By KEVIN THOMPSON
Despite injuries to key players, the Holcomb Longhorns boys basketball team opened the season with a 65-47 road win at Liberal.
Seniors led the way for the Longhorns against an athletic Redskins team, coach Chad Novack said.
Tyler LaSalle led the attack with 20, followed by Jeremy Cox with 16 and Shane Bennett with 11.
"We played hard. The kids played extremely hard," Novack said. "Liberal has a very athletic team that puts a lot of ball pressure on you. We struggled a bit with that, but once the kids calmed down and relaxed and started to execute better, the offense looked better."
Novack said the second half was the key, when the Longhorns settled down and took care of the ball better.
Guys who hadn't played varsity before stepped in and filled roles well, Novack added.
"All of our seniors did a good job of stepping up, too," he said. "Tyler did a great job when he had the ball in his hands. Cox came in and did a great job."
Rebounding was a little disappointing, he said, Holcomb did a good job on the offensive side, but needs to do a better job blocking out at the other end.
The win sets up the Longhorns for a three-game run next week as they host the Southwest Clarion Classic.
The first game Thursday will be against Dumas, Texas.
"That tournament as a whole, we just want to see progression on offense and defense and improve each game," Novack said. "We'd like to come out of that with three wins. We've just got to step in and play with confidence."
HOLCOMB — LaSalle 9 1-4 20, Hernandez 3 0-0 6, Cox 5 6-10 16, Rupp 0 2-3 2, Komlofske 1 0-0 2, Bennett 5 1-2 11, Ramsey 3 0-0 6. Totals 26 10-19 65.
LIBERAL — Greene 2 0-0 4, Lewis 3 1-3 7, Ross 7 0-0 18, Hammond 5 0-2 10, Begly 3 2-7 8. Totals 20 3-12 47.
3-point goals — Holcomb 1 (LaSalle 1), Liberal 4 (Ross 4).