Daniel Horton Havre Daily News email@example.com
After a heartbreaking loss at the hand of Great Falls High last weekend, the Havre High boys basketball team responded. On Tuesday night at the HHS gymnasium, the Blue Ponies rebounded in a big a way, by taking care of the Class B Malta Mustangs 61-41 in a nonconference affair. The game was a makeup date from the game that was postponed back in December due to a bad winter storm that roared through the Hi-Line. But this time, it was the Ponies who did the roaring. HHS came out of the gates quickly, scoring 18 points in the first quarter and the Ponies never looked back. Havre shot better than 50 percent from the field in the first half, and by the time the dust settled on the first 16 minutes of play, the Ponies led the Mustangs 33-20. And if Malta, which played HHS tough last month in Malta, had any thoughts of a comeback, the Ponies quickly erased those in the third quarter. Havre went on a 10-o run early in the third stanza, and wound up outscoring the Mustangs 18-7 to lead 51-27 at the end of three periods. The game was out of reach from there. Havre's big offensive night included a game-high 16 points from Kaden Keto who seemingly had his way on the inside for most of the night. The Ponies also got a solid 12 points from Tucker Parman, who had his third straight game in double figures. Overall, HHS was extremely balanced on offense, with nine different players reaching the scoring column. Guards Nate Christianson and C.J. Evans gave the Ponies eight points each. Malta got just one player into double figures as HHS played solid defense throughout the contest. Eric Peterson paced the Mustangs with 11 points on the night. Tuesday's win pushed the Ponies overall record to 6-8 on the season as they prepare for two important Central A games this weekend. The Ponies travel to Lewistown on Friday night and are home to take on Butte Central on Saturday. Malta 33, HHS girls 30 The Havre High girls basketball team played one of their better games of the season Tuesday night, but the Blue Ponies didn’t quite find the results they were looking for on the road. The Malta M-Ettes defeated the Ponies 33-30 in Malta, giving the M-Ettes their second victory over the Ponies this season. “It was a good game.” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “Their (Malta) kids did a nice job. There really isn’t anything negative to take away from this game, it was a great game.” From beginning to end, Tuesday night’s matchup was tight. The Ponies and M-Ettes were in a defensive battle, and never let more than a few points separate them. From the field the M-Ettes hit only six shots, while the Ponies managed to hit 11. And the Ponies kept the talented shooters of the M-Ettes out of double figures, including the dangerous Caitlin Smith, who was shut out completely. “At this point in the season, if we can defend how we defended tonight, we are going to do some things that are real nice.” Kraske said. “I don’t think it can ever be perfect, but it was as close to perfect as we can play.” And though the Ponies were held to 11 field goals on the night, they still played very well. They had a few turnovers in the first half, but the real problem was that at times they were too patient. The ball movement was well executed, and they did a nice job of finding the open shot, but there were some cases where the Ponies didn’t shoot and passed it up. “We just have to get kids believing in the fact that they can catch and shoot.” Kraske said. “But they are trying to be unselfish and play the game which is great.” Leading the Ponies in scoring once again was Cassi Darrah, ending the night with 12 points. But just like in recent weeks, HHS has managed very even scoring from its squad. Hayley Donovan finished with five points and Karly Evans and Hope Hedges finished with four each. At the end of the first quarter the Ponies trailed 11-9 and at the end of the half they were still in it, trailing by three, 17-14. The game remained close, but the Ponies seemed to gain any ground, as both teams went on to put up nine points in the third quarter, and seven in the fourth. The real difference in the game came from the free-throw-line. The M-Ettes went 16-of-23, while the Ponies were 4-of-6. The nonconference matchup was a success for the Ponies, even without the notch in the win column. With two more Central A opponents waiting for the Ponies at the end of the week. On Friday the Blue Ponies (6-1, 9-5) return to the Havre High gymnasium to face the Lewiston Eagles on senior night at 7 p.m. And on Saturday the Ponies return to the road to face the Butte Central Maroons at 5 p.m.