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Eastern A girls: Havre reigns supreme with OT championship win over Miles City

Posted at 9:05 PM, Feb 24, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-25 12:19:51-05

BILLINGS — Another night, another pressure cooker for the Havre girls basketball team.

The Blue Ponies on Saturday won their third consecutive close tournament game, this time a 61-59 overtime victory over Miles City to claim the Eastern A divisonal championship for the second straight year.

Amaya Jarvis, who was clutch all weekend, made four free throws in the final 29 seconds of OT to propel Havre, the three time reigning Class A state champion, to the state tourney as a No. 1 seed.

"Our kids were able to lock down defensively and do a nice job, and then offensively have enough patience to work together and execute down the stretch. Randy (Robinson, Miles City's coach) does a great job, Miles City's a great team," Havre coach Dustin Kraske said.

"We knew it would be a dogfight going in because our two games were dogfights this year. Another great tournament at the Eastern A."

A game featuring two of the very best guards in the Eastern division — Jarvis and Miles City's Jillian Kanduch — came down to the wire. Kanduch gave the Cowgirls a 59-57 lead with a driving basket with 44 seconds left, but Jarvis followed by making two free throws on Havre's ensuing possesion.

Kanduch was unable to convert on Miles City's next trip down, and Jarvis was fouled after corralling the rebound. Jarvis then calmly, again, went 2 for 2 from the line with 16 seconds left to put the Blue Ponies back in the lead.

The Cowgirls had the ball last, but Kanduch was forced to pass the ball and Alli Glasscock's final shot at the horn fell short. The win was Havre's third single-digit victory in three tourney games, and Jarvis was instrumental in each.

Jarvis had 15 points, five rebounds and six assists versus Miles City. Ariana Gary, who had a huge tournament in her own right, led with 17 points. Ela Harber added 11 points for the Blue Ponies.

Kanduch scored a game-high 21 to lead Miles City; she shot 12 for 14 from the foul line. Glasscock had 13 points and Heidi Phelan chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.

In the third-place game earlier Saturday, Billings Central pulled away from Lockwood for a 59-49 victory to claim divisional hardware. Lyssa Peterson and Hadley Ryan each had 12 points for the state-bound Rams, who also got a double double of 11 points and 12 boards from Kamryn Reinker.

Despite the loss, Lockwood is headed to state for the first time in school history. Against the Rams, Dani Jordan had 22 points and seven rebounds while Tailey Harris added 12 points.

Saturday's loser-out scores

Billings Central 58, Hardin 44

Lockwood 47, Laurel 44