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A2

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

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2018-19 HAVRE HIGH BASKETBALL PREVIEW Loaded Pony girls ready for more Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com One key to maintaining success is knowing how to handle it and when it comes to high school basketball teams in Montana, few have had more success in recent years than the Havre High girls basketball team. Havre has repeatedly been a state tournament participant under head coach Dustin Kraske, and last season, the Blue Ponies won their second state championship since 2014, defeating Hardin in the title game to cap a perfect season (24-0). Now, HHS has to deal with the pressure of being the defending state champion, while also being the favorite to win another. Yet, according to Kraske, the Ponies are just trying to take it one day and one practice at a time. “We have goals,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “But right now our goal is just getting better every day in everything that we do. As long as we keep doing that, the rest will take care of itself.” The Ponies are known for their work ethic, and this season, Kraske will have to work to replace four key players from last season’s state championship team, starting with AllState performers Marca Herron and Danielle Wallace. Kaylee Nystrom and Kyley Verploegen were two other graduates. Of the four players, three got scholarships to play college basketball, while Nystrom is running cross country. Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Kyndall Keller, a two-time Class A All-State standout, and the Havre High girls basketball team tip off a new season Friday in Havre. The Blue Ponies are the defending Class A state champions, and they bring a 24-game winning streak into the 2018-19 season. Havre hosts Billings Central Friday night in the HHS gymnasium.

Those losses were significant and there is no minimizing them, however, the Ponies are about as well positioned to reload as you can be. For starters, HHS still has Kyndall Keller, a two-time All-State performer who was among the leading scorers in Class A last season. Keller is a junior and joining her as a returning starter is fellow junior Kadia Miller, a twotime All-State runner in cross country who took on a greater role offensively at the end of last season. Keller and Miller will be fixtures in the starting lineup for the Ponies, but the other spots could have some fluidity. One player who should see plenty of playing time is sophomore guard Kylie Walker, who saw significant minutes last season and made a clutch 3-pointer in the state quarterfinals against Hamilton. Katie Wirtzberger, Jessa Chvilicek, Sam Oliver, Kassidy Compton, Abbey Morse, Lauren Kato, Loy Waid and Sadie Filius are others who will see varsity minutes for the Ponies this season. “I think that we have some really hard-working kids,” Kraske said. “We aren’t going to be able to replace those kids that we lost but I think we have some kids that can step into those roles. That is what we are still trying to figure out in a way, just how everyone fits on this team and what the roles are going to be.” In terms of the Central A conference, the Ponies will be a heavy favorite to come away with the top seed for the Eastern A Divisional tournament, which Havre won last year after beating Hardin, the same team HHS knocked off for the Class A state championship. Divisionals will take place Feb. 20-23 at the Metra in Billings. “I think that our league is going to be pretty solid,” Kraske said. “Livingston is much better and they might have the best team they have had in years. Belgrade has some talent back and as a whole, the Eastern

has some quality teams. Billings Central is a really good team and it will be exciting to get a chance to play them and Glendive, two state tournament teams from last season. Laurel is another solid team and Miles City is really athletic. Also, Hardin is always tough.” Havre will open the season with a 24-game winning streak and it should be favored to win most of its games this season. Billings Central, Glendive, Livingston, Belgrade and Browning will be the top threats Havre will play in Class A during the regular season. The Ponies will also take on Great Falls High and CMR, along with Malta and Fairfield. “I really like our schedule early in the season,” Kraske said. “We get to open the season against Billings Central, who is one of the better teams in the Eastern A and a team that made the state tournament last season. Then we go on the road to Glendive, another state tournament team and then our next game is against Livingston, who should be much improved. I just think that’s a great way for us to go out and play and see where things are at. We will find out some things about ourselves right away and I think that’s exciting. It’s a fun opportunity for us to play some quality competition right off the bat.” If the Ponies make it back to the state tournament, it will be in Great Falls once again at the Four Seasons Arena. The past two times it has been held there, Havre has won the state championship. The girls Class A state tournament is set for March 7-9. This is the first year the Class A girls and boys tournaments will be combined. Havre will open the season at home against Billings Central in a high-profile matchup between two teams that should be contenders in Class A. Tipoff is set for 6 p.m. Friday night inside the HHS gymnasium. Havre will then close out the opening weekend with a road game against Glendive Saturday night. Published 12-6-2018

Pony girl's title defense starts tonight Havre High starts the new season with Billings Central in the HHS gymnasium Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com With three starters and another key player gone from last season, it’s easy to wonder just how good the Havre High girls basketball team will be this season, but with Billings Central coming into the Pony Corral tonight, it shouldn’t take long to find out. That’s because while the Blue Ponies are certainly among the favorites to contend for the state championship this season, the Rams are a team many consider a contender too and with their entire back from a squad that won the Eastern A regular-season title, they should provide a stern test in the season-opening game for the defending Class A state champions. Tip off inside the HHS gymnasium is set for 6 p.m. “We are going to get to play another really good team,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “I think that is the exciting part. I think it will be one of our better games this season. If I were a fan, I would go to this one for sure. I think it’s going to be pretty good.” While the Rams have a number of key players back from last season, it would be a mistake to sleep on the Ponies. Havre did lose three starters and another huge contributor off the bench in Kyley Verploegen, but the cupboard is far from bare and if

history has taught us anything, it’s that under Kraske, the Ponies don’t rebuild, they reload and this year they have certainly done that with some up-andcoming talent. Of course, when it comes to talent, one doesn’t need to look any further than Kyndall Keller, a two-time All-State performer who might just be the best player in Class A girls basketball. Heck, she might have been last season as a sophomore when she was second in the state with a scoring average of 17.36. She was narrowly edged out for top scoring spot in the state by Dillon’s Brynley Fitzgerald, who scored 17.96. But Keller is not the only impact player. Kadia Miller, another junior, didn’t earn AllState last season, yet she did earn Honorable Mention AllConference and is poised to have a breakout campaign after starting every game for the Ponies a season ago when she averaged 4.6 points and 3.8 rebounds. The other starters for Havre tonight against Billings Central will be Loy Waid, Kylie Walker and Katie Wirtzberger. Others who will see time on varsity for Havre this weekend will be seniors Kassidy Compton, Abbey Morse and Lauren Kato; juniors Sam Oliver and Jessa Chvilicek as well as freshman Sadie Filius. “Everyone is talking about what a great game it’s going to be,” Kraske said. “And there will be some nerves that will set in but, hey, that’s the fun in this. Let’s go play.” Havre might have the best player in Class A girls basketball back this season, but Billings Central has an All-State returner in its own right and that’s Olivia Moten-Schell, who was among the top post players in all of Class A last season,

averaging 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds. She has also averaged a blocked shot and one steal per outing. Zoie Altolf and Isabelle Erickson also earned Honorable Mention in the Eastern A after both averaged more than seven points a game, Altolf as a sophomore and Erickson as a freshman. “Moten-Schell is a very good player,” Kraske said. “She’s a junior and she’s very good. Erickson and Altof are both very good, too. They have a good program and it’s going to be a really good test for us.” After hosting Billings Central tonight, Havre will hit the road to take on Glendive, a team that, unlike the Rams, qualified for the state tournament last season, despite finishing fifth in the Eastern A regular season standings. Like Billings Central, the Red Devils team is an experienced group that returns all of its key players, including Karsen Murphy, a junior who made First-Team All-Conference last season and junior Savannah Toms, who was named Second Team All-Conference. “I think the game against Glendive will be pretty good, too,” Kraske said. “I am excited for our first three games. (Glendive) is a solid team and after that we play Livingston. But I like that challenge and I think our players do, too. I think they want to play at a high level. Defensively, we have some work to do. Offensively, we look pretty good for December. I think they want to figure out what kind of team we are going to be.” The Blue Pony girls kick off their new season at home tonight at 6 against the Billings Central Rams. Havre will travel to Glendive to battle Red Devils Saturday at 5 p.m.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Loy Waid, left, and the Havre High girls basketball team begin the 2018-19 season tonight when the Blue Ponies host Eastern A power Billings Central inside the HHS gymnasium. Havre then takes to the road to play Glendive Saturday night. Published 12-7-2018


A3

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

HHS girls open with a thriller over the Rams Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com There was plenty of hype leading up to the showdown between the Havre High girls basketball team and Billings Central last Friday, but by the time the Blue Ponies and the Rams were finished, it was the clear that the game lived up to it. The matchup of Havre, the defending Class A state champions, and Billings Central, the reigning regular-season champs of the Eastern A, pitted two of the best teams in the state against each other and the quality of basketball is exactly what you would expect. For four quarters and change, the two teams went toeto-toe, but thanks to some clutch free-throw shooting and 29 points from Kyndall Keller, the Ponies outlasted the Rams in overtime by the score of 63-59 Friday night inside the HHS gymnasium. “That was a crazy game,” Keller said afterward. “They are a really tough team and they are really good and to pull out that win is pretty amazing.” While the Ponies came out on top in the end, there was a time in the third quarter, when it was looking like their 24-game winning streak might be in danger. Midway through the third, Olivia Moten-Schell, who scored 22 points for Billings Central, took control of the game momentarily, knocking down a 3-pointer, converting a 3-point play and scoring inside to give the Rams a 38-30 advantage. That’s when Havre appeared to be in the most trouble, however, it didn’t take the Ponies long

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Kyndall Keller looks to score during the Blue Ponies' season-opening overtime win over Billings Central Friday night in the HHS gymnasium. HHS also beat Glendive Saturday night. For more photos from the game, go to www.havredailynews.com. to fight their way back. The rally started with Kylie Walker, who drilled a triple of her own. Then, following a bucket by Jessa Chvilicek, Keller notched a 3-point play, which just happened to be her fourth of the night. Keller got Havre back within two and soon after, Sam Oliver equalized the score with a trey, send-

ing the two teams into the fourth quarter tied at 43-43. “We just knew that we had to fight through that adversity,” Keller said. “We knew we had to kick it in gear.” Oliver added three more points early in the final stanza, with another old-fashioned, 3-point play, giving Havre a 46-45 lead, its first

since the end of the first quarter. Yet, it was short lived. Billings Central grabbed the lead back and after going back-and-forth, the Rams found themselves in front 57-55 with less than a minute to go. That was Keller’s cue to tie the game, which she did with two free throws at the 54-second mark. Those were the last free

throws she shot in a 13-of-15 performance from the charity stripe. Both teams missed a chance to take the lead and eventually the two teams went to overtime. “I just had to really concentrate and block out the noise,” Keller said of her success at the free throw line. “I think that really helped.” After Keller’s free throws pushed the game to overtime, she gave Havre the lead early in the extra frame with a baseline jumper. Moten-Schell scored to tie it soon after, but that would be the last time the Rams scored. Kylie Walker hit three free throws to put Havre ahead by three and after a Billings Central turnover on a possession where it could have tied the game, Katie Wirtzberger added a free throw that cemented the 63-59 victory. “It feels so good,” Keller said. “This was such a big game. We were all really looking forward to playing Billings Central because they are such a tough team. We know that we still have to keep working hard though and getting better.” Keller led all scorers in the game with her 29 points. Walker was next with eight for the Ponies, followed by Chvilicek and Wirtzberger, who each finished with seven. “I thought (our players) played their tails off,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “I took everybody to do it and I mean everybody. Every kid contributed to this win and that’s a good start. I thought we rebounded really well. Kadia Miller got a big rebound at the end and our kids knocked down some big free throws. Billings Central is a re-

ally good team.” After knocking off Billings Central at home Friday night, the Ponies hit the road to take on Glendive, a fellow state tournament team from a season ago. But unlike Friday night, Havre made this game was decided rather early. The Ponies scored the first 10 points out of the gate and led by 18, 22-4 at the end of the first quarter. Havre extended its lead to 20 by halftime after allowing the Red Devils to score just 12 points in the first 16 minutes of play. In the second half, the rout continued as Havre wound up winning 72-33. Keller scored a team-high 15 points and was matched by Miller, who also added 15 in the win. Havre (2-0) extended its school-record winning streak to 26 games. The Ponies will be back in action Friday when they travel to Livingston, before taking a trip to Belgrade Saturday. Havre 62, Billings Central 59

BC12 17 14 14 2 - 59 Havre 13 14 16 14 6 - 63 Billings Central - T. Hansen 2, S. Elletson 6, C. Paltarik 4, I. Erickson 11, O. Moten-Schell 22, M. Hanser 14. Totals: 17 15-22 59. Havre - Sam Oliver 6, Kyndall Keller 29, Kylie Walker 8, Loy Waid 4, Kadia Miller 2, Jessa Chvilicek 7, Katie Wirtzberger 7. Totals: 17 22-29 63. Havre 72, Glendive 33 Havre 22 10 23 15 - 72 Glendive 4 8 13 8 - 33 Havre - Sam Oliver 7, Kyndall Keller 15, Kylie Walker 9, Loy Waid 4, Cassidy Compton 4, Abbey Morse 3, Kadia Miller 15, Jessa Chvilicek 9, Sadie Filius 2, Katie Wirtzberger 2, Lauren Kato 2.

Published 12-10-2018

Pony girls begin Central A title defense Havre heads to Livingston, Belgrade to open conference play Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com It’s been a long time since the Havre High girls basketball team has lost a game within the Central A conference, and this weekend, the Blue Ponies will look to keep that trend going in back-to-back road games against Livingston and Belgrade. The trip to play Livingston and Belgrade on consecutive nights has been an annual one for the Ponies, but it will be their last trip to Belgrade, as the Panthers are set to join Class AA next season. First, Havre will take on Livingston tonight at 6. Then, the Ponies will close out the weekend Saturday against Belgrade, with tip-off time set for 2 p.m. “This will give us a chance to be in the best possible position for our divisional tournament,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “That’s kind of what we talked to our kids about so they can get ready for that. I realize it’s December, but we only have six games to get seeded up for divisionals, so we need to go out and play well on the road.” While playing on the road could be a challenge for the Ponies, who don’t have a single senior in their starting lineup, Kraske said the experience against Glendive should help, even though the road trip this weekend will be a little different.

“Maybe the biggest thing for us playing conference games with a team that for our guys, other than Kyndall and Kadia, is their first experience doing that,” Kraske said. “That could be a challenge but I think that we will be ready to go.” Havre will come into tonight’s game against Livingston sporting a 2-0 record. Livingston, on the other hand, is 1-3. The Rangers won their first game of the season at home against Miles City, 60-47, before losing three straight games to Townsend, Hardin and Billings Central. As a team, the Rangers are averaging 36.5 points per game and are led by Abby Kokot, who is averaging 11.2 points and 7.2 rebounds. Kokot is also averaging more than two steals and one block per game. The other key contributor for the Rangers so far this season has been Kodie Vondra, who is scoring eight points per game and also grabbing 4.2 rebounds. “Their guard play has been as good as it’s been in a while,” Kraske said. “Kokot is a pretty nice kid and they have done a good job. What I like about (Livingston) is that they play really hard.” Havre will counter with a defense that allowed 59 points to Billings Central before turning around and limiting Glendive, a team that made the state tournament a season ago, to just 33 points. Offensively, the Ponies will be paced by junior Kyndall Keller, who is averaging 22 points and seven rebounds to start the season. Keller is shooting 50 percent from the field and 88 percent at the free throw line. Keller is the only Havre scorer who averages in double figures, yet HHS has four others that

average at least 6.5 PPG on a team that has scored an average of 67.5 through two contests. Kadia Miller and Kylie Walker are both second on the team with an average of 8.5, followed by Jessa Chvilicek, who averages eight points, and Sam Oliver, who is scoring 6.5 points off the bench. After taking on the Rangers tonight, Havre will turn its attention toward Belgrade, a team that also made the state tourna-

ment last March. The Panthers are 1-2 after losses to Hardin and Laurel, sandwiched around a win over Miles City. Each of Belgrade’s opponents scored 45 points or more, while the Panthers average 44.7 points offensively. The top threat is Gabby Webber, an All-State performer a season ago that is averaging 14.7 points and 5.3 rebounds. Bailey Christensen is another name to

watch for a Panthers team that does most of its work inside and is just 1-of-13 from 3-point range in three games. “Everything kind of goes through Webber,” Kraske said. “And that Bailey Christensen, she works hard inside and I like what she does. They will provide their own challenges.” Havre will take on Livingston tonight at 6 and Belgrade Saturday at 2 p.m.

