By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — The Holcomb Lady Longhorns had tasted success in the stratosphere early this season. After experiencing life back on planet Earth the past couple of weeks, they're working to revisit the outer limits as they make a run at state.
Holcomb won its second straight game (and ninth in as many tries at home this season) with an 88-25 win over Lakin on Tuesday.
Fueled by high-octane speed and pressure, the Longhorn defense held the Lady Broncs to just four field goals in the first half and forced the Broncs into 18 turnovers as Holcomb took a 43-14 halftime lead.
Holcomb, meanwhile shot 15-of-26 (58 percent) in that same frame, including seven 3-pointers, as they scored nearly two-thirds of their season average in points and half in rebounds in what coach Kenton Tennal described as a pretty complete game on both sides of the ball.
"We played well," he said. "We put a couple new offenses in, and they've been working pretty well. We're just trying to put something new in every time since we have to play each league school twice and we don't want to show all the same stuff."
Holcomb got off to an 18-8 start behind a quartet of threes, two by Katie Pfeifer. They got out to a 41-14 lead, converting seven of nine possessions.
In the third, Holcomb racked up 35 points, scoring on 12 straight possessions, half of those for threes.
For the first three quarters, the Longhorns were 68 percent from the floor, including 12-of-20 from beyond the arc.
"That's the most threes we've made all year, and I think we can make that every game," Tennal said. "Sometimes we don't shoot enough and sometimes we just don't feel it, but they seemed to feel it tonight."
His team's offensive output in the first 24 minutes, Tennal said, was about as on as they could get.
"We got a lot of open shots in their zone. We took advantage and we finished pretty well inside," he said.
Lakin, meanwhile, managed just eight field goals total, but they turned the ball over 30 times.
Seven Longhorns got in the scoring, led by Kylee Amos' 22 and Haley Heydman's 21. Amos hit five 3-pointers, and Heydman had a pair herself.
"We're starting to really look for each other and spot up better," Tennal said.
And his two leading scorers were pretty good too.
"We've had six different girls score 20 this year and we've had six different leading scorers," he said. "We like to be balanced."
Leading scorer for the Broncs was Amanda Richter with seven points. Kara Simmons added six, and Darrie Rogers, who averages over 11 a game, was held to just five.
After starting the year 9-0, Holcomb hit a tough spot but are now 13-3, winners of two straight heading to Colby for a league game Friday, the first of three such games to end the regular season.
"We're definitely ready to get back on a win streak. We want to head into sub-state winning six or seven in a row but taking it one game at a time," Tennal said.
The game at Colby, he said, is big for the Lady Eagles, their only chance to win a share of the league title.
"And we don't want that," Tennal said. "We want to win it outright."
Lakin 9 5 5 6 -- 25
Holcomb 22 21 35 10 -- 88
Lakin (8-8) — Davidson 1 0-0 2, Haney 1 0-0 3, Simmons 2 2-4 6, Rogers 2 0-1 5, Reed 0 1-2 1, Richter 2 3-3 7, Swank 0 1-2 1. Totals 8 7-12 25.
Holcomb (13-3) — Pfeifer 4 0-0 11, Jarnagin 3 0-0 6, Prieto 2 2-4 8, Heydman 8 3-5 21, Deniston 5 0-0 10, Amos 7 3-3 22, Pena 3 4-4 10. Totals 32 12-16 88.
3-pt. goals — Lakin 2-11 (Haney, Rogers), Holcomb 12-28 (Pfeifer 3, Prieto 2, Heydman 2, Amos 5). Rebounds — Lakin 23 (Haney 5, Richter 3), Holcomb 34 (Deniston 8,
Turnovers — Lakin 30, Holcomb 6. Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Lakin 13, Holcomb 13.