By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

ELKHART Holcomb boys coach Scott Stegman has seen his share of big wins during his seven years at the Longhorn helm.

Tuesday night was one of those as his inexperienced team has been trying to find its identity and playing style.

That problem may be solved after Holcomb held off Syracuse, 58-54, in the quarterfinals of the Hi-Plains League Tournament. Syracuse came into the tournament seeded third, and Holcomb sixth.

"It's certainly the biggest (win) of this season," Stegman said. "We played with emotion and with a lot of energy and we had a lot of good things happening."

Holcomb started the season 2-3, losing its last two games at the Scott City Invitational, then losing at Lakin. Five games later, and the Longhorns are 7-3 and in the semifinals of the HPL on Friday night against Wichita County at 6:15 p.m. at the Perryman Athletic Complex on the Garden City Community College campus.

Holcomb utilized its pressure defense and fast break offense to take Syracuse out of its game early.

Trailing, 13-10 with 2:29 to play in the opening quarter, the Longhorns went to its trap defense, forcing the Bulldogs into seven turnovers and converting those into a 10-0 run to take a 22-13 lead after one quarter.

"That big run was really important for us," Stegman said. "If we can make them have one iffy pass then we've got a chance to get a turnover."

Syracuse coach Bill Peeper knew right where the problem was for his team.

"We've got to find a way to handle things like that better," Peeper said. "We're struggling a bit right now, so we need to find our identity, correct the things that we can and improve."

Holcomb 35-27 at halftime, but the Bulldogs mounted a second half rally, eventually slicing their deficit to four at the end of the third period.

"This was a big shift for us tonight," Stegman said. "I think for the first time, in a tight game, we played to win and not just to see who else was going to step up."

Junior Logan Singhisen stepped up for Holcomg with a game-high 20 points.

"Logan was immense inside tonight," Stegman said. "He stepped up and did a lot of good things. He took it to people all night."

For Syracuse, Andrew Brown finished with 13 points. Braedon Simon scored 12 and Tate Housholder added 11, but the Bulldogs hit just 22-of-51 shots (43 percent) while the Longhorns were 22-of-43 (51.1 percent).

Syracuse will play Lakin on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in a consolation bracket game.

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Holcomb 58, Syracuse 54

HOLCOMB (7-3) Singhisen 8-12 4-7 20, Merz 2-6 0-0 5, Robinson 2-2 5-6 9, M. Gaede 3-10 0-0 6, Pfeifer 1-2 1-2 3, N. Gaede 4-8 1-2 9, Walck 1-2 0-0 2, DeLaRosa 1-2 0-0 2, Homer 0-0 2-2 2. Totals 22-44 13-19 58.

SYRACUSE (6-3) Howell 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 6-18 0-0 13, B. Simon 3-6 5-9 12, Housholder 5-10 1-2 11, Peterson 3-9 2-2 8, D. Simon 1-1 0-0 2, Burkett 3-5 0-0 6, McAllister 1-2 0-1 2. Totals 22-51 8-14 54.

Holcomb 22 13 9 14 -- 58

Syracuse 13 14 13 14 -- 54

3-point goals Holcomb 1-3 (Merz 1-2, M. Gaede 0-1), Syracuse 2-5 (Brown 1-4, B. Simon 1-1). Rebounds Holcomb 22 (Singhisen 4, Merz 4, M. Gaede 4), Syracuse 38 (Housholder 7). Turnovers Holcomb 11, Syracuse 19. Fouls Holcomb 14, Syracuse 14. Fouled out none.

Sublette 54, Stanton Co. 50 (OT)

Sophomore Alex White scored eight of his team-high 14 points in overtime to help the Sublette Larks to a 54-50 victory over Stanton County.

The Larks, seeded fifth, will face top-seed Southwestern Heights in an 8 p.m. semifinal on Friday. Heights won the first time they faced Sublette this season 40-37.

In addition to White's 14 points, Brandon Stokes added 13.