Havre Daily News File Photo Havre's Jessa Chvilicek races up the floor during last Friday's girls game against Billings Central in Havre. The Blue Ponies open Central A Conference play tonight with a road game at Livingston. Havre is also on the road to take on the Belgrade Panthers Saturday afternoon in Belgrade. Published 12-14-2018


A4

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

Blue Pony girls sweep Central A rivals Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Havre High girls basketball team is used to being in the driver's seat in the Central A conference and after back-toback road wins against Livingston and Belgrade, two Central A opponents, HHS appears to be the team to beat again. Havre opened the weekend in Livingston, where the Blue Ponies would take on the Rangers. The game wasn’t competitive for long as Havre scored 45 first-half points. Yet, HHS blew things up in the third and in the fourth quarter, the clock was running due to the mercy rule in a 70-27 victory. Havre then followed it up with their fourth consecutive win of the season, defeating Belgrade 63-48 Saturday in Belgrade. “Yeah, we played pretty well against Livingston,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “We didn’t play our best on Saturday, but it was a good weekend. We did what we needed to do.” In the first game of the trip against Livingston, the Ponies burst out of the gates with 22 points in the first quarter and 23 in the second to build a 45-18 halftime lead. Then, Havre outscored the Rangers 17-2 to start the third quarter and soon, the mercy rule was in effect. Havre finished with four players in double figures as Loy Waid had 14, Jessa Chvilicek and Katie Wirtzberger each had 12 in addition to 10 points from Kadia

Miller. “We just played really well against Livingston,” Kraske said. “The kids were really running the floor and we were passing the ball ahead. We passed the ball around and made layups. We played incredibly well.” After dominating Livingston, Havre played on the road against Belgrade for the last time in Class A as the Panthers will move up to Class AA next season. And in one of the final conference meetings between the longtime rivals, the Ponies shrugged off a similar halftime lead, 23-21, to roll to the 63-48 victory. Kyndall Keller scored 21 points in the win, while Waid added 12, reaching double figures for the second straight night. Miller also contributed with eight. Belgrade’s Gabby Weber scored 24 points in a losing effort. “Loy did a really nice job,” Kraske said. “But she has barely scratched the surface of what she can do. But yeah she shot the ball well and did some other nice things. The sky is the limit for her in what she can do.” After knocking off Livingston and Belgrade, the Ponies will now play their fourth road game in five outings in Malta Tuesday night. The M-Ettes will host Havre fresh off a 65-32 win over Poplar and will be led by Kelbee Denham and Kyleigh Schipman, two returning players, along with Erica Smith and Khloe Marks, who scored 13 and 11 points in the win over Poplar Saturday.

“We have to do a better job of running the floor,” Kraske said. “We did that really well against Livingston and hardly did that at all Saturday. We have to rebound the basketball better and just sit down and defend in the halfcourt. It’s kind of fun that we have a lot of things to work on for us.” Havre and Malta will tip-off Tuesday night at 6. Havre 70, Livingston 27 Havre 22 23 19 6 - 70 Livingston 9 9 6 3 - 27 Livingston - Rylean Floyd 4, K. Vondra 6, S. Schoenen 3, Taylor Watts 1, Rainna Floyd 1, Abby Kokot 8, Danielle Babcox Havre - Kyndall Keller 6, Kassidy Compton 6, Loy Waid 14, Kadia Miller 10, Jessa Chvilicek 12, Katie Wirtzberger 12, Lauren Kato 8, Britton Paulsen 2. 29 8-12 70. Havre 63, Belgrade 48 Havre 13 10 19 21 - 63 Belgrade 7 14 14 13 - 48 HAVRE (4-0) - Sam Oliver 0 0-0 0, Kyndall Keller 6 8-9 21, Kylie Walker 0 0-0 0, Kassidy Compton 1 2-4 4, Loy Waid 4 4-6 12, Abbey Morse 0 0-0 0, Kadia Miller 4 0-0 8, Jessa Chvilicek 2 0-0 6, Sadie Filius 0 2-2 2, Katie Wirtzberger 1 2-2 4, Lauren Kato 1 2-6 4, Britton Paulson 1 0-0 2. Totals: 20 20-29 63. BELGRADE (2-3) - Bella Pacheco 0 0-0 0, Taylor Christensen 1 1-2 3, Vada Barkell 0 0-0 0, Meghan McGinley 3 0-0 7, Hazel Eaton 0 1-3 1, Gabby Weber 9 4-7 24, Bailey Christensen 2 1-2 5, Sophia Flikkema 0 0-0 0, Gracey Carter 0 0-0 0, McKenna Carlson 1 4-6 6, Cheyann Tooman 1 0-0 2. Totals: 17 11-22 48. 3-point goals: 3 (Chvilicek 2, Compton 1), Bel 3 (Weber 2, McGinley 1).

Belgrade News/Dan Chesnet Havre's Kassidy Compton goes up for a shot during a Central A girls game between the Blue Ponies and Belgrade Panthers Saturday in Belgrade. Havre won both of its road games this weekend. The Blue Ponies play in Malta Tuesday night, before returning home to host CMR Friday. Published 12-17-2018

Pony girls host CMR in the Corral Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com Last season, when the Havre High girls basketball team went undefeated, one of the Blue Ponies’ toughest games came against CMR and tonight, inside the HHS gymnasium, Havre will battle the Rustlers again in their only matchup of the 2018-19 season. It will be the final game for both teams before the holiday break. The Ponies come into the game 5-0, while the Rustlers are still looking to recover and get their season back on track after a 1-2 start. Tip-off time between the two teams is set for 7 p.m. “I think they are going to be pretty solid,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said of CMR. “They lost a couple of kids that were pretty key to their program, but they have a good, big inside and they have some good guards. I think it’s going to be a good challenge for us. We are looking forward to it.” While the Ponies have started the season off strong and are 5-0, Kraske said there are a number of improvements he is looking for his team to make and one those adjustments is hopefully finding a better rhythm on the offensive end of the floor. “We always want to run the floor of course,” Kraske said. “But our 5-on-5 offense needs to find some rhythm, we don’t have that right now. We have to try and develop that. We have spent a lot of time talking about sides of the floor and sharing the bas-

ketball, so we would expect to do those things a little bit better.” Havre, which comes into the game ranked No. 1 in Class A, according to the poll put out by 406mtsports.com, will be led by Kyndall Keller who is scoring 22 points a game and grabbing an average of six rebounds. Another key contributor is going to be fellow junior Kadia Miller, who is scoring 8.5 points and getting a team-high seven rebounds per game. Others will play key roles include Katie Wirtzberger, Loy Waid, Kylie Walker, Sam Oliver and Jessa Chvilicek. As the girls team takes on CMR inside the Pony Corral tonight, the Havre High boys basketball team will also be playing CMR, inside the Rustler Fieldhouse in Great Falls. Tip-off between the Pony boys and CMR will also come tonight at 7. Havre comes into the game having won back-to-back road games against Belgrade last weekend and against Malta Tuesday. However, the Ponies (3-2)

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Katie Wirtzberger and the Havre High girls play their second home game of the season when the Blue Ponies host CMR tonight at 7. will face their biggest challenge of the season in CMR, which entered the week 3-0 and ranked fourth in Class AA boys basketball poll. Leading the way for the Ponies are sophomore Kellen Detrick, who is scoring 17.5 points per game for Havre and Tommy Brown, who also averages double figures with 10 ppg. Detrick also leads the team with 8.8 rebounds per game. Seniors Tysen Sangrey and Austin Delarosa have also been solid contributors, along with junior Jake Huston, who has provided a scoring spark off the bench this season. Both Havre teams will be off for the holiday break after taking on CMR. Both teams will be back in action Jan. 3 against Rocky Boy inside the HHS gymnasium. Published 12-21-2018


A5

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

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Blue Ponies wrangle Rustlers HHS girls run away from CMR and into Christmas break still unbeaten Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Havre High girls basketball team had one final test before taking time off for the holiday break and, against Class AA rival CMR, the Blue Ponies passed with flying colors. While it certainly wasn’t a dominant performance by any means, Havre took the Rustlers best shot, but pulled away in the second half for a 61-48 victory. The win pushed Havre’s record to 6-0 on the season and, overall, it was the 30th consecutive win for the Ponies. “It was a nice team victory for our guys,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “I thought that our five that come in off the bench did a nice job. They played really well together and I am really proud of them. They were making extra passes, getting stops defensively, so we will take that and continue to get better.” One of the players coming off the bench that who Kraske was referring to was Sadie Filius, a freshman who scored a gamehigh 16 points in the win. Filius was one impact player off the bench and another was Jessa Chvilicek. The junior scored the first two of her 10 early in the second quarter on a jumper that was assisted by Filius. At that point, Havre was up 13-10 but the Rustlers, thanks to a 3-pointer by Marley Calliham, kept within striking distance. However, on the other end, Filius connected on a layup, a short jumper and converted a three-point play, scoring nine of Havre’s last 12 points in the second quarter and giving the Ponies a 25-20 halftime lead, “Good for her,” Kraske said of Filius' 16 points. “She is a very composed youngster. She has been around the game and she understands it and did a good job. What’s nice is that with her, every shot she shot, it wasn’t forced. It was within the rhythm of what we were trying to accomplish.” In the third quarter, Kyndall Keller and Kadia Miller got in on the act, as Keller knocked down a 3-pointer while Miller scored inside to put Havre in front 32-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Sadie Filius, right, drives past a CMR defender on her way to scoring 16 points in the Blue Ponies' 61-48 victory over the Rustlers Friday night inside the HHS gymnasium. The win gives the Ponies a 6-0 start to the season. Havre is off until Jan. 3 when the Ponies host Rocky Boy. For more photos from Friday night's game, go to www.havredailynews.com.

24. Filius and Chvilicek each hit from beyond the arc soon after, and suddenly it was 40-27. Chvilicek connected on another trey before the quarter ended, giving Havre a 43-31 advantage. In the fourth quarter, CMR put together an 8-2 run that featured two 3-pointers from Calliham, who finished the game with 16 points. The spurt cut the Havre lead down to 45-37, but

five straight points from Keller pushed it back to double digits at 50-37. Filius, who knocked down a trey of her own earlier in the quarter, connected again from deep. Minutes later, Keller did the same and that proved to be the dagger with HHS in front 59-42. “I thought that we played a little better in the second half,” Kraske said. “We played a little

more together and a little harder. We are getting pushed a little bit, so that is good.” While Filius led the way for the Ponies with 16 points, she was just one of three Havre players to score in double figures. Keller finished with 12 points, 11 of which came in the second half. Chvilicek put together 10 points in the win for Havre, which also got six each

from Katize Wirtzberger and Kadia Miller. Calliham scored 16 points to pace CMR. Allie Olsen added 14 points in the loss. Havre (6-0) will be off until Jan. 3 when the Ponies will host Class B rival Rocky Boy in a non-conference matchup. Havre 61, CMR 48

CMR 3 17 11 17 - 48 Havre 9 16 18 18 - 61 Havre: Sam Oliver 1, Kyndall Keller 12, Loy Waid 4, Kadia Miller 6, Kassidy Compton 2, Katie Wirtzberger 6, Lauren Kato 4, Sadie Filius 16, Jesse Chvilicek 10. Great Falls CMR: Allie Olsen 14, Lauren Lindseth 5, JJ Slater 1, Emily Funseth 6, Marley Calliham 16, Kiely Gunderson 6. Published 12-24-2018

New Year: Blue Pony girls return to take on Rocky Boy tonight Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews. com The high school basketball season in Montana always includes a couple of weeks off during the holidays and during that time, the Havre High basketball team got better according to head coach Dustin Kraske, which should be a scary thought for everyone else. “We had a great couple weeks of practice,” Kraske said. “In our first couple of games, we played pretty well but not everybody did, so we want everyone to get to their top level in performance and get uncomfortable in practice and then demonstrate what they have learned in games.” Havre (6-0) will get a chance to demonstrate how much it has improved since its last game against CMR tonight when the Ponies will host Rocky Boy in the renewal of their annual rivalry. Tip-off time is set for 5:30 inside the HHS gymnasium. Havre Daily News/ Colin Thompson Havre High's Kadia Miller, left, goes around a CMR defender during a girls basketball game last month in Havre. The undefeated Blue Ponies return from Christmas break with a home game against Rocky Boy tonight and a road game at Lewistown Saturday night. Tonight's game between the Blue Ponies and Morning Stars tips at 5:30 inside the HHS gymnasium.

"It’s a chance for us to go out and get better,” Kraske said. “We have put in some wrinkles over Christmas break and trying to work a little harder and try to get that into a game. We have some new things we are working on, some new defenses and we want to evaluate that a little bit.” The Ponies have started the season by continuing their winning ways from a year ago, however, Rocky Boy, following the graduation of three key starters, has struggled this season, dropping three of its first four games. Sasha Coffee will lead the way for the Morning Stars, who will be looking to pull the upset. In order to avoid that against their Class B rival, the Ponies will turn to their deep and talented lineup of players, highlighted by twotime All-State performer Kyndall Keller, who is one of the top scorers in Class A girls basketball. The Ponies will also rely heavily on Kadia Miller, Kylie Walker, Loy Waid and Katie Wirtzberger. HHS has also gotten key contributions off the bench from freshman guard Sadie Filius, who scored a team-high 16 points in the win over CMR and Jessa Chvilicek, who scored 10 as a non-starter in the same outing. While Rocky Boy will come to Havre Thursday for a non-conference tilt, the Ponies will also hit the road this weekend as they travel to Lewistown with a chance to get to 3-0 in the Central A conference. The matchup between the Eagles and Ponies

will get underway at 5 p.m. Saturday. “Lewistown has Anna Zimmer back and she’s a nice player,” Kraske said. “They have some other players back and for us to go win on the road is going to be important if you want to win the league, which I know is one of our goals. So we are looking forward to going down there and seeing how we can perform on the road.” The Eagles will start the week at 1-5 overall. Lewistown is 0-1 within the Central A and 0-5 against Class A teams overall. The only win so far this season came against Huntley Project and one of the biggest issues for the Eagles has been an offense that has struggled to score. Lewistown is scoring just 33 points per game and from the field, the Eagles are shooting 23 percent on 2-pointers and 29 percent from 3-point range. Zimmer leads the way for the Eagles with an average of 8.2 points and seven rebounds. Kayla Nelson also averages 4.5 points and five rebounds, while Macy Mangold also scores 4.5 per game. If the Ponies are able to secure the win, they would improve to 3-0 in the Central A, with wins over each conference opponent on the road. Havre opens its weekend tonight against Rocky Boy at 5:30 p.m. and heads to Lewistown Saturday for a 5 p.m. tip-off. Published 1-3-2019


A6

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

HHS girls blast Rocky Boy Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Havre High girls basketball team has always been known for its defense under head coach Dustin Kraske and the Rocky Boy Morning Stars got a reminder of just how stingy the Blue Pony defense can be. The two rivals renewed their annual series, with the first of two games inside the HHS gymnasium Thursday night and after holding the Stars to just three points in the first quarter, Havre limited Rocky Boy to 15 for the game in a dominating 7015 win. The Ponies are now 7-0 on the season. Their school-record winning streak has reached 31 games. “I was really pleased with the kids,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “I thought that we did a nice job defensively. We saw kids doing things the right way and communicating. They came out and got after it right away. All 12 of our kids played and played well and that was good to see.” For the first few minutes, Rocky Boy hung with the Ponies and each team eased their way into the game. With the offense struggling to find a rhythm,

