By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

CIMARRON — In his tenure as Cimarron girls basketball coach, David Ediger had not seen any of his teams shoot so poorly.

In her four years of coaching at Holcomb, Kelley Snodgrass knew that no matter what the lead her team might build, the Lady Bluejays would make a run at her Lady Longhorns.

That was much of the story Friday night as Holcomb survived a fourth-quarter rally and then pulled away late for a 65-46 Hi-Plains League victory that virtually assured them of a No. 3 seed at the Class 3A sub-state in Lakin the first week of March.

"I knew they were scrappy and wouldn't go away," Snodgrass said after watching her team lose virtually all of a 19-point lead late in the third quarter (42-23). "I'm proud of the fact that the girls regrouped and finished strong."

With a free-throw parade taking center court, the Bluejays went on an 11-3 run in the opening 2:08 of the fourth to draw within six, 48-42. That, however, would be the last gasp rally for Ediger's team.

"Our press really hurt them," Ediger said of his team's surge in the late third and early fourth periods. "But we then couldn't score and get the press set up. We just quit scoring again and we shot free throws terrible."

In a closely contested first quarter, Holcomb led 13-12 and then the Bluejays went ice cold in the second period. They managed just two points, both free throws, and those didn't go up on the board until 21.7 seconds were left before the half. By that time, Holcomb had reeled off 12 points to go up 25-14.

"They're better and we're better," Ediger said of the teams which met a month ago at the Hi-Plains League tournament. "We just didn't do the things we needed to do to stay within range."

Four players scored in double figures for Snodgrass as she saw her predominantly junior-dominated team improve to 14-4 overall and 8-1 in the HPL.

Junior Breanna Gottschalk paced the team with 16 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Freshman point guard Katie Pfeifer was right behind with 14 points, Heidi Boyles followed with 12 and Mallory Komlofske dropped in 10.

"She does a great job for us," Snodgrass said of her 5-4 freshman Pfeifer. "She's calm out there and gets us into our offense and she's a scoring threat."

In that fourth quarter resurgence, Snodgrass also got defensive stops by another freshman, 5-7 Karissa Pena, who, at the 5:15 mark with the Longhorns holding an eight-point edge, stole the ball, went the length of the court and sidestepped a defender, put the ball up and off the glass to put her team up by 10. She would also add in three free throws in the final quarter.

"They have really helped us out," Gottschalk said of the two freshmen. "Katie has been a spark on offense and Karissa just plays great defense. They've really fit in with us and our defense has been so much better since the league tournament."

Sophomore point guard Avery Burns was the lone double-figure scorer for Cimarron with 16 points, including three 3-pointers. Holcomb's stifling defense limited senior Janae Helfrich to just one field goal and six total points.

The Longhorns will be on the road Tuesday at non-league Ulysses while Cimarron travels to Hugoton for a rescheduled game from the Jan. 29 winter storm.

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Holcomb 65, Cimarron 46

HOLCOMB (14-4, 8-1) — Pfeifer 5-8 3-4 14, Lohfink 2-4 0-0 4, Baier 1-2 2-2 4, Asmus 0-2 0-0 0, Gottschalk 4-10 6-8 16, Komlofske 4-4 2-2 10, Boyles 4-6 3-3 12, Pena 1-2 3-4 5, Stegman 0-3 0-0 0, Landwehr 0-0 0-0 0, Harshbarger 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-41 19-23 65.

CIMARRON (11-7, 6-2) — Burns 3-14 7-14 16, Payne 0-2 0-0 0, Siek 2-3 0-0 4, Lock 4-9 1-2 9, Dupre 1-4 3-4 6, Bryant 0-4 1-2 1, Wehkamp 1-5 1-2 3, Ridenour 0-4 0-0 0, Helfrich 1-7 4-4 6. Totals 12-52 17-28 46.

Holcomb 13 12 20 20 -- 65

Cimarron 12 2 17 15 -- 46

3-point goals — Holcomb 4-11 (Pfeifer 1-4, Gottschalk 2-5, Boyles 1-1, Stegman 0-1), Cimarron 4-10 (Burns 3-4, Dupree 1-2, Ridenour 0-1, Helfrich 0-3). Rebounds — Holcomb 45 (Gottschalk 11), Cimarron 27 (Burns 6, Bryant 6). Turnovers — Holcomb 22, Cimarron 12. Fouls — Holcomb 21, Cimarron 19. Fouled out — Holcomb (Stegman), Cimarron (Wehkamp).