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SUBLETTE (6-4) Leverett 4 0-0 9, Blackburn 1 2-4 4, Stokes 6 0-2 13, Lower 0 0-0 0, Gesling 0 0-0 0, Williamson 1 2-4 4, Webb 4 0-2 8, Whitge 4 3-5 14, Gonzalez 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 7-17 54.

STANTON COUNTY (5-5) Nairn 5 1-4 12, Perez 0 2-2 2, Holliday 2 2-2 7, Logan 1 2-4 4, Carruth 0 0-0 0, Grover 5 2-4 13, Butler 1 0-0 3, Sierra 0 0-0 0, Edmisson 3 0-0 6, Warner 1 1-1 3. Totals 18 10-17 50.

Sublette 10 8 16 11 9 -- 54

Stanton Co. 9 14 10 12 5 -- 50

3-point goals Sublette 5 (Leverett 1, Stokes 1, White 3), Stanton Co. 4 (Nairn 1, Holliday 1, Grover 1, Butler 1). Fouls Sublette 16, Stanton County 16. Fouled out none.

Wichita County 62, Lakin 57

Powered by 6-foot-7 junior center Trae Bremer the Wichita County Indians (7-3) rallied from a four-point third period deficit to defeat Lakin 62-57.

Bremer, who finished with 17 points Zach Reed had a game-high 18 points for Lakin (6-5) while Dylan Shalberg and Bryant Miller added 13 and 11 points.

The Indians face Holcomb on Friday in a 6:15 p.m. semifinal contest at the Perryman Athletic Complex on the Garden City Community College campus. Lakin faces Syracuse in a consolation bracket game at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

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LAKIN (6-5) Jones 2 1-4 6, Shalberg 6 1-2 13, Miller 4 0-0 11, Rosales 0 0-0 0, Armstrong 0 0-0 0, Reed 8 2-3 18, Hamel 3 3-4 9. Totals 23 7-13 57.

WICHITA COUNTY (7-3) Mehl 1 2-2 4, McKinney 1 0-0 3, Harkness 4 0-0 8, Fletcher 3 1-1 7, Martinez 4 2-4 13, Smith 2 0-0 4, Weilert 3 0-0 6, Bremer 7 2-2 17.

Lakin 15 10 18 14 -- 57

Wichita Co. 10 18 11 23 -- 62

3-point goals Lakin 4 (Jones 1, Miller 3), Wichita Co. 5 (McKinney 1, Martinez 3, Bremer 1). Fouls Lakin 9, Wichita Co. 15. Fouled out none.

SW Heights 40, Hugoton 39

It was the third time in the season already that Heights and Hugoton met and this time it was close.

Jacob Flores led the Mustangs (8-1) with 12 points. Tate Reed had 16 points for Hugoton.

Heights will face Sublette in one semifinal contest on Friday at 8 p.m. while Hugoton drops into the consolation bracket for a 6 p.m. tipoff Friday against Stanton County.

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HUGOTON (4-7) Concannon 1 0-0 2, Lulf 0 0-0 0, Martin 3 0-0 8, Frederick 3 0-0 7, Dunlap 0 2-2 2, Persinger 2 0-0 4, Reed 5 6-9 16, Gifford 0 0-0 0, Lopez 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 8-11 39.

SW HEIGHTS (8-1) Johnsrud 2 1-1 6, Hernandez 1 0-0 2, Winfrey 2 2-2 7, Sigala 0 0-1 0, Chase 0 0-0 0, Flores 5 2-4 12, Eakes 1 2-2 4, Ryan 4 1-2 9. Totals 15 8-12 40.

Hugoton 4 11 15 9 -- 39

SW Heights 10 7 14 9 -- 40

3-point goals Hugoton 3 (Martin 2, Frederick 1), SW Heights 2 (Johnsrud 1, Winfrey 1). Fouls Hugoton 15, SW Heights 15. Fouled out none.