Kraske turned to freshman Sadie Filius and junior Jessa Chvilicek to come off the bench and give HHS a spark. Right on cue, Filius and Chvilicek sparked a 10-0 run that included four points from the freshman and a 3-pointer from Chvilicek which helped put Havre in front by 12 after one. In the second stanza, it didn’t take long for the 12-point Havre lead to become 20 thanks to Kyndall Keller, who scored eight points in the span of about a minute. First, she knocked down a triple, then scored inside and then hit again from deep, this time from the top of the key, putting the Pony girls in front 24-3. Kylie Walker and Kassidy Compton also got in on the act, as each hit from deep to help Havre build a 36-9 halftime lead. “I thought we did a great job of moving the ball,” Kraske said. “I thought we were a lot more active.” In the third quarter, it was more of the same as Kadia Miller scored a couple of buckets inside which put Havre in front 42-9 and after a 3-pointer by senior Abbey Morse, the Ponies led 49-11 before eventually going on to win by 55. When the game was over, Havre had three players finish in double figures led by Keller,

who had 14. Filius also contributed with 12 points and Miller added 10. Rocky Boy was led by junior Sasha Coffee who had seven. Rochelle Pease also pitched in with four in the loss. “Our kids did a great job,” Kraske said. “They played together, they made the extra pass (offensively) and they did a nice job. I was really happy with the way our kids defended. We got a couple of times in our rotation in our 1-3-1 not blocking out on the backside, so that gives us something to focus on. I liked how they had game situations of trap and rotate and then getting the steal, so I was pretty pleased.” Havre will be off today before hitting the road to take on Lewistown Saturday in a Central A conference matchup, as the Ponies look to go 3-0 within their league. Tip-off time is set or 5 p.m.

www.havredailynews.com

Blue Pony girls prepped for tonight's big game against Browning

Havre 70, Rocky Boy 15 Rocky Boy 3 6 6 0 - 15 Havre 15 21 15 19 - 70 Rocky Boy - Sasha Coffee 7, Rochelle Pease 4, Jeralyn Parker 2, N. Standing Rock 2. Havre - Kyndall Keller 14, Kylie Walker 7, Kassidy Compton 3, Loy Waid 9, Abbey Morse 3, Kadia Miller 10, Jessa Chvilicek 3, Katie Wirtzberger 1, Lauren Kato 2, Britton Paulson 6.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Kylie Walker, left, drives past Rocky Boy's Sasha Coffee during Thursday night's girls game between the Blue Ponies and Morning Stars inside the HHS gymnasium. Havre won 70-15. For more photos go to www.havredailynews.com. Published 1-4-2019

HHS girls crush Eagles; Pony boys fall Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Havre High girls basketball team is a machine when it comes to winning Central A conference games and after a dominant start defensively, the Blue Ponies rolled to an easy victory over Lewistown. The Eagles, who have struggled to score all season, averaging just 33 points a game, failed to meet that mark in Lewistown Saturday night, as the visiting Ponies held Lewistown to three points in the first quarter on their way to a 60-28 victory. Havre improved to 8-0 on the season and 3-0 in the Central A conference. “I thought that our kids played well,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “We played well defensively. We are trying a lot of different things defensively and we are playing a lot of kids. Our kids are doing well. They are going their best and we just need to keep building our confidence and keep playing well.” As well as the Ponies played on the defensive end, they were just as effective on offense. After starting a little slow with only eight points in the first quarter, Havre broke out for 21 in the second quarter to take a 29-10 lead into halftime. The Ponies added to their lead by outscoring Lewistown 15-10 in the third quarter and added 16 more in the fourth to lock down the 32-point win. Kyndall Keller led the way for the Ponies with a game-high 13 points but in all, Havre finished with six players who scored seven points or more. Next up

after Keller was sophomore Loy Waid, who finished with nine. Sadie Filius, who added eight, has averaged 12 points per game in her last three outings. Her total was matched by Jessa Chvilicek who finished with eight. Sam Oliver and Kylie Walker also contributed with seven. Anna Zimmer was the high scorer for the Eagles with nine. Libby Jenness also added six. Following the girls game, the Havre boys p l a y e d Lewistown on the road and after hanging around for much of the first half, Lewistown pulled away and won the Keller game 67-45. The loss dropped Havre to 4-4 on the season. The Ponies are also 1-2 in the Central A. What really hurt the Ponies was the outstanding play of Tanner Trafton and Jaden Graham, two of the elite players in Class A boys basketball. Trafton poured in a game-high 32 points and Graham also pitched in with 24. Kellen Detrick was the leading scorer in the loss for Havre with 11. Austin Delarosa also reached double figures with 10. Tommy Brown also added eight and Clint Owens finished with six. “I have to give it to Lewistown,” HHS head coach Walynn Burgess

said. “That’s a team that went to state last year and have a really good chance to do it again this year. (Trafton and Graham) are just so tough and take that team to another level. It was a great learning experience for us and the boys had moments of looking really good but that is where we will learn and improve. I am proud of the way we competed.” The Havre girls (8-0. 3-0) will be back on the court Thursday to take on Browning in a rematch of the Class A semifinals in 2018. That will get underway at 7 p.m. HHS will then host Fairfield Saturday night at 4. The boys basketball team will play Browning Friday night on the road. Tip-off time is scheduled for 7 p.m. “We are looking forward to playing Browning,” Kraske said. “That should be a fun one.” Havre 60, Lewistown 28 (girls) Havre 8 21 15 16 0 60 Lewistown 3 7 10 8 - 28 Lewistown - Anna Zimmer 9, Libbey Jenness 6, Kylie Zimmer 5, Kayla Nelson 4, Macy Mangold 3, Stephanie Olson 1. Havre - Kyndall Keller 13, Loy Waid 9, Sadie Filius 8, Jessa Chvilicek 8, Sam Oliver 7 Kylie Walker 7, Lauren Kato 4, Kadia Miller 2, Kassidy Compton 2. Lewistown 67, Havre 45 (boys) Havre 14 15 7 9 - 45 Lewistown 18 23 16 10 -67 Lewistown - Tanner Trafton 32, Jaden Graham 24, Jake Clinton 4, Wes Jameson 3, Mitch Norslien 2, Gage Clinton 2. Havre - Kellen Detrick 11, Austin Delarosa 10, Tommy Brown 8, Clint Owens 6, Jake Huston 5, Mason Rismon 3, Max Olson 2. Published 1-7-2019

Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Havre High girls basketball team will get a break from non-conference play this week, but with one of the best teams in Class A invading the HHS gymnasium, there will still be a big-game feel tonight at the HHS gymnasium. That’s because when 7 p.m. rolls around, the Blue Ponies will renew their rivalry with the Browning Indians, a former Central A rival and the team HHS knocked off the state semifinals last year in Great Falls. “We are looking forward to playing Browning,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “They have the (Dulci) Skunkcap kid who is very, very good. They have Gardipee who is very good and Polk who is having a very good year. They have some wonderful low players and it’s going to be another really nice game at Havre High.” Earlier this season, the topranked Ponies battled another Class A contender, Billings Central and the game went to overtime. It was the closest Havre has come to a loss during its 32-game winning streak and with the 7-1 Indians coming to town tonight, it should be another heavyweight fight. One thing that will be fun for basketball fans will be watching Havre’s defense (34.5 ppg allowed), which is among the best in the state, take on the Browning offense. The Indians are averaging 65 points per game this season and they are led by Tamika Gardipee, who

has been a force inside for the Indians with an average of 16.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. Dulci Skunkcap, who also averages double-digit points for Browning with 10 a game is another key that makes the Browning offense go. Another big threat is Danaiya Polk, who is a dangerous 3-point shooter, who makes 53 percent of her shots from beyond the arc, as well as averaging just under nine points a night. Havre will counter with its own talented roster led by junior Kyndall Keller, a twotime All-State performer who is scoring 15.6 per game to go along with 5.6. rebounds. Fellow junior Kadia Miller has also become a strong two-way force for the Ponies, as she is second on the team in points (9.1) in addiiton to leading the team in rebounding (5.7 rpg). Loy Waid, Sadie Filius and Jessa Chvilicek are three othe rs who have been hot offensively in recent weeks. While Waid starts along with Miller, Keller, Katie Wirtzberger and Kylie Walker, both Filius and Chvilicek have provided a key presence off the bench, which could be a big factor against a team of Browning’s quality. “Not to take anything away from Fairfield, but Browning is the game we are really focused on this week,” Kraske said. “Other than us just trying to get better with every game. But I am excited about this game, it’s going to be fun.” Havre will start its week tonight against Browning, yet Saturday, Havre will take on another familiar foe in Fairfield, the Class B rival that

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Kyndall Keller, left, and the Havre High girls basketball team will be in the Blue Pony Corral for two games this week, starting with tonight's showdown with the Browning Indians. The game tips at 7. Havre also hosts Class B Fairfield Saturday afternoon. has been a regular part of the Ponies’ schedule for years. Of course, the coaching matchup between Kraske and the Eagles Dustin Gordon always draws attention as both coaches bring multiple state championships to the sideline. The Ponies will host the Eagles Saturday night at 5. The Eagles will head into the Pony Corral with a winning record that includes a recent 5044 win over Lewistown last Friday. Fairfield also sits atop of the District 1B standings with a 3-0 mark after wins over Cut Bank, Shelby and Rocky Boy. Havre swept the Eagles last season when the two teams met in non-conference play. “(Dustin) Gordon always goes a great job,” Kraske said. “His kids are going to be well prepared and they will play hard. I do know that they have one guard that is pretty salty, but that will be another good challenge for us.” The Ponies will open their week tonight against Browning in a rematch of the Class A state semifinals. Tip-off time is set for 7 tonight. Havre will then host Fairfield Saturday with the start time scheduled for 4 p.m. Published 1-10-2019


A7

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

Blue Ponies stave off Browning Havre girls pull away from talented Indians in the Blue Pony Corral

get within single digits again as the Ponies went on to win by 12. On top of the 18 scored by Keller and the 11 from Wirtzberger, Oliver also contributed with seven points, while Waid added six. Tamika Guardipee, Chalissa Kipp and Walker Running Crane each scored 10 to lead the way for the Indians in the loss. Browning also got nine from Tatum Running Crane. With the win, the Ponies improved to 9-0 on the season. They also secured their 33rd straight win. Havre will look to keep its winning streak alive Saturday when it will host Fairfield inside the HHS gymnasium. “It was a great game,” Kraske said. “Browning was ready to go, they did a nice job. Our kids just responded really well. I was really happy with how we played.”

Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com Winning isn’t always pretty and when it comes to the Havre High girls basketball team’s 53-41 win over Browning Thursday night, there wasn’t anything pretty about it. But a win is a win, especially when the win for Havre comes against a state championship contender like Browning. “Not to take anything away from anybody,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “Winning by 25 doesn’t teach you anything. You can play with bad habits and still be successful. Tonight taught us that the one-handed, slow, bounce pass isn’t acceptable. Moving the ball slowly doesn’t work. You don’t get an open shot unless you work hard for it. You have to be crisp with your cuts and crisp with your passes. You have to sit down and defend and in game’s like this one, everyone has to do it. Teams like Browning and Billings Central do that and that gets you ready for a tournament.” And of all the games Havre has played this season, maybe only Billings Central felt more like a state-tournament feel than Browning did Thursday night when the Blue Ponies and Indians met inside the HHS gymnasium. But when it was all said and done, the results were the same. For the fourth time in the last two seasons, Havre beat Browning and it did so by double digits. The Ponies got a scrappy 18 points from Kyndall Keller and another 11 from Katie Wirtzberger in a hard-fought win over their old Central A conference rival. “It feels awesome,” Keller said. “That was a big win. They are a tough team and I think that we will see them later this year. Right now, we

Havre 53, Browning 41 Browning 9 11 8 13 - 41 Havre 12 12 16 13 - 53

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Above: Havre High's Kadia Miller drives past a Browning defender during Thursday night's Class A game in the HHS gymnasium. The Ponies beat the Indians 53-41. Below: Havre's Loy Waid goes up for a shot during Thursday night's game against Browning. Havre is back home Saturday to host Fairfield. For more photos from Thursday's game, go to www.havredailynews.com.

are just trying to take it gameby-game.” Havre may have pulled away in the end but in the beginning, the game felt very much like a heavyweight fight and in the early going, both teams took some time to feel each other out. Halfway through the first quarter, Browning led 4-3 before Kadia Miller scored inside to give the Ponies a 5-4 edge. Yet, the Indians responded with a 5-0 run that put them in front by four, before a bucket by Lauren Kato and a 3-pointer from Keller gave HHS a 12-9 lead after the opening stanza. Early in the second quarter, Sam Oliver hit from deep, making it 10 straight points for Havre, which led 15-9. Yet, four points from Tatum Running Crane helped Browning reclaim the lead at 16-15. Another hoop from Running Crane kept the Indians in the lead at 19-18, before a Miller triple made it

21-19 and a three-point play by Loy Waid gave the Ponies a 2420 halftime edge. “Early on, I think both teams were feeling each other out a little bit,” Kraske said. “Ray (Augare) does a pretty good job and they were doing pretty well defensively too and when both teams are doing that, it’s tough to score.” In the third, Havre finally started to create some distance. Keller opened the second half with a three-point play that put the Ponies in front by seven. Then, five straight points from Keller later in the period pushed the lead to 38-26, before a steal and score from Oliver made it 14, which was the margin entering the fourth quarter, with Havre in front 42-28. Just over a minute into the final stanza though, Keller knocked down her second triple of the game, extending the lead to 17 points. Browning wouldn’t

Browning - Chalissa Kipp 10, Chaslin Kipp 2, Kelsey Mad Plume 2, Walker Running Crane 10, Dulci Skuncap 3, Tatum Running Crane 9, Tamika Guardipee 10. Havre - Kyndall Keller 18, Loy Waid 6, Sam Oliver 7, Kadia Miller 5, Jessa Chvilicek 2, Sadie Filius 2, Katie Wirtzberger 11, Lauren Kato 2.

Published 1-11-2019


A8

2019 Class A

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

Monday, March 25, 2019

www.havredailynews.com

Blue Ponies ground Eagles Havre High girls ready to roll

against Rangers, Panthers

Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre's Katie Wirtzberger drives to the basket during Saturday's win over Fairfield in the HHS gymnasium. For more photos, go to www.havredailynews.com.

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com During the first half against Fairfield Saturday night, the Havre High girls basketball team played like it underestimated the Eagles and with the legendary Dustin Gordon on the opposing sideline, that’s not something you can do. As a result, when halftime rolled around, the Eagles trailed the Blue Ponies, the top-ranked team in Class A and defending state champions, 25-23. “I thought our kids went through the motions in the first half,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “But in the second half, I thought we played very well.” By very well, Kraske means outscoring Fairfield 37-14 over the final 16 minutes of play en route to a 62-37 win for the Ponies Saturday night inside the HHS gymnasium. The game was right there for the taking, but a 15-0 run to open the third quarter that saw the Eagles go scoreless for 6:20 ended any drama. “I thought our energy level was better,” Kraske said. “I thought our enthusiasm was better, I thought our hard work was better and that led to a really good second-half effort on our part. Fairfield is fundamentally very good and they can break you down if you are not ready to go and I didn’t think we were mentally ready to go in the first half. But kudos to our kids, they did a wonderful job in the second half. Everybody.” In the early going, the Eagles were able to force the Ponies into some turnovers and they also got six first-quarter points from Emily Clotfelter. A couple scores on backdoor cuts by Kenna Pitcher also helped Fairfield build a 1413 advantage after one. In the second, Kyndall Keller scored

twice on offensive rebounds before knocking down a 3-pointer which put Havre in front 25-19. Yet, a 4-0 run in the final minutes of the half kept the Eagles within striking distance. Opening the second half up by just two points, Havre emerged from the locker room and sophomore Loy Waid sparked a 6-0 run in the first couple of minutes as she scored twice. For the game, she wound up with 13. “She has really started to come into her own,” Kraske said. “She is starting to play how she is capable of playing.” Waid scored twice more during the Ponies 15-0 spurt, a run that also included another 3-pointer from Keller, which made the score 38-25 Havre with 3:53 left in the third. When the stanza was over, Fairfield finished with just four points and suddenly trailed 40-27. A triple by Jessa Chvilicek sparked a 10-2 run to open the fourth quarter. HHS scored 22 points total in the final period and eventually won the game by 25. Keller led all scorers with a gamehigh 20 points. Waid added 13 and Kadia Miller finished with six. Coltfelter finished with nine to lead the Eagles, who also got eight form Pitcher. Havre is now 10-0 on the season and has won 34 games in a row. The Ponies will be back in action this weekend with back-to-back home games against Livingston and Belgrade Friday and Saturday inside the HHS gymnasium. Havre 62, Fairfield 37 Fairfield 14 9 4 10 - 37 Havre 13 12 15 22 - 62 Havre: Sam Oliver 2, Kyndall Keller 20, Kylie Walker 4, Loy Waid 13, Abby Morse 3, Jesse Chvilicek 5, Katie Wirtzberger 2, Sadie Filius 3, Kassidy Compton 4, Kadia Miller 6. Fairfield: Naemi Wipf 6, Madison Rosenbaum 4, Taylor Simmons 4, Kenna Pitcher 8, Cheyenne Maddox 6, Emily Clotfelter 9.

