HAVRE — The Havre girls are a perfect 10-0 this season and according to head coach Dustin Kraske, it has very little to do with him.
“They’re a real treat to coach this year,” he laughed. “It’s been very minimal, minimal effort on our part.”
It helps when you have stars on the roster like sophomore Kyndall Keller. She leads Class A in scoring at more than 20 points per game.
“She plays a lot older than what she is,” Kraske said. “A lot of that is because she’s been playing for a long time. Like all of our kids, she puts a ton of time in over the summer. She is very confident and playing well, really well. I’m glad she’s on our team.”
Keller has a very impressive basketball pedigree. Both of her parents starred for Carroll College, and two of her aunts played for the Montana Lady Grizzlies. Kraske has put more faith in her and asked her to shoulder more of the scoring load than she did as a freshman.
“Last year, I was really nervous, didn’t know what to do all the time,” said Keller. “This year I feel like more of a scorer.”
The Blue Ponies have also received a big boost from senior guard Marca Herron, who is back on the court and contributing after dealing with blood clots a year ago, which landed her in the hospital before the State A tournament.
“I was diagnosed with Antiphospholipid syndrome, which is an auto-immune disorder that makes your blood thicken,” Herron said. “And that caused blood clots in my lungs, and then I got anemic, so I had to have some blood transfusions.”
The scary condition caused Herron to miss a month of school, but thankfully it was treatable. Soon Herron was back to her old energetic self.
“I can play a whole game without being that winded,” Herron said. “I’ll still be tired, but last year I’d play for three minutes before having to go sit on the bench.”
Healthy again, she committed to the University of Providence, where her sister Molly plays, and is back on the court helping the Blue Ponies to a perfect start.
“She’s just playing great, a lot of confidence, healthy,” Kraske said. “She’s leading our team very positively and we’re very appreciative of that.”
For her part, Herron is savoring a healthy senior year.
“Last year, it was like I didn’t even have a season,” she said. “And this year, me and Kraske have talked about it, I’m just having the best season I can have and that’s all I can hope for.”
And the rest of the roster is loaded with contributors. The Blue Ponies have high expectations every year, and 2018 is no different.
“We’re playing really well together,” Kraske said. “That’s probably our biggest thing maybe. We share the ball incredibly well, everyone plays hard. Kids are coming off the bench and just busting their tail and playing hard. I think that’s probably the greatest difference from years past. Everyone is doing their role to the best of their ability.”
The Blue Ponies (10-0, 4-0) hit the road this week for a Friday contest with Livingston (3-7, 0-3) and a tough Saturday matchup with Belgrade (5-4, 1-1).