layup to cut Havre's lead to 53-52 with less than three minutes left in the game.

Tierra Parker finally responded for Havre with a free throw to make it a two-point game, but Bullchild knocked down a three to give Browning a 55-54 lead. Bullchild then scored again to stretch Browning's lead to 57-54.

Jarvis nailed a three for the Ponies to tie the game 57-57. But Sugar Spoonhunter gave Browning the lead again when she made a pair of free throws with 1:24 left on the clock. It was the second game in the last three for the Ponies where they blew a late lead against a tough team, which Kraske believes is because they are playing too fast in the final minutes of the game.

"Our possessions are not very good. We don't value the basketball as much as we should to end games. We are in too much of a hurry," Kraske said. "You don't end games playing fast. That isn't possible against good teams."

After several missed opportunities by both teams, the Ponies had a chance to tie the game when Jarvis went up to the free-throw line with 5.8 seconds left on the clock. She only made one free throw, but the Ponies fortunately got the ball back with time on the clock. However, Jarvis 3-point shot at the buzzer failed to connect.

In the loss, Jarvis had another strong game for the Ponies with 23 points. Carlson chipped in 13 points for Havre while Lish Spoonhunter led Browning with 16 points. At the end of the weekend, the Ponies have a 5-4 record this season. While the Ponies ended the weekend with a tough loss, Kraske believes the Ponies are in good shape if they can improve on the little things going forward.

"I can't fault our kids. They're playing great and I'm very pleased with them," Kraske said. "The details of basketball we got to get better at and we'll continue to do that. When teams are even, it comes down to the simplest things such as rebounds, valuing the basketball and good shots."

The HHS girls basketball team will next play Lewistown on the road in a conference game this Tuesday at 4 p.m.

Havre 64, Fairfield 35

HAV - 9 20 19 16 - 64

FAI - 5 7 14 9 - 35

HAV - Amaya Jarvis 14, Ariana Gary 11, Avery Carlson 11, Kyanna Jarvis 6, Sierra Parker 6, Danni Wirtzberger 5, Tierra Parker 4, Molly Huse 4.

FAI - Toryn Martinez 13, Brynn Kolste 5, Paige Christenson 5, Aubrey Schubarth 4, Natalie Harrell 4, Taryn Stott 3, Sienna Kline 2.

Browning 59, Havre 58

BRW - 15 14 8 22 - 59

HAV - 14 14 18 12 - 58

Portrait of a Pony

BRW - Lush Spoonhunter 16, Mecca Bullchild 14, Jerel White Grass 12, Kalcie Connelly 6, Amari Calfrobe 4, Tashlyn Lazy Boy 3, Teslin Trombley 2, Sugar Spoonhunter 2.

HAV - Amaya Jarvis 23, Avery Carlson 13, Tierra Parker 6, Ariana Gary 6, Sierra Parker 6, Kyanna Jarvis 4.


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