Published 1-14-2019

Under the direction of head coach Dustin Kraske, the Havre High girls basketball team has dominated play in the Central A conference. And with two wins at home this weekend against Livingston and Belgrade, the Blue Ponies will once again wrap up the top seed from the Central A at the Eastern A Divisional tournament next month. Havre (10-0, 3-0) will play the first of back-to-back home games tonight at 6 against Livingston. The Ponies will then return to the HHS gymnasium Saturday to take on Belgrade. Tip-off time is set for 4 p.m. “We talked to the girls about if we win this weekend then we will win the league,” Kraske said. “That’s one of the things we would like to do. We have had a couple of conversations about it, so we understand that if these games go the way we would like them to that we will be conference champs again.” In the first matchup of the weekend, Havre will take on Livingston, which is 4-7 overall and 1-2 in the Central A. The Rangers were able to knock off Lewistown but also have losses to both Havre and Belgrade. One of the Rangers’ biggest challenges will be scoring enough points to keep things competitive against a Havre team that limits opponents to fewer than 35 points a game. Livingston comes in scoring just over 38 points on average. Kodie Vondra leads the way for Livingston with 9.6 ppg, while Abby Kokot also contributes with 9.5 ppg. The only other Rangers player who scores more than five points a game is Danielle Babcox (5.9 ppg, 6.1 rpg). As a team, the Rangers have scored 40 points in just five of their 11 games but reached 50 points only once and that was in a season-opening win over Miles City (6047). Livingston is going to have its work cut out for it against the Ponies, but Saturday, Belgrade will have at least a puncher’s chance against HHS. When the two teams met in Belgrade earlier this season, the Panthers were able to stay within striking distance before Havre eventually pulled away in the end and won by 15. Unlike the Rangers, Belgrade also boasts one of the most dynamic scorers in Class A basketball and that’s junior Gabby Weber, who averages 14 points a game for the Panthers. She was a big reason why Belgrade was able to qualify for the state tournament a season ago and she along with Bailey Chris-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High senior Lauren Kato handles the ball during a girls game against Browning earlier this month in Havre. The Blue Pony girls have just three home games left the season, and it starts with tonight's Central A game against Livingston at 6 in the HHS gymnasium. Havre is also home to face Belgrade Saturday at 4 p.m. tensen (9.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg), have the team averaging 48 points total, which is the second in the Central A behind Havre, which averages 62.9 ppg. “Belgrade played us tough down there,” Kraske said. “Weber is a really solid player and so is the Christensen girl, so they can cause you some problems. We have talked about starting fast and coming out and setting the tone.” On top of trying to extend their school-record winning streak to 36 games this weekend, the Ponies will also wrap up the regular season title in the Central A with wins over Livingston and Belgrade. Leading the charge in that effort for Havre will be junior Kyndall Keller, the team’s leading scorer with 16.2 ppg. She also leads the team in rebounds with 5.8 per game and is tied with Jessa Chvilicek for the team lead in 3-pointers with 14.

Fellow junior Kadia Miller is the second-leading scorer for Havre with 7.8 ppg, followed by Loy Waid (7.4 ppg) and Chvilicek (7.0 ppg). Chvilicek, a junior who comes off the bench for the Ponies, has developed into one of the top perimeter shooters in the state and on 30 attempts, she is making 46 percent of her three’s. She is also second on the team in steals with 24, behind starting point guard Kylie Walker, who has 28. Sadie Filius has also played a key role for the Ponies off the bench lately, while Katie Wirtzberger, Lauren Kato and Sam Oliver have all been solid contributors on both ends of the floor. Havre and Livingston will square off tonight at 6. The Ponies will then host Belgrade Saturday at 4 p.m. Both games will be played inside the HHS gymnasium. Published 1-18-2019


B1

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

Ponies roll to a sweep of Livingston, Belgrade Havre girls lock up what will be the last Central A regular season title

but four late points from Keller pushed the advantage to 28-17 at the break. While the Ponies started the game positively, it was nothing compared to the blistering effort they put together in the third quarter, on both ends of the floor. Katie Wirtzberger got things going early in the second half with a three and then after buckets by Filius and Keller, Havre led 4017. Keller and Filius both scored again after stealing the ball and a few minutes later, Lauren Kato hit from beyond the arc to finish a 27-2 run. Keller scored again early in the fourth to get her 21st point and extend the run to 29-2. Belgrade would finally string together some baskets in the final period, but in the third, the Panthers didn’t make a single shot from the field. “I think we all just worked really hard,” Keller said of forcing the long scoring drought. “That’s all I can say, we just work hard.” Keller’s 21 points led all scorers for the second straight night. Havre also got 11 points from Kadia Miller, eight from Filius and six from Kato. With the win, Havre improved to 12-0 on the season and 5-0 in the Central A. HHS has clinched the league’s top seed at the Eastern A Divisional tournament next month. The winning streak, which dates back to the start of last season, has now reached 36 games. Havre plays at GFH Friday night before hosting Malta for senior night on Saturday.

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News

cpeterson@havredailynews.com Winning the Central A conference must seem like old hat for the Havre High girls basketball team, but after sweeping Livingston and Belgrade inside the HHS gymnasium Friday and Saturday night, the Blue Ponies won yet another regular season crown. After knocking off Livingston 65-33 Friday night at the Pony Corral, Havre took it to Belgrade Saturday night, using a 27-2 run in the third quarter to defeat the Panthers 64-35. “Congratulations to our kids,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said of another first-place finish in the Central A. “We played pretty well (Saturday). Actually, the second half of the last two games we have played really well. We just have to figure out how to be better out of the gate. It’s not our energy, ’cause our energy is great. I think we just need a tick more poise to make some of those easy buckets that our kids are working hard to get.” “It’s awesome,” Havre junior Kyndall Keller said of winning the Central A again. “Winning never gets old. It’s a good accomplishment.” In the first game of the Central A back-to-back, the Ponies hosted Livingston, a team Havre has dominated over the years. This time around was no different. Keller scored five points in the first quarter and HHS got six second-chance points, which put the Ponies in front 15-6 after one. Yet, in the second quarter, Livingston was able to keep within striking distance, and by halftime, the Rangers were down just 23-16 to Class A’s No. 1 team. In the third, Livingston got within five points before Keller took over. After scoring inside for two, Keller knocked down a 3-pointer which pushed the Havre lead to eight. She continued her hot streak, scoring the Ponies next six points as the lead was pushed to double digits. In all, she had 11 in the stanza. Sa-

Havre 64, Belgrade 35

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Kyndall Keller, left, goes in for a layup during the Blue Ponies' win over Belgrade Saturday night inside the HHS gymnasium. The win clinched yet another Central A regular season championship for the Blue Ponies and head coach Dustin Kraske. For more photos from the game, go to www.havredailynews.com. die Filius and Jessa Chvilicek also got in on the act. Filius converted an old-fashioned 3-point play and then Chvilicek ended the period scoring seven straight points, including a triple that put the Ponies in front 48-26 with

eight minutes left. “I think we need to get better at coming out strong right away instead of in the second half,” Keller said. “But we still got a win.” Filius added another 3-pointer

in the fourth quarter as the Ponies went on to win by 32. Keller finished with a game-high 22 points which featured 13 in the second half. Saturday, Keller started about as fast as possible against the

Panthers, as she scored 10 points in the opening stanza. Havre also got a 3-pointer from Chvilicek, which helped build a 13-6 lead. In the second quarter, Belgrade was able to stay within single digits most of the way,

Belgrade 6 11 2 18 - 35 Havre 13 15 27 10 - 64 Belgrade - T. Christensen 7, V. Barkell 1, M. McGinley 5, H. Eaton 7, B. Christensen 6, S. Flikkema 3. Havre - Sam Oliver 4, Kyndall Keller 21, Kylie Walker 4, Abbey Morse 2, Kadia Miller 11, Jessa Chvilicek 3, Sadie Filius 8, Katie Wirtzberger 3, Lauren Kato 6, Britton Paulson 2. Havre 65, Livingston 33 Box Scvore Not Submitted by press time

Published 1-21-2019


B2

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

Hi-Line Athlete Profile

There’s no quit in Blue Pony senior Kassidy Compton

Chris Peterson

your last season of high school basketball?

Havre Daily News

cpeterson@havredailynews.com There's not a lot of people who would attempt to play basketball with a torn ACL. But then again, there aren’t many people who love basketball as much as Kassidy Compton does. And so despite suffering a catastrophic injury before her junior season of basketball for the Havre Blue Ponies, Compton decided to play, even though she knew it was going to be difficult and that it was going to hurt. “The doctor told me it’s not something a lot of people do,” Compton said, “but, he said, you can do it. It just takes a lot of mental toughness and you really have to want it. But I knew that I wasn’t going to play beyond high school and you only get four years of high school and I didn’t want to miss one.” After all, Compton started playing organized basketball in the second grade and soon, she started to play traveling basketball, and from that point on, she devoted herself to the game, so not playing really wasn’t an option. “There was some pain during the games,” Compton said. “I definitely couldn’t do some of the things that I used to do. I was a little slower and it would swell up a lot. I had to use a lot of ice and took a lot of Advil. But I had some really great support from my coaches. They worked with me and helped me get through it and if I needed a break or anything, they would understand.” So Compton stuck it out and decided to delay surgery until after the season so she could play. That allowed her to be part of the Ponies Class A state championship team that finished with a perfect 24-0 record. But following her surgery, Compton had to go through the grueling rehabilitation process which didn’t exactly go smoothly to start. “I was allergic to an adhesive that they used on me,” Compton said. “And

Compton: “Yeah, it’s crazy to think this will be my final year. I started in second grade and started on the travel team when I was in third grade. It’s crazy to think of all the work that you put into it.” HDN: What are your goals for this season? Compton: “I just want to play up to the best of my abilities and just try to do the best that I can. HDN: What is your plan for after high school? Compton: “I am definitely going to go to Northern. I think I am going to go into nursing but I am not 100 percent sure.” HDN: What has it been like playing for the Ponies?

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High senior Kassidy Compton looks to pass during a game against Rocky Boy earlier this month inside the HHS gymnasium. Saturday, Compton will celebrate senior night when Havre hosts Malta, and she made to her final home game through mental and physical toughness after suffereing a devestating knee injury last season. then the wound didn’t heal as fast as it was supposed to, so I couldn’t really do anything on it or bend it for about a month and a half longer than I was supposed to. But my coaches really worked with me and they gave me some lifts I could do to strengthen it. I just tried to kick it in gear and go with it.”

Go with it she has. So far this season, Compton has played in all 12 games for the Ponies and is averaging 2.3 points and 1.5 rebounds, while also averaging more than one steal and one assist per game. So far the 2018-19 season could not be going any better for the Ponies, who

are 12-0 and have already clinched the Central A regular season title. Compton, one of the few seniors on the team has been a key piece off the bench for HHS and the Havre Daily News caught up with her for five questions. HDN: What is it like thinking this is

Compton: “It’s been great. I will always remember just the family atmosphere. We have a lot of really close relationships and not every team has that. I think we have a great group of girls and we have even done things like going to Kraske’s for a team dinner, so those will be some of my best memories. I just really like that family atmosphere.” HDN: What was it like to be part of an undefeated state championship team? Compton: “That was one of the best things I have experienced. Last year, I wasn’t playing a lot but it never really felt like that. Everyone really likes everyone and so it was pretty cool to be part of that team. Published 1-23-2019

Havre High girls travel to GFH tonight, host M-Ettes Saturday Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com After wrapping up yet another Central A regular season title last weekend, the Havre High girls basketball team will take on on a pair of non-conference rivals this week, as the Blue Ponies will put their 36-game winning streak on the line against Great Falls High and Malta. The Ponies will first take on Great Falls High tonight in their second matchup against a Class AA team this season. Havre knocked off CMR earlier in the year in Havre and will look to sweep their AA rivals for the second straight season with a win over the Bison tonight in Great Falls. Tip-off time is set for 7 p.m. Havre will then turn around and return to the HHS gymnasium Saturday to do battle with Class B rival Malta. That game will get underway at 4 p.m. “They like to change defenses a little bit, they play hard and are well coached,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “We are going to have our hands full. On the road, in a good environment to play against six (or) seven good athletes that can play. I think our kids are looking forward to it.” Winning on the road against a Class AA opponent in the next

challenge for a team, that in truth, has played about as well as could be expected through 12 games. On their way to a 12-0 record and 5-0 mark within the Central A, HHS has dominated on both ends of the floor. Offensively, the Ponies are averaging 63 points a game, while allowing just over 36 points a game on the defensive end of the floor, giving them a point differential of plus 26. One thing that has certainly helped Havre on both ends of the floor has been its ability to create turnovers. Incredibly, through 12 games this season, the Pony girls have forced 218 steals, which equates an average of 18 per game and leads Class A. “That’s pretty impressive,” Kraske said. “I think that just speaks to how hard our kids have been playing recently.” Sophomore guard Kylie Walker leads the way for Havre in steals with a total of 37 or an average of more than three per game, but she is part of a group of five players that also includes Kyndall Keller, Jessa Chvilciek, Sadie Filius and Loy Waid, who each average at least two steals per game. On top of that, Katie Wirtzberger, Sam Oliver, Kadia Miller and Kassidy Compton all average at least one steal per game.

Those turnovers have led to points in transition and that has helped Havre put together the top scoring average in Class A. Another thing that has helped is the fact that the Ponies knock down 29 percent of their 3-pointers, which ranks second among their classification. Another stat where Havre ranks among the best in Class A is assists. Havre has 180, which trails only Browning and again HHS has at least 10 players that average at least one assist per game. “I think especially over the second half of the season, our kids have done a phenomenal job of sharing the basketball,” Kraske said. “We have this mentality of ‘I have a good shot but I want to get my buddy an even better shot.’ So that’s been good to see.” On an individual level, Keller is leading all scorers for the Ponies with 17.2 points per game. She is also the second-leading rebounder on the team with 5.4 per game, trailing Miller, who averages 8.8 points and 5.5 rebounds. Miller has proven to be especially effective on the offensive boards, pulling down 33 so far this season for an average of 2.75 per game. “I think our kids our pursuing rebounds really well,” Kraske said. “We have some workhorse kids and that’s what they do.”

Great Falls High has struggled in Class AA, notching just two wins. Yet, one of those wins was a seven-point triumph over CMR, a team Havre beat by 13 earlier in the season but struggled with along the way, meaning tonight’s game could be one of the tougher challenges Havre will face throughout the regular season. “It’s going to be another big challenge for us,” Kraske said. “We haven’t played a lot of games on the road and to have to play a tough opponent, in their gym, that will be good practice for us because we haven’t had to do that these past few weeks.” After traveling to Great Falls High tonight, the Ponies will return home for what will be their second-to-last home game against Malta. Havre rolled in the first meeting, getting 14 points each from Keller and Miller in a 55-33 win. “Malta is going to be better than they were before,” Kraske said. “They are well coached and they are going to play hard. They will play some more zone against us so that will be good to see and good to work against that.” Havre and Great Falls High will renew their interclass rivalry tonight in Great Falls at 7. Tip-off between Havre and Malta Saturday in the HHS gymnasium is set for 4 p.m.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Sam Oliver and the undefeated Havre High girls will visit the Class AA GFH Bison tonight in Great Falls before returning home to play the Malta M-Ettes on Saturday afternoon. Published 1-25-2019


B3

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

Stampede On: Pony girls run over Bison, M-Ettes

Chris Peterson

we moved the ball really well and I just think we wore them down and made them turn it over a little bit. Malta is a good team and Nate does a good job, but holding them to 38 points, that’s a pretty good effort.” In addiiton to 25 points from Keller, Havre also got 14 from Miller, including nine points in the first half. Waid also pitched in with 10 and Chvilicek added six. Schipman was the leading scorer for Malta with 13. Havre will travel to Rocky Boy Thursday night to take on the Morning Stars at 6 p.m. The Ponies will then host Lewistown next Saturday on what will be senior night.

