Pony hoops visit Malta for rematches
Last updated 1/24/2023 at 8:29am
After wrapping up a conference doubleheader this past weekend, the Havre High basketball teams will get little time to rest as they both head on the road tonight to face Malta. In tonight's doubleheader, the HHS boys basketball team will play first against a Malta team that is beginning to peak.
"They've been playing a lot better lately. Their team is back to being fully healthy, got all their players and they've been in some battles," HHS head coach Walyn Burgess said. "They're just a really scrappy group. They have a good set of guards who get up and down and force you into some things you don't normally do, so we got to come out and play our game."
The Mustangs enter the game with a record of 8-4 and have won six of their last seven games. Last month, the Blue Ponies and Mustangs faced off at Havre High Gymnasium in a game that the Ponies won 63-54. Bohdi Brenden led Malta with 15 points in that game while Jared Eggebrecht also scored 13 for the Mustangs, so both players will look to do well again against the Ponies.
The Ponies enter tonight's game with a record of 8-4 this season. With a tough game on the road tonight, the Ponies will rely on their best players such as Xavier Butler. This past weekend against Glendive and Sidney, Butler scored 26 and 20 points for the Ponies. Against Malta last time, Butler scored 12 for the Ponies.
Against Malta last time, Tre Gary and Shane Patacsil scored 11 for the Ponies, so they will both be looking to score against Malta tonight. As they head on the road tonight, Burgess knows that the Ponies need to play as a team like they did against Glendive and Sidney this past weekend.
"Doing it all together. It wasn't one of us, it took all of us this weekend," Burgess said. "They just keep gelling more and more and getting closer and closer and those types of things you don't see in the stat book."
After the boys, the HHS girls basketball team will tip off against Malta tonight. The M-Ettes enter the game with a record of 11-1 this season and will be looking to win their eighth straight game. With a challenging opponent tonight, HHS head coach Dustin Kraske believes the Ponies can learn from the experience.
"It'll be an opportunity for our girls to play a state tournament quality team in Malta," Kraske said. "That will only help us in the long run so we're looking forward to it."
The lone loss for the M-Ettes this season came against the Ponies last month at HHS Gymnasium. In the 62-45 loss to the Ponies, Allison Kunze led the M-Ettes with 17 points and will be looking to do better in tonight's rematch. With the Ponies improved since then, Kraske expects a fun game tonight.
"I'd like to think we're playing a little bit better together and we're improving defensively as well," Kraske said. "I would imagine that they're looking forward to playing us in their gym. Their enthusiasm will be pretty good, so I just think it'll be a great atmosphere."
The Ponies enter the game with an 8-4 record this season and are coming off strong wins over Glendive and Sidney this past weekend. Amaya Jarvis will look to continue her strong season averaging 14.4 points a game. Avery Carlson will look to build off her weekend where she scored 17 against Glendive and 16 against Sidney. But if the Ponies are going to defeat a tough opponent tonight, they will need to continue working together as a team.
The HHS boys basketball team tips off at Malta tonight at 6 p.m. The HHS girls basketball will then play Malta soon after around 7:30 p.m.