By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — It took a while, but the Holcomb vs. Kingman girls sub-state game finally got played — though for the visiting Lady Eagles, they might have wanted to postponed a bit longer.
Kingman experienced what most teams to play the Lady Longhorns have this year, a potent offense and tenacious defense, as Holcomb won round one of the Class 3A sub-state playoffs, 64-34.
While Mother Nature caused the delay from Monday and Tuesday times, a faulty scoreboard caused a half hour delay to the start of this game.
After borrowing a portable clock and scoreboard from the YMCA, Holcomb ran what resembled a recreation league-style first quarter, draining five 3-pointers, putting up 20 shots and forcing seven turnovers.
Katie Pfeifer hit four of those threes in that quarter on her way to a 20-point night, while Kyshia Prieto poured in 16.
Those two opened the game with 3-pointers, and at the 3:10 mark, Pfeifer hit her next three shots from beyond the arc, as the Longhorns built a 21-9 lead at the break.
Six Longhorns scored in the second quarter on the way to a 36-21 halftime lead.
A 22-7 third quarter put the game in running-clock mode for the final period, as the Longhorns cruised to the win.
Holcomb was ready to play, coach Kenton Tennal said. And despite all the good things his team did, he saw some things that need improvement before the next round, which is today at Southwestern Heights.
"We played hard. That's the most I've seen us get on the floor, which is what I told them I wanted to see," Tennal said. "I told them I had a 100-percent confidence in everything, every facet of their game, but one thing I needed to see was their will."
That challenge paid off. Tennal said he saw his Longhorns play as if they wanted the win more than anything, and that effort was the best he's seen from them all year.
"If we play like that — and finish our layups — we're pretty tough to beat," Tennal said.
He was referencing the large number of misses underneath, as the Longhorns were just 11-of-29 from inside the arc.
"We didn't finish our layups tonight as well as wanted to," Pfeifer said, "but hopefully we're saving those."
Pfeifer said the two-day delay probably made her team more eager to play, taking a couple more days to prepare.
The 30 forced turnovers, she added, were a payoff for the work the Longhorns have put in on defense.
"We've been working on our press, and we knew they had a line press break, so we've worked on not necessarily stealing it, but just letting them turn it over and it worked tonight," she said.
Holcomb (17-4 and ranked sixth in 3A) will face Chaparral in the semifinals tonight. Pfeifer is looking forward to the challenge.
"We just know that we have to do what we can control and hopefully the rest will work out for itself," she said. "We can't take anybody lightly, and we'll have to do our best."
Tennal concurred, saying his team has been ready for this sub-state tournament for a long time, though the game comes with no day off.
"It'd be nice to have that day off, but scrimmaging the boys has helped us stay in pretty good shape," he said. "We're in really good shape, and I think we can run all day."
Kingman (6-17) was led by Jaden Berschaur with 10 points and Madison Bangert with nine.
Kingman 9 12 7 6 -- 34
Holcomb 21 15 22 6 -- 64
Kingman (6-14) — Berschaur 3 3-4 10, Bangert 3 3-3 9, Voran 2 0-0 4, Rohlmann 1 0-0 2, Albright 2 0-0 4, Rogers 1 0-0 3, Theis 1 0-0 2. Totals 13-29 6-7 34.
Holcomb (17-4) — Pfeifer 6 2-2 20, Jarnagin 1 3-6 5, Prieto 6 1-1 16, Heydman 3 3-3 9, Deniston 1 1-2 3, Amos 1 2-2 5, Pena 3 0-2 6. Totals 21-59 12-18 64.
3-pt. goals — Kingman 2-4 (Berschaur, Rogers), Holcomb 10-30 (Pfeifer 6, Prieto 3, Amos). Rebounds — Kingman 16 (Vorann 4), Holcomb 25 (Heydman 8, Pena 5). Turnovers — Kingman 30, Holcomb 14. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Kingman 17, Holcomb 12.