Havre Daily News sports gferguson@havredailynews.com After taking care of a pair of Central A conference opponents last weekend, the Havre High girls basketball team looked to extend its winning streak against non-conference rivals Great Falls High and Malta over the weekend. In the end, the opponents may have been different, but the results were the same, as the Blue Ponies pushed their winning streak to 38 games with a 43-28 win over Great Falls High Friday night, followed by a 69-38 win over Malta Saturday inside the HHS gymnasium. “I thought our kids played really well,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said following his team’s win over Malta. “I think with how hard we play, we just sort of wear teams down over the game and that’s what we did. We wore them down.” Against Great Falls High Friday, the Ponies jumped out to an early lead and used their suffocating defense to make it stick. Havre, playing on the road against a Class AA opponent, grabbed a 9-4 edge after the first quarter and led 21-9 in the second, before a 4-0 run to close the first half got the Bison back within striking distance at 21-13. In the third quarter, Havre blew the game open by outscoring the Bison 14-6. That run included a 3-pointer from Kyndall Keller, who finished with a gamehigh 14 points, as well as a hoop from Loy Waid who would end up with four. Jessa Chvilicek also added seven in the win and Sadie Filius contributed with five. “I thought in the first quarter and the third quarter, we played incredibly well,” Kraske said. “We did a really, really good job and Great Falls High is a physical team. They tried to bang on us and got up in our face and

Havre 43, GFH 28

Havre 9 13 14 7 – 43 Great Falls High 4 9 6 9 – 28 Havre: Kyndall Keller 5 3-6 14, Kylie Walker 1 1-1 3, Kassidy Compton 0 0-2 0, Loy Waid 1 2-5 4, Kadia Miller 2 0-0 4, Jessa Chvilicek 3 0-0 7, Sadie Filius 1 3-5 5, Katie Wirtzberger 2 0-0 4, Lauren Kato 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 9-19.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Kyndall Keller splits the Malta defense during Saturday night's game at the HHS gymnasium. The Blue Ponies beat the M-Ettes one night after crushing Class AA Great Falls High on the road. For more photos from Saturday's game, go to www.havredailynews.com. tried to pressure us and I really liked that. Our kids handled it pretty well. Our guard play was really good.” After winning in Great Falls with relative ease, the Ponies turned their attention to Class B rival Malta, who invaded the Pony Corral Saturday night hoping to avoid a season sweep. But early on, Havre controlled things as Kadia Miller scored seven straight points in the first

quarter, which included a trey, giving Havre an 11-3 lead. Yet, a 6-0 run from the M-Ettes closed the gap to 18-13 at the end of the first quarter. In the second stanza, Malta climbed within three points when Kyleigh Schipman converted on a 3-point play, trimming the Ponies advantage down to 21-18. Yet, the Ponies would respond with a 15-2 run that included a 3-pointer from Chvilicek, a

3-point play from Keller and a bunch of Havre free throws following two technical fouls called on Malta head coach Nate Hammond, who was ejected from the game. Because of that, Keller shot six consecutive free throws, making five and putting the Ponies in front 36-20. At halftime, Havre was in front 40-24. Keller, who scored the final 14 points in the first half for Havre, came out firing in the second and

connected on her first bucket to give her 16 straight. Waid scored twice inside and then Keller hit from deep. When it was all said and done, the junior would score 25 points in just three quarters in what turned out to be a 31-point win for HHS. “Keller had a pretty good night,” Kraske said. “25 points in three quarters. I don’t know that we shot the three particularly well tonight. But I thought that

Great Falls High: Hadlee Bleskin 1 0-0 2, Annie Toon 0 0-2 0, Gracie Lins 1 0-0 3, Jorgie Hawthorne 3 5-7 12, Morgan Sunchild 0 2-4 2, Ryen Palmer 1 1-3 3, Erin Watt 1 4-4 6. Totals: 7 12-20. 3-pointers: Keller, Chvilicek, Lins, Hawthorne. Fouls: Havre 20, Great Falls High 19. Fouled out: none. Havre 69, Malta 38 Malta 13 11 8 6 - 38 Havre 18 22 16 13 - 69 Havre: Sam Oliver 2, Kyndall Keller 25, Kylie Walker 2, Loy Waid 10, Abby Morse 3, Jesse Chvilicek 6, Lauren Kato 2, Sadie Filius 2, Kassidy Compton 3, Kadia Miller 14. Malta: Erica Smith 6, Kelbee Denham 8, Carly Garfield 7, Raina Mortenson 2, Kyleigh Schipman 13, Kloie Marks 2. Published 1-28-2019

Pony girls thump Morning Stars Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com ROCKY BOY — Kyndall Keller has done a lot of things during her high school basketball career. However, she had never scored 30 points in a game, until Thursday night in Rocky Boy that is. Playing on the home floor of the Blue Ponies’ Class B rival, Keller got off to a scintillating start, scoring 18 points in the first quarter on her way to a career-high 31 points. When the two-time All-State performer’s night came to an end after just 17 minutes, she was 14-of-18 from the field and 3-of-4 from beyond the arc as she led Havre to a 7532 victory, its 39th in a row. “I just came out and was in the zone,” Keller said. “I can’t really explain it.” Indeed she was and you could tell right from the get-go. Loy Waid opened the scoring for Havre with two free throws, then Keller scored the next nine points for the Ponies as she knocked down her first four shots including a 3-pointer that put Havre in front 11-4. She missed another shot in the opening stanza but that was it and in the closing minutes, she hit again from three and hit another bucket late to get 18 points

after making 8-of-10 shots. “I just thought our entire team came out ready to go,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “But Kyndall obviously came out and shot the ball incredibly well.” In the second quarter, Keller started on the bench but that didn’t stop the Ponies from blitzing Rocky Boy for another 25 points. Sophomore Kylie Walker hit twice from three and when Keller entered the game again with less than two minutes left in the first half, she hit again from deep, giving her 21 at the half and putting Havre in front 49-16. “I think that was the hottest start I have had,” Keller said. “I felt really good. “I just came out ready to go I think. In the third quarter, her dominance continued. The junior scored six points in the first 90 seconds and then after getting another bucket, she was taken out late again in the third with 29. She also played for about a minute in the fourth and scored to eclipse 30 points for the first time in her career. With 31, she was taken out of the game and wouldn’t play again with the mercy rule in effect. “The girls made some great passes,” Keller said. “We came out ready to go and we were running the floor and getting some steals and we were able to get Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Above: Havre's Jessa Chvilicek, right, shoots during Thursday's game at Rocky Boy. The Blue Pony girls walloped the Morning Stars 75-32. Left: Rocky Boy's Kirsten Lamere shoots during Thursday night's game against Havre in Rocky Boy. For more photos, go to www.havredailynews.com. some easy buckets.” While Keller poured in a career high, it was still 14 points shy of the school record set by Loree Payne who scored 45 during her days at Havre High. However, it was easily one of the most efficient performances in Blue Pony history with an average of nearly two points a minute. “I was probably the only person who could stop her,” Kraske said. “She just came out ready to go. She caught the ball ready to score.” Keller stole the show, but Walker also had an impressive outing for Havre with 10 points. Additionally, 11 of the 12 players dressed out in the game scored and 10 players managed at least four points in the win, including Kadia Miller who scored six, as well as Jessa Chvilicek, Sadie Filius, Katie Wirtzberger, Lauren Kato, Loy Waid and Brit-

ton Paulson, who each finished with four. Rocky Boy was paced by Sasha Coffee, who scored 14 points and connected twice from downtown. Jeralyn Parker also pitched in with six. Havre (15-0) has now won 39 consecutive games and will go for 40 and another 6-0 record in the Central A Saturday night against Lewistown. Tip-off time is scheduled for 5 p.m. Havre 75, Rocky Boy 32 Rocky Boy 12 4 12 4 - 32 Havre 24 25 16 10 - 75 Rocky Boy - Jourani Coffee 4, Mariah Arkinson 4, Sasha Coffee 14, Kirsten Lamere 4, Jeralyn Parker 6. Havre - Kyndall Keller 31, Kylie Walker 10, Kassidy Compton 4, Loy Waid 4, Abbey Morse 2, Kadia Miller 6, Jessa Chvilicek 4, Sadie Filius 4, Katie Wirtzberger 4, Lauren Kato 4, Britton Paulson 4. Published 2-1-2019


B4

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

Perfect Ponies pummel the Eagles Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com If you are going to beat the Havre High girls basketball team, at some point you are going to have to withstand a run by the Blue Ponies and Saturday night inside the Havre High gymnasium, the Golden Eagles of Lewistown simply couldn’t hold up to another Pony stampede. Early on in the first quarter, the Eagles hung with the Ponies and the score was 7-7. However, after a 28-3 run, Havre put the game out of reach and won its 40th straight thanks to a 72-34 blowout of its long-time Central A rival. The Ponies are now 16-0 on the season. “I thought our kids played well,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “Senior night is kind of funny. It gets emotional and it was emotional for those three seniors (Abbey Morse, Kassidy Compton, Lauren Kato) as it should be. They have had wonderful careers at Havre High. Lewistown was really Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Lauren Kato rises up for a shot during the Blue Ponies' senior night game against Lewistown Saturday in the HHS gymnasium. The Havre girls improved to 16-0 on the season with the win. For more photos, go to www. havredailynews.com.

scrappy early but I thought our kids played very well. I was very pleased.” Lewistown was scrappy enough to stick around with Havre early and managed to tie the score at 7-7. Yet, a jumper by Kyndall Keller and four straight points by Jessa Chvilicek made it 13-7. Keller scored seven more points before the end of the opening stanza, including a 3-point play and after one, Havre led 22-9. In the second quarter, freshman Sadie Filius continued the run with a bucket of her own. Then, Kadia Miller, who scored a game-high 21 points, added four straight, which was followed by a hoop by Katie Wirtzberger. At that point, the Ponies led 3510, thanks to an incredible 28-3 scoring run that saw Lewistown score just once from the field, which was due in large part to a suffocating full-court press applied by HHS. At the half, it was 38-14 Ponies. “Our pressure is going to hurt a lot of teams,” Kraske said. “And I thought our kids did a great job with it.” The offensive blitz by the Ponies continued into the third quarter and reached a fever pitch when senior Abbey Morse banked in a 3-pointer that put the Ponies in front 43-19. A jumper from Kylie Walker late in the third pushed the lead to 52-23 and a trey by Filius early in the fourth made it 64-28, before Havre finally forced the

mercy rule upon the Eagles by extending its advantage to 40 with a pair of Compton free throws with under two minutes to go. When it was all said and done, Miller led all the scorers with a game-high 21 points. Keller added 14 and Chvilicek, as well as Filius, each scored eight. “Not to single out Kadia, but boy, she had a tremendous night offensively,” Kraske said. “She did a really great job with offensive rebounds, but my favorite part of her game is doing what she did, while also guarding their best player, that Anna Zimmer, and holding her to limited points. That was my favorite part of her effort with our team.” With the win, Havre completed its second consecutive perfect regular season at home and also finished undefeated in the Central A once again at 6-0. The Ponies will close out the regular season this week with a road game against Browning Thursday, as well as playing at Fairfield Saturday. Havre 72, Lewistown 34 Lewistown 9 5 9 11 - 34 Havre 22 16 14 20 - 72 Lewistown - M. Mangold 2, K. Gordon 5, L. Jenness 12, K. Nelson 4, A. Montgomery 2. S. Olson 4, A. Zimmer 3, K. Zimmer 2. Havre - Kyndall Keller 14, Kylie Walker 4, Kassidy Compton 2, Loy Waid 5, Abbey Morse 3, Kadia Miller 21, Jessa Chvilicek 8, Sadie Filius 8, Katie Wirtzberger 3, Britton Paulson 2. Published 2-4-2019

Ponies wrap up regular season on the road Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com For the second year in a row, the Havre High girls basketball team has a chance to finish the regular season undefeated. But in order for that to happen, the Blue Ponies will first need to conquer Browning, again. No matter what happens Thursday night in Browning, the Ponies have the top spot wrapped up in the Central A, yet to get a sweep of the Indians, HHS will have to win on the road. In fact, to get 18-0, the Ponies will need to win on the road twice, as they will head to Fairfield Saturday for the regular season finale. “I think that we are really fired up about it,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “The kids are ready to go, they are ready for this game (Browning) and it’s going to be a lot of fun.” In the first meeting, Havre and Browning battled it out in a defensive struggle before the Ponies eventually began to separate in the second half. When it was all said and done, the topranked Ponies won by double digits, 53-41. And of course, HHS got big efforts from two of its top players in Kyndall Keller and Kadia Miller. Keller, the two-time All-State performer, scored 18 points, while Miller, who is fresh off 21 points against Lewistown, managed 11. While the offense, which leads Class A with an average of 63.6 points per game and boasts Keller, the leading scorer in the state (Class A) at 18.3 PPG, the real key to Havre’s success has been its play on the defensive end. Through 16 games, Havre ranks third in Class A in scoring defense (35.6 PPG) trailing only Columbia Falls (32.1 PPG) and Libby. However, the Ponies are

the only team in Class A to average more than 60 points, while limiting opponents to fewer than 40. Of course, Browning has always been known as a strong offensive team and that has continued for the Indians (14-2, 9-0) this season as they average 60.9 points, which trails only Havre. One of the reasons Browning has been such an effective team offensively has been its ability to knock down 3-point shots. The Indians are tied for second in the state with a 3-point shooting percentage of 29. Havre is close behind, shooting 28. Individually, Tamika Guardpiee gives Browning an elite scorer just like Keller does for the Ponies. Guardipee, who is more of an inside presence, is scoring 14.9 points a game despite not making or attempting a 3-point shot this season. She also leads the state in field goal percentage, connecting on 58 percent of her shots this season. The other scoring threats for Browning are Dulci Skunkcap (8.4 PPG) and Walker Running Crane (7.0) PPG). “Browning is a wonderful basketball team,” Kraske said. “They are well-coached and they present a lot of challenges, and we are looking forward to going there and trying to meet those challenges.” One thing that should help the Ponies in that endeavor is their bench. Browning, like Havre is a very deep team. HHS get major contributions off the bench from Jessa Chvilicek (6.6 PPG), Sadie Filius (5.0 PPG), Lauren Kato (2.9 PPG) and Sam Oliver (2.6 PPG), among others. For her part, Chvilicek is a force on both ends of the floor, leading Class A girls basketball in 3-point shooting at 44 percent. She has connected on 19-of-44

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Kylie Walker lays up a shot during last Saturday's Central A game against Lewistown in the HHS gymnasium. The Blue Pony girls finish the regular season by traveling to Browning tonight, and Fairfield on Saturday. attempts, while also averaging nearly two steals and 2.5 rebounds per game. Filius is also shooting 35 percent from deep and averaging three rebounds, two assists and two steals so far during her freshman campaign. After taking on Browning,

the Ponies will take the day off Friday before traveling to Friday to battle the Eagles of the District 1B Saturday night at 5. The two teams met back in January and Havre cruised to a 62-37 victory, thanks to 20 points and 10 rebounds from Keller.

