By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — How do you improve on perfection?
The Holcomb Lady Longhorns will enter the holiday break with a 6-0 record after defeating Lakin 45-20 on Thursday night.
That's the upside.
The downside is, they can get better. And they need to.
Coach Kelley Snodgrass knows that her team has yet to put together four solid quarters this season. A 6-0 start is where she likes being right now, but she knows that the road will get tougher in January, and she is both eager and anxious to see what her Longhorns will do.
Holcomb had a solid first half on both ends, holding the Lady Broncs to just four points on 2-of-15 shooting.
On their end, the Longhorns racked up 28 points, including nine at the line.
Holcomb went on an 8-0 run to open the game, then 14-2, then 10-0.
Lakin, meanwhile, was having trouble hitting from anywhere, and Holcomb had a 32-4 lead one minute into the third quarter.
That's the portion of the game Snodgrass said her team eased up, made too many mistakes, and stopped scoring.
Lakin went on an 8-0 run of its own, hit the boards better, and cut down on turnovers.
Both teams played to an 8-8 tie in the final period. It wasn't the intense ending effort Snodgrass was expecting, or desired.
"Tonight, the first half was the style of dominance and patience the Longhorn's should strive for all the time," Snodgrass said. "Our defense was amazing the first half. We did exactly what we wanted: we were intense, we boxed out, we were very disciplined."
Offensively, she added, shots were falling and her team was very patient.
Then, the second half happened, and Holcomb, which usually dominates the third quarter, came out flat.
"I don't know what happened. Maybe it's a complacency thing (being up by so much). There was a bit of a letdown," Snodgrass said.
She said she's told her team that they have to play hard every minute of every game, and that's something they'll be working on over the break.
What's bad for one team, though, can bolster another.
The second half, especially the third quarter, is what Lakin coach Shawn Michaelis said his team will take from this game and build from. He calls that quarter a "baby step" on which to build.
It just comes down to shooting, he said. Just 8-of-34 from the floor, Lakin needs to start getting shots to drop.
Breanna Gottschalk led Holcomb (6-0) in scoring with 13, most from in the paint but one from beyond the arc. She was the only Longhorn in double figures.
Mariah Hill was Lakin's leading scorer with nine points. Lakin heads into break at 1-5.
Lakin 2 2 8 8 -- 20
Holcomb 11 17 4 13 -- 45
Lakin — Jones 1 1-1 3, Hill 4 1-2 9, McAtee 0 1-2 1, Waechter 0 1-2 1, Davidson 1 0-0 2, Rogers 1 0-6 2, Richter 1 0-0 2. Totals 8 4-13.
Holcomb — Lohfink 0 2-4 2, Prieto 0 1-2 1, Asmus 1 3-6 5, Gottschalk 5 2-4 13, Sauvain 1 0-0 2, Pena 2 3-3 9, Stegman 3 3-3 7, Landwehr 1 4-9 6. Totals 13 18-31 45.
3-pt. goals - Lakin 0, Holcomb 1 (Gottschalk 1). Rebounds - Lakin 29 (Jones 6), Holcomb 24 (Asmus 6). Turnovers - Lakin 33, Holcomb 15. Fouled out - None.