By KEVIN THOMPSON
LAKIN — Holcomb coach Chad Novack has been looking for his Longhorns to become the team he knew they could be.
Friday night, he got a good look at his ideal squad as he watched his team dismantle Lakin, 57-28, on the Broncs' home court.
"Our kids stepped up to the challenge and did a great job," Novack said. "Tonight, we put on a lot of ball pressure. That carried over to the offensive side, and I thought they executed a lot better. Each game has gotten better and better."
The Longhorns took advantage of numerous scoring droughts by the Broncs.
Lakin jumped out to a 6-2 lead, scoring on its first three possessions. They didn't score again for 10 more possessions after that.
That drought lasted over five minutes.
Meanwhile, Holcomb found its rhythm, scoring four straight times in mid-quarter and taking a 13-8 lead at the break.
In the second quarter, Lakin got to within 15-12 at the 6:25 mark, then an epic scoring drought hit as the Broncs went the rest of the quarter without a point of any kind.
Meanwhile, there was Holcomb again, dominating the boards and taking the ball to the hole as they built a 25-12 halftime advantage.
It was a sticky defense that frustrated the Broncs all night, including some full-court pressure that kept Lakin on the ropes, especially coming out of the halftime break.
The Longhorns scored on their first five possessions and took a 35-12 lead at the 5:50 mark. It wasn't until a pair of free throws by Bryant Miller on a technical foul at 5:05 that Lakin finally scored, ending a drought that lasted more than nine minutes.
Two more scoreless streaks of three minutes each typified what was a frustrating night for the Broncs. Only four Lakin players scored, led by Miller's 12 points as the Broncs hit only 9-of-38 field goal attempts.
On the flipside, there were the Longhorns scoring from all parts of the floor. Ten players got in the book, led by Max Ramsey's 10 points and Tyler LaSalle's seven. The Longhorns were 24-of-50 from the field, including six from three-point land.
They also held Lakin to just 15 rebounds while grabbing 27 of their own. And the defense forced 18 turnovers.
About the only negative on the night for Holcomb was free throws. They missed all eight attempts, but good offensive rebounding meant they didn't need much at the line.
All around, it was a pretty good win for the Longhorns.
"That's the thing about these guys," Novack said. "A bunch of them can play. In practice, they compete. Every drill's a fight. Tonight was a big step forward in their confidence and the type of defense they can play and the offense they can execute."
Novack said his team is working hard and good things are happening. Though just 2-4, he said their tough opening schedule has actually helped them get better.
For Lakin, after getting its first win Tuesday at Sublette, this game was a setback.
"Holcomb had control the whole game. We didn't do anything we needed to do," Lakin coach Steve Davidson said. "They pushed us out on the floor."
That's been the story of most the young season, Davidson said.
"Defenses control what we want to do, and that's what good defenses do. We've got to step up and do a lot better job," he said.
His Broncs (1-4) need to do a better job setting picks, waiting on picks, and getting guys open, he added. Holcomb did a great job forcing his team away from the basket, but it's something the Broncs need to figure out.
"We've got to get tougher," he added. "We can't allow the defense to dictate the game, but that's what happened tonight.
Holcomb travels to Liberal on Tuesday for its final pre-holiday game while Lakin is idle until the first week of January.
Holcomb 13 12 16 16 -- 57
Lakin 8 4 6 10 -- 28
Holcomb (57) — Cox 2 0-0 5, LaSalle 3 0-0 7, Hernandez 2 0-0 4, Homer 3 0-0 6, Tucker 1 0-1 2, Roth 2 0-0 6, Gilbert 3 0-2 6, Thomas 2 0-0 5, Bennett 3 0-2 6, Ramsey 5 0-3 10. Totals 26 0-8 57.
Lakin (28) — Shalberg 2 0-0 4, Miller 4 4-6 12, Davidson 1 5-7 7, Kinnier 2 1-2 5, Geubelle 0 0-2 0. Totals 9 10-17 28.
3-point goals--Holcomb 5 (Cox 1, LaSalle 1, Roth 2, Thomas 1), Lakin 0. Fouls--Holcomb 23, Lakin 10. Fouled out--Holcomb (Cox). Technical fouls--Holcomb (bench). Rebounds--Holcomb 27 (Bennett 7), Lakin 15 (Davidson 5). Turnovers--Holcomb14, Lakin 18.