After a tight matchup with the CMR Rustlers early in the season, the Havre High girls basketball team knew it had a shot at a win the second time around.
But even after forcing an overtime period, the Central A Blue Ponies couldn’t get past the Rustlers for the second time this season. The Rustlers defeated the Ponies 50-43 in overtime Saturday night in Havre, giving the Ponies a 7-7 overall record heading into the last stretch of the regular season.
Defense was the story for most of the game.
Havre's Peyton Filius did hit a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force an overtime, but with no major runs by the HHS offense, the Ponies were never able to overtake the Rustlers.
But even though the Ponies couldn’t get their offense to heat up, the defense kept the game close and kept the Ponies in contention at the end of regulation. CMR led 11-8 after the first quarter and 19-17 at the break, but the Pony defense looked impressive. CMR shot just 4-of-17 from the field in the first half and committed nine turnovers. And things didn’t look much better for the CMR offense as the Ponies held them to just 17 total points in the third and fourth quarter. The Ponies also forced another five turnovers in the final two frames, as well as forced the Rustlers to shoot just 5-of-16 for 31 percent.
“The kids did a great job defensively,” Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske said. “They worked together and communicated. But we need to score a little more. We did get down and battle back, so I think they did a great job.”
But even after the Filius trey to send the game into overtime, the HHS offense couldn’t get their shots to fall when they needed them.
Once in overtime, the Ponies scored seven points on two field goals and two free throws. The Rustlers managed to have their best quarter of the night, grabbing 14 points in the extra four minutes. The Ponies finished the contest shooting just under 30 percent from the field, and 30 percent from 3-point range. Brandy Lambourne led the Ponies with 11 points, while Neya Bischoff finished with 10 and Morgan Mazurkiewicz finished with seven.
Unfortunately, rebounds also played a major role. CMR outrebounded the Ponies 40-21.
“We need to screen better when the shots aren’t falling,” Kraske said. “The second half was better than the first, in the first half we didn’t screen anybody. We did much better in the second half and that is why we were able to find some open shots. It was no accident why Peyton had an open shot at the end of regulation. We have to have more of that.
“And we need to do a better job of blocking out and rebounding,” Kraske added. “Right now we are hoping a referee is going to call a foul over our backs when we aren’t doing our job. The bottom line is, we have to do better than that.”
HHS will work on a consistent offense and rebounding moving forward, but has limited time before the postseason. Friday the Ponies will host the conference rival Lewistown Golden Eagles, and on Saturday the Ponies will face Shelby on the road.
CMR 50, Havre 43 OT
CMR 8 11 9 8 14 – 50
Havre 11 6 7 12 7 – 43
CMR – Kaydee Parsons 7, Taylor Edwards 16, Kylie Otis 4, Hannah Vining 16, Maddy Watkins 7.
Havre – Brandy Lambourne 11, Morgan Mazurkiewicz 7, Lacey Waid 4, Peyton Filius 6, Tori Mazurkiewicz 3, Haley Ohm 2, Neya Bischoff 10.