She also made two 3-pointers and grabbed two steals. “I would hope that we would start a little better this time,” Kraske said. “But (Dustin) Gordon will have that team prepared. They are a fundamentally sound thing and it’s going to be

the same things. We need to take care of the basketball, rebound and sit down and play defense,” Havre and Browning are set to play Thursday night at 7. The Ponies will then play Fairfield Saturday at 5 p.m. Published 2-7-2019


B5

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

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It's Eastern A Divisional Time for the blue ponies

Havre High girls heavy favorites to repeat in Billings Unbeaten Ponies open Eastern A title defense this afternoon in the Metra Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com The Havre High girls basketball team has won 42 games in a row. And this season, the Blue Ponies are 18-0. But when the Eastern A Divisional tournament starts today in Billings, metaphorically or not, Havre and everyone else will be 0-0. For the Ponies, the defending Class A state champions, as well as the defending Eastern A champs, the goal this week is getting back to the state tournament and that mission starts this afternoon against either Glendive or Sidney. Tip-off time is set for 3:30. “The most important thing for us is to get invited to the state tournament,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “We have to win a couple of games to do that and finish in the top four, but once we can, hopefully, do that, we can look at what our next focus might be. Everyone wants to win the Eastern A and we are no different. I mean, who wouldn’t? But to be quite frank, the goal is to get to the state tournament.” The 10-team tournament opens with Glendive (7-11) and Sidney (1-17), the fourth- and sixthplace teams from the Eastern A, respectively. Glendive swept Sidney during the regular season and won the last matchup 70-25, so if that is any indication, the Ponies will meet the Red Devils for the second time as Havre beat Glendive 71-33 in the second game of the season. Karsen Murphy, who averaged 11.6 points and 4.8 rebounds for Glendive this season leads an offense that ranks ninth in Class A with 44.5 points per game. Savannah Toms is another key player along with Kendra Kaufman who averages 4.4 assists to go along with nearly five points a game. Sidney, which has lost 14 consecutive games this season and is still looking for its first win over a Class A opponent, will be led by Maddie Peters (12.4 ppg) and Cassidy Larson (10.4 ppg). “We spent the majority of our preparation on things that we can do better, things that we can

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Kadia Miller, left, tries to go by a Billings Central defender during the Blue Ponies' season-opening game against the Rams back in December. Havre makes the trek to Billings this week for the 2019 Eastern A Divisional, where the Ponies are the defending champions. Havre starts the tourney later today against either Glendive or Sidney. The tournament runs through Saturday night at the Metra. control,” Kraske said. “We have talked a little bit about Glendive and Sidney, but it has been very little. We will try to save that for when we know for sure. But we at least have half an idea on Glendive.” The winner of that game will move on to face the Ponies this afternoon at 3:30 and they will face a Havre team that comes into divisionals with the top scoring offense in the state with an average of 61.4 points a game. HHS not only leads in points but as a team, it also leads in assists with 269 total. The only other teams above 200 for the season are Browning and Columbia

Falls. While the Pony offense has been lights out, the defense has been stellar, too, and ranks fifth in the state with just 36.8 points allowed. Havre also ranked second in the state in steals with 298, finishing just one behind Columbia Falls, which led Class A with 299. Team defense is certainly one of the strengths of the Ponies and has been throughout Kraske’s tenure, but Havre also has some dynamic individual players led by Kyndall Keller, who leads Class A in scoring average with 17.9 points a game. Kadia Miller has also been stellar on both

ends averaging 8.9 points and 5.7 rebounds, while another key contributor has been Jessa Chvilicek who averages 6.3 points, 2.6 rebounds, two steals and one block per game in addition to leading Class in 3-point percentage with 43 percent marksmanship from downtown. At the same time, though, after not playing for nearly two weeks, Havre will have to deal with the rust factor. “We are going to have some rust,” Kraske said. “That’s just life. But we will shake that off and do a good job. I am looking forward to watching our kids play.”

On the same side of the bracket as the Ponies will be Hardin, the No. 2 seed from the East (16-2), and Livingston (8-10). Behind Havre, Hardin, which lost to the Ponies in the state title game last season, is the top offensive team in the Eastern A (55.9 ppg) and is also stout defensively, allowing just 36.8 points per game to opponents. Marie Five (11.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg) is a name to watch for the Bulldogs along with Ivery Fritzler, who also average in double figures and has 46 3-pointers during the regular season. Livingston, the third-place team from the Central A, will be led by Abby Kokot, who average 9.5

points and 5.6 rebounds for the Rangers. If Havre gets past its firstround opponent, it will take on Hardin or Livingston in the semifinals which will be Friday at 3:30 p.m. If the Ponies win that game, they will advance to state and head to the championship game Saturday night at 6. If Havre is defeated in the semifinals, it would play Saturday morning at 10:30 with a state tournament berth on the line. As far as who the Ponies could see in the championship game Saturday night, Billings Central (14-4), the third-place team from the East, is one candidate. The Rams had a lead on Havre in the fourth quarter in the season opener only to eventually lose in overtime. Olivia Moten-Schell is the top player for the Rams and one of the best post players in the tournament. She averages 12.4 points a game. Belgrade (9-9) is the second seed from the Central A and will be led by Bailey Christensen (8.8 ppg) as well as Taylor Christensen (5.7 ppg). Belgrade and Billings Central will meet at 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning in what will be the final quarterfinal game. The other first-round matchup, however, will be between Laurel and either Lewistown or Miles City tonight at 5. The Locomotives who finished first in the Eastern A during the regular season boast Mya Hansen (13.4 ppg) along with Aspen Cotter, Sammi Spitzer and Gracey Willis, who all average at least six points per game. Laurel will play the winner of Lewistown (3-15) and Miles City (7-11) who played this morning in the second game of the tournament inside the Metra. Miles City is the fifth-place team from the East, while Lewistown is the fourth-place team out of the Central A. “I think Billings Central, Hardin and Laurel are all very good,” Kraske said. “I think that those teams have spent some time beating up on each other, but they are all very good teams. I think Glendive and Miles City are both very athletic and you can’t overlook either one. I think it’s going to be a good tournament.” Havre will play Glendive or Sidney this afternoon at the Metra in Billings at 3:30. The top four teams from the Eastern Advance to the Class A state tournament March 7-9 in Great Falls. Published 2-20-2019

Feisty Rams upset Pony girls in Eastern A title game Despite tough loss in Billings, it's on to state once again for the HHS girls Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com Back in December, Billings Central and Havre played a classic game that had many thinking the Blue Ponies and Rams might meet for the state championship in March. Saturday night in Billings in the Eastern A championship game, the two teams played another classic, which will undoubtedly fuel talk of another rematch in two weeks, the only difference, is that this time, Havre will be the team looking for revenge after its 44-game winning streak was snapped by the Rams, who squeaked out a 44-42 win inside the Rimrock Auto Arena at the Metra. The win means Billings Central heads to the Class A state tournament as the top seed and champion of the Eastern A. Havre, on the other hand, will head to state as the No. 2 seed for the second time in three years. Havre will open the state tournament against Libby March 7 at 10:30 a.m. “It didn’t matter at all to me,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said about the end of his team’s winning streak. “There were probably some conversations about it among the kids at some point but they didn’t do it in front of me. My biggest concern is just getting better for Libby. That’s my focus. We need to be the best we can be when we play them.” Back in December when

Havre and Billings Central met, the game went to overtime and for much of the game Saturday night, it seemed like extra time might be needed again, as the Rams led the Ponies 14-12 after the first quarter before Havre outscored BC 12-9 in the second stanza to take a 24-23 lead into halftime. At the start of the third quarter, Billings Central got a 5-0 run by Olivia Moten-Schell, giving the Rams a 28-24 lead, which Havre cut into, yet the Rams were still up 32-31 with eight minutes to go. Billings Central pushed its advantage to 34-31 early in the fourth, however, its lead wouldn’t last long as Jessa Chvilicek hit a 3-pointer to tie. Katie Wirztberger scored soon after and Havre grabbed a 37-34 lead and didn’t fall behind again until the 1:35 mark of the fourth quarter when Chloe Paharik scored, following a hoop by Solei Elletson, to give Billings Central a 42-40 advantage. Havre was unable to tie or take the lead and the Rams wrapped up the upset thanks to a pair of late free throws. The Ponies did have a shot to win the game with 0.7 seconds left, but the ball was stolen, sealing the win for Central. “I thought our kids played pretty well,” Kraske said. “We didn’t defend the high post as well as we should have. They are very good and we had our hands full. They did a better job than we did and that’s where we’re at.” Moten-Schell finished with 14 points along with Isabelle Erickson, who matched her with 14 of her own. Kyndall Keller scored a game-high 15 points in the loss for Havre, which also got nine points from Wirtzberger, eight from Loy Waid and seven from

points in the win. Filius joined Keller in double figures with 11. Marie Five and Kamber Good Luck both finished with 18 for the Bullodgs. The win over Hardin was significant because it clinched the berth at state for Havre, while also sending the Ponies to their third consecutive divisional championship game. “That was the big deal, win two and go to the state tournament,” Kraske said. “This is where we wanted to be at the end of the season and now it’s about playing our best basketball. We are one of eight teams left in Class A and we put ourselves in a good position. In order to play for a state championship, you have to get to the state tournament. Now, for the next two weeks, our focus is on playing our best basketball of the year.” Havre will return to the Four Seasons Arena, where they won their state championship last season, for the Class A state tournament. The Ponies will open with Libby March 7 at 10:30 a.m. Billings Central 44, Havre 42, 1st

406 Sports Havre High's Katie Wirtzberger plays tough defense during the 2019 Eastern A girls championship game Saturday night in Billings. The Blue Ponies fell in a heartbreaker to the Billings Central Rams, but they will now head to Great Falls next week as the defending Class A champions. Chvilicek. In order to get to the championship game against the Rams, Havre had to get through another familiar foe in Hardin as the two teams met in a rematch of last season’s Class A state championship game. And much like last season’s game, it was a defensive battle that came down to the final minutes. Hardin scored the first three points of the game, but Havre responded with a 9-0 run to go up six after one. In the second quar-

ter, Keller knocked down a trey, putting Havre in front 13-3. When the first half was over, Keller had 16 points and the Ponies led by seven, 29-22. The Bulldogs opened the second half on a 7-0 run to even things up at 29-29. Kadia Miller quickly put Havre back in front with two and after three quarters, the Ponies were up 41-35. 3-pointers by Keller and Sadie Filius kept the cushion at five with just over four minutes remaining to play. In the final minutes, HHS

was able to ice the game at the free throw line where it finished 26-of-28 in what turned out to be a 60-48 win. “Our effort was just outstanding,” Kraske said. “Hardin is a wonderful basketball team. I think we handled them very well. Making 26-of-28 foul shots was huge. We made some key stops and survived the run and I thought we showed a lot of composure. We were on it. It was a total team win.” Keller led the Ponies with 23

Billings Central 14 9 9 12 - 44 Havre 12 12 7 11 - 42 Billings Central - Olivia Moten-Schell 14, Isabelle Erickson 14, Melissa Hanser 6, Solei Elletson 4, Chloe Paharik 2, Tess Hansen 2, Julia Peterson 2 Havre - Kyndall Keller 15, Katie Wirtzberger 9, Loy Waid 8, Jessa Chvilicek 6, Sadie Filius 4. Havre 60, Hardin 49, SF Hardin 3 19 13 13 - 48 Havre 9 20 12 19 - 60 Havre - Kyndall Keller 23, Sadie Filius 11, Kylie Walker 7, Kadia Miller 6, Katie Wirtzberger 4, Loy Waid 4, Jessa Chvilicek 3, Lauren Kato 2. Hardin - Marie Five 18, Kamber Good Luck 18, Bergan Realbird 6, Kylee Old Elk 2, Sossity Spotted Wolf 2, Charlie Bellrock 2. Published 2-25-2019


B6

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

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Many familiar contenders back in Great Falls State A girls field will be tough and talented in the Four Seasons Arena George Ferguson

Havre Daily News sports editor gferguson@havredailynews.com It seems every year, the Class A girls state tournament gets better and better. And this year, it’s bigger as the girls and boys are combined in Class A for the first time ever. The girls state tourney runs Thursday-Saturday inside the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls, where five teams return from last year’s field, including the top three in 2018 state champion Havre, runner-up Hardin and third-place Columbia Falls. Browning and Butte Central

were also in the field a year ago, while Libby, Laurel and Billings Central are in after missing out a year ago. With the combined state tourney, the format will see girls games on Thursday at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 and 5 p.m. Friday loser-out games will be at 9 and 10:30 a.m. and the semifinals are set for 3:30 and 5 p.m. Saturday’s loser-out games will be played at 9 a.m. at both the Four Seasons and CMR, while the consolation game is set for 3:30 p.m. and the state championship game at 6:30 p.m. Here’s a team-by-team breakdown of the 2019 Class A girls state tournament. Columbia Falls Wildkats (22-1) Western A Champions The Wildkats are seemingly always in the Class A state tournament. They’ve

won state titles and been one of the most successful programs in modern Class A history. And after finishing third at state a year ago, the Wildkats come to Great Falls loaded with talent and ready to get back to the top. Led by three double-digit scorers in Trista Cowan, Riley Kehr and Josie Windauer, who combine for more than 40 ppg, C. Falls is a potent offensive team, and appears headed for a showdown with the Havre Blue Ponies in the semifinals, provided the Wildkats get by a tough Laurel squad in the first round. Columbia Falls’ last state championship came just back in 2017. Laurel Locomotives (16-6) Eastern A 4th Place

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Kylie Walker, right, lays up a shot during a Class A game between the Blue Ponies and Billings Central Rams back in December. There's a possibility that the Ponies and Rams could be headed for a third showdown in Saturday night's Class A state championship game, after Havre beat Billings Central in December and the Rams winning in the Eastern A championship game two weeks ago. However, both teams have a tough field of Class A powers to contend with at this week's state tournament, which runs Thursday-Saturday at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls.

Laurel has had a big season, winning the tough Eastern A regular season title before battling its way to a fourth-place finish at the divisional tournament. The Locomotives are back at state after missing the big dance last season. Head coach Pat Hansen has done a great job with the young Locomotives, who get double digit scoring from Mya Hansen, Sammi Spitzer and Kaitlyn Dawes. Laurel, which last won a state championship in 2013, drew a tough assignment in Columbia Falls in the opening round, which tips of Thursday at 9 a.m. Havre Blue Ponies (20-1) Eastern A 2nd Place

The Ponies won their second state championship in the last four years last March in Great Falls, and they’re hoping to make it a third title since 2014 in the Four Seasons Arena. Havre looked to have no equal for much of the season, with stars like Kyndall Keller, Kadia Miller, freshman Sadie Filius, and the deepest roster in Class A going undefeated in the regular season for the second year in a row. But a loss to Billings Central in the Eastern A championship game ended Havre’s winning streak two weeks ago. Still, the Ponies, of longtime head coach Dustin Kraske, are in Great Falls as the heavy favorite to repeat as state champs. Libby Loggers (17-9) Western A 3rd Place After dropping down to Class B for one year, Libby has made a quick rise up the Class A ranks this season, and the Loggers could be a dangerous team this week in Great Falls. Libby, which drew defending state champion Havre in the first round, Thursday at 10:30 a.m., is led by Jayden Winslow and her 15 ppg, while All Collins is another outstanding scorer. The Libby girls have never won, or appeared in a Class A state championship game. Browning Indians (17-6) Western A 2nd Place

The Indians have been on a great run in recent years. And while they haven’t quite gotten to the mountain top, they’ve certainly been knocking on the door. Runner-up finishes in the last two Western A’s have sent Browning to the state tournament consecutive years, and the Indians expect to be a force again this week after being in the semifinals a year ago. Tamika Guardipee and Taylor Jordan are Browning’s top two scorers, but, they also have the likes of Dulci Skunkcap, Walker Running Crane and a deep bench that includes Chalissa and Chaslin Kipp. Browning has a huge first-round game with Hardin, and the winner of that game could find itself playing on Saturday night, and a trophy. Browning last won a state title in 1996. Hardin Bulldogs (19-3) Eastern A 3rd Place Hardin was minutes away from upsetting Havre in the 2018 state championship game. Now, the Bulldogs are back trying to reach the chipper again. A Thursday afternoon matchup with Browning in the first round will be daunting, but, the Bulldogs are one of the most talented teams in the field, led by Marie Five, Every Fritzler and Camber Good Luck. The Bulldogs also have depth and are among the top scoring teams in the field, so once again, they’re a legitimate state title contender. Hardin meets Browning at 3:30 p.m. Hardin’s

last state championship came in 1994. Billings Central Rams (17-4) Eastern A Champions The Rams come into state with perhaps the most momentum, having beaten Havre in the Eastern A championship game. Interestingly, Billings Central only finished third in the Eastern A regular season standings. Still, the Rams, led by Olivia Moten-Schell, Melissa Hanser, Isabelle Erickson and Solei Elletson, have the strongest front line in the field and are a stout defensive team, and on their side of the bracket could have a huge semifinal showdown with either Hardin or Browning. Billings Central opens with Butte Central at 5 p.m. Thursday. The Rams last won the state championship in 2012. Butte Central Maroons (11-13) Western A 4th Place Every year, there’s a surprise team in the field, and this week, it’s Butte Central. Though the Maroons were at state a year ago, they come to Great Falls with a sub.500 record. Still, BC has been a perennial powerhouse in Class A, and with standout Tricia Joyce leading the way, the Maroons will be looking to upset Billings Central in the opening round. Butte Central last won the state championship in 2011.

