By KEVIN THOMPSON

sports@gctelegram.com

HOLCOMB Holcomb's Lady Longhorns had a successful opening round of the Clarion Inn Southwest Classic Thursday night, winning by 20 points.

Then things balanced out Friday night, as Holcomb fell, 57-38, to Del City, Okla., the No. 3-ranked team in Oklahoma's Class 5A.

Del City shot 52 percent (24-of-46) for the game, while Holcomb hit only 25 percent (13-of-42).

Del City also dominated the rebounding battle, 36-25.

But despite that, the Lady Longhorns were in the game through much of the second half, cutting a 23-point lead to 15 after stopping the Eagles on 11 straight possessions. A definite size advantage benefited the Lady Eagles, especially early. They went on a 10-0 run to open the game, scoring on five straight possessions before Holcomb scored its first field goal at the 4:05 mark.

From there, Holcomb traded points (12-12) until there was 3:13 left in the second quarter, after which Del City finished the first half on a 10-2 run to take a 31-14 lead.

It was more of the same in the second half as the Lady Eagles handed Holcomb its first loss of the young season.

Despite the defeat, Holcomb coach Kelley Snodgrass was proud of her team's effort.

"They never gave up. They gave it their all," she said. "Del City's a good team. They've got size; they've got speed. What can you do? If some more of our shots would have fallen earlier, it would have boosted our confidence, and who knows?"

Holcomb hit only three field goals in the first quarter. Six turnovers and seven missed shots comprised the rest of the team's 13 possessions, digging the Longhorns into a big hole.

Katie Pfeifer and Kyshia Prieto got Holcomb back on track in the third quarter, scoring two field goals and two free throws each.

Pfeifer drilled a three to open the fourth quarter and a two-pointer at 5:55. Prieto's free throw a few seconds later closed the deficit to 47-32, but that would be the extent of the comeback effort.

Ten Lady Eagles got in the scorebook, led by Dionna Collins and Toni Smith with 12 points each.

Being down by 23 at one point and scrapping back is a mark of a good Holcomb squad, Snodgrass said, and when her girls kept battling against a more physical team, they showed the fight that she wants to see in every game.

"They're too hard on themselves when the shots don't fall," she said of her players. "But overall, I'm pleased with our rebounding against their size. The girls were crashing and going hard."

That spirit showed when they stopped the Eagles for 11 consecutive trips, but it just wasn't enough, Snodgrass said.

While Holcomb hit 4-of-13 from beyond the arc, Snodgrass was hoping that would open up the inside more.

Holcomb (1-1) will take on Garden City (1-1) at 5 p.m. today at Garden City Community College's Perryman Athletic Complex in the first meeting between the two Finney County schools. Del City (3-0) will face Pueblo East (0-2) at 1 p.m. today.

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Del City (57)

Kaltoff 2 1-2 6, Collins 4 3-4 12, Denson 1 0-0 1, Sheets 1 0-0 2, Ochoa-Dockins 0 0-1 0, Williams 1 0-0 2, Clark 3 2-4 8, Beasley 0 1-2 1, Akins 2 0-0 4, Smith 6 0-0 12, Jackson 4 0-1 8. Totals 24 7-14 57.

Holcomb (38)

Pfeifer 7 1-2 17, Prieto 2 3-7 8, Mongeau 1 0-0 3, Taylor 1 1-4 3, Deniston 0 2-6 2, Amos 2 0-0 4, Pena 0 1-2 1. Totals 13 8-21 38.

Del City 16 15 16 10 -- 57

Holcomb 8 6 12 12 -- 38

3-point goals--Del City 2-5 (Kaltoff 1, Collins 1), Holcomb 4-13 (Pfeifer 2, Prieto 1, Mongeau 1). Rebounds--Del City 36 (Clark 7, Jackson 7), Holcomb 21 (Pfeifer 5, Prieto 5).

Fouls--Del City 18, Holcomb 14. Fouled out--none.