Park rolls past Havre to win 3rd straight

By: 
Neil Patrick Healy
Park High boys basketball continues to build on its stellar regular season, beating the Havre Blue Ponies, 56-25, to improve to 9-2 and 4-0 in conference play. 
 
Park went up early on Havre, taking a 13-3 lead into the second quarter. After Havre scored an early basket, Park would go on a 17-5 run that was punctuated by a Danner Purkett 3-pointer in the final seconds to go up 30-10 at the half. 
 
“As a coaching staff, we thought Havre had some very good looks throughout the first half and the game could have very well been close at half,” said head coach Layne Glaus. “We were fortunate that they weren’t shooting well. Defensively, our communication could have been better. We did a good job of keeping them off the boards and limiting them to one shot.”
 
The Rangers came out slow in the opening minutes of the second half, being outscored 11-8 in the entire third quarter. They came alive in the fourth, though, going on a 16-3 run in a little over 4-and-a-half minutes of play to secure the win. Glaus attributed the third quarter slump and the fourth quarter resurgence on his team’s play on defense. 
 
“All season, we have struggled defensively in the third quarter,” he said. “I think this is due to our communication on the defensive end. We are at our best when all of our guys holding themselves accountable to talking on the defensive end. Communication keeps us connected and forces the defense to score against five guys instead of one.”
 
Seniors Jakim Ricketts and Rydell Floyd led the way for the Rangers, combining for 33 points (Ricketts with 18 and Floyd with 15). 
 
“(Floyd and Ricketts) are both very talented scorers,” Glaus said. “Our guys understand that when those two get in a rhythm, we can look to put them in a position to score and our team did a good job of that.”
 
On the defensive side, The Rangers didn’t allow a single Havre player to score in double figures, with Lazarus Windy Boy’s six points being the team-high. 
 
Park sits comfortably in first place in the Central A Conference and are garnering the attention of the rest of the state, coming in at No. 3 overall in Montanasports.com’s top 5 poll for the Class A. 
 
“It is very exciting. I am proud of what the guys have accomplished thus far,” Glaus said. “It is pretty cool that all of the offseason work, support from the families and community,  and effort in practice is showing some results. It is well deserved.”
 
The Rangers hit the road this weekend when they take on Townsend Friday and Beaverhead County Saturday. 
 

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