Hi-Line Athlete Profile

Chilly is one cool shooter for the Blue Pony girls

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com There are a lot of tremendous multi-sport athletes at Havre High, but there are few, if any, who do more than Jessa Chvilicek does. Chvilicek, a junior, is currently focused on basketball as a key member of the Havre girls basketball team which will head to Great Falls this week looking to defend their Class A state championship. However, she is also skilled on the volleyball court as she earned Second-Team All-Conference in the Central A last season. Chvilicek has also participated at the state track meet the last couple of seasons, showcasing all of her different skills as an athlete. On the volleyball court, Chvilicek has a lot of her success around the net, killing and blocking the ball. In basketball, she’s a versatile player that offers a lot of different things for the Ponies. She is a solid defender, thanks to her length and her quickness, which allows her to guard multiple positions. Offensively, she is also a challenge for teams to deal with. She does a good job of running the floor and is also the leading 3-point shooter in all of Class A as she made 43.5 percent of her attempts during the regular season. Last season, Chvilicek was part of the Havre team that went undefeated and capped off a 24-0 season with a Class A state championship. Yet, her role was limited with the team and even though she saw the floor at the state tournament, her time was reserved for when the outcome of the game was no longer in doubt. Even though she didn’t play a ton of minutes at state last season, it was still a good experience for Chvilicek who said she is excited to return to the tournament and play a bigger role this time around. “I am really excited,” Chvilicek

said. “I think that we are going to do well.” Chvilicek will certainly have something to say about how the Ponies do this week in the Class A state tournament as she will be logging heavy minutes. The junior has played in all 21 games this season and averaged 6.3 points and 2.3 rebounds during the regular season. She was also second on the team with 20 3-point field goals, which gives her an average of more than one 3-point make per game. As well as Chvilicek shoots the ball, her defense will be just as important and she also indicated that rebounding will be another key for the Ponies. “I think our rebounding and our defense are going to help give us an edge. Those are two things we need to focus on,” Chvilicek said. With it being more than a week since the Ponies have taken the floor following their loss to Billings Central, Havre is ready for state to begin and before the Ponies traveled to Great Falls to defend their title, the Havre Daily News caught up with Chvilicek for five questions.

HDN: What has made you such a successful athlete?

all of my sports and I think that has helped me the most.”

Chvilicek: “I think all the work I have put into it. Even all summer I work on

HDN: What would it mean to you to win back-to-back state championships?

Chvilicek: “It would be amazing. It would make us so happy because we have worked so hard to try and get there.”

HDN: How is playing at state different from a normal game? Chvilicek: “The crowd is one thing for sure. Whenever we are here it’s always a big crowd.” HDN: How excited are you guys to be playing in Great Falls? Chvilicek: “We are really excited. It seems like almost the whole town is coming down.” HDN: What has been the key to you becoming such a good 3-point shooter? Chvilicek: “I guess just practice. My feet is one of the big things. Sometimes I am just on.”

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High junior Jessa Chvilicek was part of the Blue Ponies' magical 2018 Class A state championship. But as Havre tries for a second consecutive title this weekend in Great Falls, Chvilicek's role has really grown. She's a top shooter and defender for the Ponies, who opened their state tournament this morning against the Libby Loggers. For complete game coverage, see Friday's Havre Daily News sports section.

Published 3-7-2019


B7

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

THIS TEAM

THIS MOMENT The Havre High girls basketball team returns to Great Falls shooting for a second-straight Class A state championship Story by Chris Peterson Page Design by Stacy Mantle

When the Havre High girls basketball team takes the floor in the Class A state tournament Thursday, the Blue Ponies will be walking into a familiar place in the Four Seasons Arena. It’s a place where Havre has had a lot of success, winning the last two state tournaments held in Great Falls there, with championships in 2014 and last season after HHS was able to beat Hardin in the state title game. Now, the Ponies are scheduled to be back in the Four Seasons, which will host the first ever combined Class A state tournament, and the defending state champions can’t wait to get on the floor where they have created some fond memories. “We love Great Falls,” Havre junior Kadia Miller said. “We love the horse barn. We love the floor, the floor is close and it gets really loud. Last year, it felt like the whole town of Havre was there, so we are really excited. We have been looking forward to state all season.” Havre will get its title defense underway Thursday morning in Great Falls when the Ponies will take on the third-place team out of the Western A in Libby. The Ponies (20-1) are coming in as the No. 2 seed out of the Eastern A following their loss to Billings Central in the divisional championship game. “Libby is a very good team,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “Coach Winslow does a very good job over there and his daughter (Jayden Winslow) is a fine player. They also have some good role players around her, and we will have

our hands full. The key is going to be making the simple look good. We need to rebound, play well defensively, push the tempo and share the ball.” A s Kraske referenced, Jayden Winslow is the top p l a y e r when it comes to Libby, and she leads the Loggers with 14.9 points per game. Alli Collins and McKenzie Profitt are two others who play prominent roles for a team that was 11-7 during the regular season in the Northwest A. Havre counters with two-time All-State performer Kyndall Keller, who also led Class A in scoring with 17.1 points per game during the regular season. Keller, who was a key part last season’s team, said her team was looking forward to the challenge of a difficult tournament. “I don’t think it feels much different than last year,” Keller said. “Just because we are going to state, and it’s such a big deal, and there are so many good teams. We are excited to play them and see how it goes.” And while the Ponies weren’t inexperienced going into last year’s state tournament, with Keller, Miller, Kylie Walker, Katie Wirtzberger and Kassidy Compton, among others, all getting valuable experience at last year’s tournament, Havre will be familiar with the big-game atmosphere. “It will help a lot,” Keller said of her team’s experience. “We have some girls who have gone

to state that were on the team last year and I think it will help a lot. Even walking in there, it’s a huge stage and it’s just good to get a feel for it.” Jessa Chvilicek is one player who saw action at the state tournament a season ago, but mostly at the end when games were out of hand. This season, though, the junior has developed into a key player off the bench for the Ponies, and during the regular season, she led Class A in 3-point shooting percentage (43.5). She also averaged two steals and nearly one block per game, and she stands to make a much bigger impact in her second trip to the state tournament. “I am really excited,” Chvilicek said. “I know what my role is and I know what I have to do to get us where we want to be.” Where the Ponies ultimately want to be is playing for a second-straight state championship Saturday night. However, if they are going to get there, they will need to rebound quickly from their loss to Billings Central in the Eastern A championship game, which was their first loss since the loser-out round of the 2017 Class A state tournament. The loss also snapped the Ponies school-record 44-game winning streak. “Having a win streak is pretty cool but you win some and you lose some,” Keller said. “It wasn’t our best game (Billings Central). But we are coming back ready for state, and that’s our big goal.”

■ Continued on Page C1 Published 3-6-2019


B8

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

Ponies cut down Loggers Havre blows past Libby to advance to today's semifinal at the State A Tournament in Great Falls Chris Peterson

Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com GREAT FALLS — After playing at an unusual start time, it took a little time for the Havre High girls basketball team to get going Thursday inside the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. But after a sluggish first half against the Libby Loggers in the quarterfinals of the Class A girls state tournament, the Blue Ponies dominated the final 16 minutes, outscoring the Loggers 37-8 in the second half on their way to a 62-28 win. Havre (21-1) will take on Laurel in the semifinals today at 3. It will be the Ponies’ sixth trip to the semifinals in the last seven years. “Congratulations to our kids,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “We came out and played well. We will need to come out a little more ready to go on Friday. But kudos to our kids.” In the first quarter, the Ponies struggled to knock down shots early, while Libby caught fire early from deep, more specifically, Jayden Winslow did. The Loggers senior made two 3-pointers early, giving Libby a 13-8 lead. Yet, a 6-0 run by the Ponies, which was capped on a corner three by Sadie Filius with time running out in the opening stanza, put Havre in front 14-13 after one. In the second quarter, Havre continued its run and after buckets by Kyndall Keller, Katie Wirtzberger and Kylie Walker, the Ponies led 20-13 after a completing a 12-0 run. However, Winslow continued to keep Libby in the game and in the last few minutes of the first half, she buried two more triples to keep the Loggers close and at the half, they were down just 25-20. “Credit to her,” Kraske said of Winslow. “It wasn’t like we weren’t trying to guard her. We lost track of her once in our zone, but credit to her, she made some tough shots. We had some good looks and we missed some of them, so it wasn’t like we weren’t trying, that’s just the game sometimes.” In the third quarter, Havre made a concerted effort to keep the ball away from Winslow and that extra attention paid off. At the same time, the Ponies cranked up their pressure defense. The full-court pressure led to some easy buckets and following a pair of 3-pointers by Keller, Havre’s lead was 37-24. A bucket by Kadia Miller finished off the 16-3 spurt and helped the Ponies build a 43-27 lead heading to the fourth quarter. “We picked up our pressure there in the second half and got after it a little bit,” Keller said. “We got up and guarded (Winslow) and tried our best to keep the ball away from her.” “We came out with a lot more energy in the second half,” Kraske added. “We wanted to keep the ball away from her and Kadia did a really great job with that along with Kyndall.” After seizing control of the game in the third, Havre showed its killer instinct scoring the first

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Above: Havre's Kadia Miller shoots during Thursday morning's Class A state tournament game between the Blue Ponies and Libby Loggers inside the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. The Blue Ponies blew out the Loggers to advance to the semifinals, where they'll play Laurel today at 3:30. For full coverage of the Ponies, stay with the Havre Daily News on Twitter, Facebook and www.havredailynews.com all weekend long. Below: The Havre bench is all smiles during Thursday's Class A state tournament game against Libby In Great Falls. The Ponies play Laurel today for a chance at the championship game. 12 points of the fourth on its way to outscoring Libby 19-1 over the final eight minutes. When it was sall said and done, Keller led the way for the Ponies with 14 points. Miller and Filius each contributed with 10 each. Winslow led the way for the Loggers with 14, however, she scored only two in the second half. While the Havre defense was solid in the first half, holding Libby to 36 percent from the field, over the final 16 minutes, the Ponies allowed Libby to score just eight points and held the Loggers to 15 percent from the field. HHS also had a field day when it came to forcing turnovers and at game’s end, the Ponies got 27 points off takeaways, which fueled an offensive explosion in the final half that saw them pour in 37 points on 61 percent shooting. “Our kids just had a lot more energy in the second half,” Kraske said. “And anytime you win that first game at the state tournament, that’s perfect. It’s hard enough to get to a state tournament, let alone win a game.” After defeating Libby, the Ponies will look to advance back to the Class A state championship with a win today against Laurel. The Locomotives, the fourth seed from the East used a 23-2 run to open the game against Columbia Falls to knock off the Western A champions in blowout fashion setting up an all-Eastern A semifinal, which will tip-off at 3:30 p.m., inside the Four Seasons. “We are going to have a little more energy and enthusiasm than tonight (Thursday),” Kraske said. “We are going to have to handle the pressure they like to throw at teams. We are going to have to keep them off the glass. They shoot a bunch of threes, and we need to do a good job against that. They are a tough, well-coached team. We just need to focus on making simple look good.” If Havre beats Laurel, the Ponies will be back in the Class A state championship game for the second straight year. It is scheduled to start Saturday night at 6. Today's second semifinal pits Eastern A powers Hardin and Billings Central against each other. Havre 62, Libby 28

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre's Sadie Filius, left, handles the ball during Thursday's Class A state tournament game in Great Falls. Filius was one of three Blue Ponies to score in double figures in their win over Libby. For more photos, go to www.havredailynews.com.

2. Totals: 8-30 8-17 28. 3-Pointers (Jayden Winslow 4, Kyndall Keller 2, Sadie Filius 1). Fouls: Havre 14, Libby 12. Fouled out -- none. Laurel 58, Columbia Falls 29 Laurel 23 10 11 14 - 58 C. Falls 2 9 11 7 - 29 C. Falls - Trista Cowan 8, Josie Windauer 7, Ryley Keher 5, Maddie Robison 2, Savannah Ellis 2, Madysyn Hoerner 2, Hannah Schweikert 1. Laurel - May Hansen 12, Aspen Cotter 9, Maeson Cotter 9, Kaitlyn Dawes 5, Sammi Spitzer 5, Grace Timm 4, Morgan Maack 4, Riley Chapman 4, Kolby Gibbs 4, Gracey Willis 2. Hardin 71, Browning 29 Hardin 13 23 23 12 - 71 Browning 11 4 8 6 - 29 Browning - Dulci Skunkcap 10, Chalissa Kipp 5, Taylor Jordon 4, Danaiya Polk 4, Tatum Running Crane 2, Walker Running Crane 2, Chaslin Kipp 2. Billings Central 46. Butte Central 35

Libby 13 7 7 1 - 28 Havre 14 11 18 19 - 62

Butte Central 11 1 7 16 - 35 Billings Central 7 11 13 15 - 46

Havre - Sam Oliver 2, Kyndall Keller 14, Kylie Walker 4, Loy Waid 2, Kadia Miller 10, Jessa Chvilicek 2, Sadie Filius 10, Katie Wirtzberger 6, Lauren Kato 5, Britton Paulson 7. Totals: 25-48 9-14 62.

Billings Central - Isabelle Erickson 16, Olivia Moten-Schell 13, Julia Peterson 6, Chloe Paharik 5, Tess Hanson 2, Solei Elletson 2, Melissa Hanser 2.

Libby - Alli Collins 2, Emma Gruber 2, Jayden Winslow 14, Sammee Braden 3, McKenzie Profitt 4, Elise Erickson 1, Olivia Gilliam-Smith

Butte Central - Tricia Joyce 18, Sofee Thatcher 8, Madison Kump 5, Amira Bolton 4. Published 3-8-2019


C1

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

BIG BLUE REPEAT

www.havredailynews.com

Havre girls win a second straight state title Havre beats Hardin again, wins third Class A state championship in six years

Kraske and the Ponies continue the amazing ride

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News cpeterson@havredailynews.com GREAT FALLS — In order to win a state championship, you need to do all the little things right and Saturday night that’s exactly what the Havre Blue Ponies did. The result was a second consecutive Class A girls state championship, one which the Ponies earned following a 4236 win over the Hardin Bulldogs inside the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls in the second straight meeting between the two teams for the state title. "I just can't believe it," Havre junior Kyndall Keller said afterward. "I love basketball and it's a crazy sport and this, this is just the best feeling ever." The atmosphere inside the Four Seasons Arena was certainly crazy, as a large contingent of the crowd was hoping to cheer on Hardin to a state championship and the Bulldogs fed off that energy early on as they built a 6-2 lead after the first quarter of play. “It was crazy out there,” Havre senior Lauren Kato said. “Obviously, we had a lot of people cheering against us, but there were a lot of supporters for us there, too, and that was unreal.” Early in the second quarter, the momentum started to swing. The shift started when Havre’s Katie Wirtzberger made a 3-pointer from the corner just 29 seconds into the stanza, cutting the Hardin lead to 6-5. Marie Five answered with a bucket for Hardin but after three Havre free throws tied the score, Wirtzberger hit another trey, giving the Ponies their first lead at 11-8 with 3:05 left before halftime. "I just knew that my team needed it," Wirtzberger said. "It felt really good to see those go in." Trailing for the first time after Wirtzberger’s three helped spark a 6-0 run, Hardin responded by scoring six straight of its own as Kylee Old Elk converted a 3-point play and Ivery Frit-

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre head coach Dustin Kraske and the HHS girls begin to celebrate in the final seconds of Saturday night's Class A state championship game in Great Falls.

Chris Peterson Havre Daily News GREAT FALLS — There are a lot of reasons why the Havre High girls basketball team won their second consecutive state championship Saturday night, but one that can’t be overlooked is the greatness of head coach Dustin Kraske. When you look at his resume, it’s easy to argue that he is one of the greatest coaches in the history of Havre High athletics. Following the Blue Ponies' 42-36 win over Hardin Saturday night at the Four Seasons Arena, Kraske has coached three state championship teams and with not a single starter graduating, more championships could certainly be on the way. But even without another state title trophy, Kraske’s record coaching the Ponies is extremely impressive.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Above: Havre freshman Sadie Filius drives the ball during Saturday night's Class A state championship game against the Hardin Bulldogs in the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. The Blue Ponies beat Hardin in the championship game for the second straight year and also captured their third state championship in Great Falls in the last six years. Right: Havre star Kyndall Keller floats a shot during Saturday night's state championship game in Great Falls. For more photos, go to www.havredailynews.com. zler hit a 3-pointer that proved to be the Bulldog's only make from beyond the arc all night. Regardless, Hardin led 14-12 at that point, yet four points to close the half from freshman Sadie Filius sent the two teams into intermission tied at 16-16. “I think our kids were a little nervous,” HHS head coach Dustin Kraske said. “But I think that Hardin, their defense had a lot to do with it.”

In the first half, Hardin was able to keep Keller in check, holding her to just one point. But with the score tied 1818 early in the third, Keller banked in a deep three that helped her get going. It also gave Havre a three-point lead, one that had evaporated by the time she knocked down another trey from the corner to put the Ponies back in front 24-22. “She banked in the one and then on

■ See Repeat Page C2

■ See Ponies Page C3 Published 3-11-2019


C2

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

Ponies: Havre girls own the Four Seasons Arena ■ From Page C1 In addition to three state titles, Havre has been to the state tournament eight straight times and in six of the last seven years, the Ponies have played in the semifinals. Obviously, Kraske has had the benefit of great talent, and truth be told, no coach can be successful without good players. In 2014, there was Brandy Lambourne, Peyton Filius and Lacey Waid, among many others. During last season’s run, Kyndall Keller broke out along with Kaylee Nystrom, Marca Herron and Danielle Wallace. Saturday night, Keller starred again, scoring 17 points and drilling two secondhalf 3-pointers. But some others emerged, too. One player who hit big shots all week for the Ponies was Katie Wirtzberger. She knocked down some key shots against Libby and made two threes in the first half that helped quiet down a raucous Hardin crowd, at least a little bit. Sadie Filius also had a memorable performance, scoring 13 points and tormenting Hardin with her tenacious manto-man defense. Nothing can be done without players but at the same time, great coaches put their players in a position to succeed and there is no doubt that Kraske does that as well as anyone. A great example of that was how he coached the state championship game. Hardin’s advan-

tage was inside and while the Bulldogs got Havre into some foul trouble, Havre pressured the ball and forced Hardin to make difficult passes to get the ball in the paint, which led to a lot of turnovers and only a few buckets. The full-court pressure employed by the Ponies also prevented Hardin from ever getting into a flow offensively. The dominating style of defense employed by the Ponies is another obvious reason for their success and that was on full display again last night. Yet another key ingredient to the Ponies championship recipe is the way they close out basketball games. The fact they are able to do it over and over again is a big reason why over the past two seasons, Kraske’s Ponies are 46-1. Protecting a lead isn’t something every team can do, just look at the consolation games in the boys and girls Class A state tournaments. Teams mishandled the closing minutes and were forced into overtime. That’s something Havre just doesn’t do and when Sadie Filius pushed the lead to eight points with a 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, the state championship felt inevitable because that eight-point lead felt like it might as well have been 20. Hardin worked its way back within a few points but Havre didn’t panic. It took care of the basketball, ran the clock, made

free throws and got stops. It’s not exciting but it is effective and the Ponies execute in winning time as well as anyone. That’s a credit to their coach. If the end of a basketball game is a chess match, then Kraske might as well be Bobby Fischer because he never seems to make a mistake. Sometimes being a great coach is about making all the right moves and other times, it’s about knowing when to let things ride and Kraske made another great decision by rolling with Filius after she made an immediate impact after entering the game. It’s not overstating it to say that Havre may not have won the game without her 13 points, seven rebounds, three assists and stellar defense. Sometimes coaches have to trust players to be great, and he allowed the freshman a chance to do that with a state championship on the line. It’d be incorrect and irresponsible to give Kraske all the credit. Players always deserve the lion's share of the recognition, and Kraske is always the first to acknowledge that. He’s also the last one to compliment himself. So I’ll say what everyone else knows. Dustin Kraske is one of the greatest basketball coaches Havre High has ever had and as long as he is on the sideline for HHS, the Blue Ponies will continue to have a distinct advantage over the competition.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High head coach Dustin Kraske, right, talks to Blue pony junior Katie Wirtzberger during Havre's semifinal win over Laurel Friday afternoon at the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. Under Kraske, the Ponies have now won three state championships and, in the last two seasons, are an incredible 46-1. Published 3-11-2019

Repeat: Ponies beat the Hardin Bulldogs, again ■ From Page C1 the next scramble, I don’t know who picked up the ball but she was in the corner for another,” Kraske said. “Those were humungous and the hustle to get the shot was just as big.” Julianna Takes Horse, who

scored nine points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Hardin, tied the score, but after a few Keller free throws, Filius and Keller each scored a bucket late to send Havre into the fourth quarter leading 32-27.

Another big shot for Havre came just 40 seconds into the fourth quarter, as Filius banked home a three from the top of the key. The shot pushed the lead to eight and proved to be the last field goal of the night for the Po-

nies. “It’s surreal,” Filius said. “I almost can’t believe it. I was just trying to have fun and treat it like any other game and my teammates kept giving me the ball and my coaches put me in a position to have that chance. It’s unbelievable.” Down the stretch, and with an eight-point lead in their back

pocket, the Ponies took the air out of the ball and clamped down defensively. After holding Hardin to 15 percent shooting in last year’s state championship game, the Ponies limited the Bulldogs to 20 percent from the field in the second half (5-of-25) and also allowed just 1-of-15 makes from beyond the arc. "It was a battle," Havre junior Kadia Miller said. "They wanted it bad. We wanted it bad. It was an intense game and, in the end, we got it. “We had to be there for each other and trust each other,” Kato added. “We played our hearts out and we left it all out on the floor. That’s what we came here to do and we accomplished everything that we wanted to.” Despite Havre’s dominant defensive effort, Hardin trimmed the lead to three with about five minutes left, before Keller made 5-of-6 free throws over the next few minutes to ice the win. "It's pretty special," Keller said of her team’s second straight championship. "It means everything. I can't even believe it. It really hasn't sunk in or hit me yet. It will. But right now it's just hard to believe." When she was pulled with around 10 seconds left in the game, Keller finished with 17 points, including 16 in the second half. Filius stuffed the box score for the Ponies and finished with 13 points to go along with a teamhigh seven rebounds and three assists. Wirtzberger also finished with seven as she, Keller and Filius combined for 37 of Havre’s 42 points. "This feels amazing," Wirtzberger said. "I don't even know what to say. It's just the best feeling ever."

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High's Loy Waid, right, shoots over a Hardin defender during the 2019 Class A state championship game Saturday night inside the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. Havre and Hardin met for the state championship for the second straight year, and in another intense battle, the Blue Ponies prevailed 42-36. Havre got to the state championship game by beating the Laurel Locomotives 52-41 Friday. For a special photo gallery, see Page C4.

TWO IN A ROW! Havre 42, Hardin 36, 1st Hardin 6 10 11 9 - 36 Havre 2 14 16 10 - 42 Hardin - Ivery Fritzler 3, Kylee Old Elk 3, Larae Wallace 6, Bergan Real Bird 2, Marie Five 13, Julianna Takes Horse 9. Totals: 1249 11-17 36. Havre - Sam Oliver 2, Kyndall Keller 17, Loy Waid 1, Kadia Miller 2, Sadie Filius 13, Katie Wirtzbeger 7. Totals: 10-40 1728 42. 3-Pointers: (Keller 2, Wirtzberger 2, Filius 1, Fritzler 1). Fouls: Hardin 22, Havre 16.

Havre 52, Laurel 41, SF Laurel 8 8 10 15 - 41 Havre 10 12 14 16 - 52 Laurel - Mya Hansen 19, Maeson Cotter 9, Aspen Cotter 8, Gracey Willis 2, Morgan Maack 1, Kaitlyn Dawes 2. Totals: 12-37 13-21 41. Havre - Sam Oliver 2, Kyndall Keller 19, Kylie Walker 3, Loy Waid 2, Kadia Miller 10, Jessa Chvilicek 3, Sadie Filius 6, Katie Wirtzberger 5, Lauren Kato 2. Totals: 14-31 20-33 52. 3-pointers: (Kyndall Keller 2, Katie Wirtzberger 1, Jessa Chvilicek 1, Mya Hansen 3, Aspen Cotter 1

The state championship was the third overall for Havre under Kraske, who has directed the Ponies to all three championships inside the Four Seasons. Havre won in Great Falls last season, beating Hardin and also beat Hamilton on the same floor in 2014. The win also improved Havre’s record to 46-1 over the past two seasons, with a 24-0 mark last year to go along with a final record of 23-1 for the 2018-19 season. "Our kids are wonderful," Kraske said. "I am so happy for them. This year's team was very good and it complimented last year's team. This is just a product of all their hard work and their parents supporting us as coaches and the players allowing us to coach them." Published 3-11-2019


C3

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

State champion Pony girls land three Class A All-Staters Ponies have seven stars on Central A All-Conference Team; Kraske named Coach of the Year

time. per game to go along Keller earned the with 4.5 points, 2.5 distinction after leadrebounds and two ing Class A in scoring assists. Wirtzberger, with an average of 17.1 a stout defender, points per game. She scored 4.5 points per was also second in the game to go along team in rebounds (5.3 with 2.3 rebounds per game) and was and 1.5 steals. second on the team Havre sophomore in steals with two per Loy Waid also earned game. Honorable Mention Wirtberger All-Conference after Kadia Miller also Chris Peterson had a solid year with a solid first season Havre Daily News an average of 8.9 starting for the cpeterson@havredailynews.com points and a teamPonies. She aver The Havre High girls bas- high 5.7 rebounds. aged 6.2 points and ketball team dominated on the Incredibly, Filius 3.6 rebounds as well court this past season, winning earned All-State as close to one block a second consecutive Class A honors despite not per outing. Head state championship. starting a coach Now, it’s time for game this Dustin Kraske also the Blue Ponies to season for won the Central A rake in the postseathe Ponies. Coach of the Year son awards, which is Yet, even award after another something else they in her limundefeated regular Walker are dominating. ited minseason. In terms of the Class utes, the Central A All-Conference A state tournament, freshman Kyndall Keller was made a big First Team: Bailey Chrisnamed the most valuimpact, tensen, Belgrade; Sadie Filable player and both scoring ius, Havre; Kyndall Keller, she and Sadie Filius five points Havre; Kadia Miller, Havre; earned First-Team per game Miller Kodie Vondra, Livingston. All-Tournament team along with honors for their play three reSecond Team: Jessa Chvilast week in Great bounds, 2.5 licek, Havre; Kylie Walker, Falls at the Four Seaassists and Havre; Gabby Weber, Belsons Arena. just under grade; Katie Wirtzberger, Following Havre’s two steals Havre; Anna Zimmer, LewisChvilicek first loss of the season town. per game. to Billings Central at Despite All-State: Kyndall Keller, divisionals, the Pocoming off Havre; Sadie Filius, Havre; nies responded with the bench, Kadia Miller Havre; Bailey three straight wins at Filius led Christensen, Belgrade. the girls state tourHavre in nament, culminating assists and Eastern A with a 42-36 win over was fourth Hardin last Saturday in steals. Filius All-State: Aspen Cotter, Sr., to win the state chamWhile Laurel; Marie Five, Jr., Harpionship. Keller, din; Mya Hansen, Fr., Laurel; In addition to winning a state Miller and Filius all Karsen Murphy, Jr., Glendive; title, HHS also went undefeated Olivia Moten-Schell, Jr., Billearned First-Team ings Central. in the Central A conference durAll-Central A, the PoWaid ing the regular season and that nies had three others Southwest A was reflected by the fact that earn Second-Team the Ponies earned three of the All-Conference honors as Kylie All-State: Calla Haldrson, Corvallis; Tricia league’s four spots on the Class Walker, Katie Wirtzberger and Joyce, BC; Lauren Ryter, Hamilton. A All-State team. Jessa Chvilicek were all named Kyndall Keller earned her to the second team. Chvilicek Northwest A way onto the team for the third led Class A in 3-point shooting time, and junior Kadia Miller percentage during the regular All-State: Ryley Kehr, C-Falls; Jayden Winand freshman Sadie Filius also season and averaged 6.3 points slow, Libby; Tamika Guardipee, Browning; received All-State honors along and 2.6 rebounds. Walker led Trista Cowan, C-Falls. with First-Team All-Conference the Ponies in steals with 2.5 in the Central A for the first

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Havre High junior Kyndall Keller handles the ball during a Class A state tournament game last week in Great Falls. Keller was named Class A All-State for the third straight year and was joined on the All-State list by teammates Kadia Miller and Sadie Filius. Published 3-13-2019

Ponies: Havre girls aiming for a repeat ■ From Page C1 While no team ever wants to lose, in the case of the rest of Class A, it’s likely that no one is looking forward to playing Havre right after a loss. “Losing sucks,” Keller said. “No one wants to lose so you come back more fired up and ready to go. I think that it will motivate us.” Miller agreed. “It gives us more motivation,” Miller said. “It’s making us work harder and focus on the things we didn’t do well and start doing those things better.” Miller also indicated that the Ponies wouldn’t mind getting another chance at Billings Central if the two teams were to meet for the state championship Saturday night. “It would definitely be fun,” Miller said. “But whatever happens, we need to take it one game at a time.” As much as the 2018-19 Ponies are different from the team that went 24-0 and won a state championship a season ago, there is no escaping the fact that Havre is going for back-to-back championships, something no Havre basketball team, girls or boys, has ever done. “I haven’t thought about it,” Kraske said. “This team is the focus and what

they can accomplish together.” What the Ponies can do this week with three wins at the state tournament is make history, becoming the first Havre High basketball team to successfully defend a state championship while also carving out their own legacy as one of the greatest Pony teams of all time. “It would be pretty sweet,” Keller said of another state title. ‘It will just show how much hard work we have put in. It will reflect that and winning state is so much fun, it’s a crazy feeling, you can’t describe it.” The Ponies will be chasing that feeling this week in Great Falls at the Four Seasons and their journey to a second straight championship starts Thursday morning against Libby, with tip-off time set for 10:30 a.m. Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Kyndall Keller, right, and the Havre High girls will try and win their second-straight Class A state title, and their third in the last five years, this weekend in Great Falls. Havre opens the state tourney Thursday against Libby. The Ponies and the rest of the field are also playing in the first-ever combined Class A state tournament. Published 3-6-2019


C4

2019 Class A

Monday, March 25, 2019

STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPS

www.havredailynews.com

Images of a Blue Pony Repeat

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Left: The Havre High girls celebrate winning their second consecutive Class A state championship Saturday night inside the Four Seasons Arena in Great Falls. The Blue Ponies beat Hardin in the championship game for the second year in a row. Above: Havre's Kyndall Keller fights her way through the Hardin defense during Saturday night's Class A state championship game. Keller hit two huge 3-pointers in the second half of Havre's win over Hardin. Below: HHS sophomore Kylie Walker handles the ball against a tough Hardin defense during the Blue Ponies' state championship win over the Bulldogs Saturday night in Great Falls.

Havre Daily News/Colin Thompson Left: The Havre High student section cheers during Saturday night's Class A state championship game. The Four Seasons Arena was packed with both Blue Pony and Hardin fans for the rematch between the two rivals. Right: Kadia Miller shoots free throws during Saturday night's intense state championship game against Hardin in Great Falls.

Published 3-11-2019

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Havre High Girls Basketball State Champions Keepsake Edition 2019  

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