by KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — Kelly Snodgrass finally had a game to smile about.
Even though the Lady Longhorns were 7-1 before Friday's game against Goodland, she had not seen her team put together four solid quarters on both ends of the floor.
But they got pretty darn close this time with a 56-46 win over Great Western Activities Conference rival Goodland.
And while it's easy to look at Breanna Gottschalk's 24 points as a big reason for that win, it was all-around team play that got the job done.
Holcomb scored in double figures every quarter, only had two scoring droughts to speak of, but the second didn't come back to haunt them as it has in the past. And they dominated the boards (27-16) and forced 19 turnovers.
All-in-all, it was a pretty good night for the Lady Longhorns.
"We knew it was going to be a tough test. I gave the assignment to some of my seniors and even some of my younger ones, and they stepped up to the challenge," Snodgrass said.
That "assignment" was to limit the touches of Goodland's two key players, Ashley Archer and Jade Herl, and it paid off.
Gottschalk had 17 points in the first half, mostly on inside moves. She put Holcomb up 19-17 at 6:01 in the second quarter on an offensive rebound, the last basket for Holcomb until the 2:31 mark.
In that short drought, Goodland pulled ahead but only managed eight points before the Longhorns got back on track.
It could have been worse, though. On two consecutive trips down the floor, Jade Herl was fouled on three-point shots when Holcomb defenders boxed her out for the rebound. Neither shot went in, and she only made two of her six foul shots; limiting the damage.
Gottschalk got a conventional three-point play at 2:08, then nailed a trey at 1:28 to pull her team to within a point.
Soon after, a little wackiness in Holcomb's favor ensued.
Following a Holcomb shot that bounced over the backboard, with no whisle blowing the play dead, the ball fell into Lauren Lohfink's hands and she put it in to give Holcomb the lead with 47 seconds left in the half.
Then when Katie Pfeifer airballed a shot near the buzzer, it fell into Lohfink's hands, who was then fouled before the buzzer. She calmly sank both free throws and Holcomb had a weird, but welcome, 31-28 halftime lead.
Pfeifer increased that lead to 47-37 on a three to start the fourth period.
Then both teams went on a dry spell that lasted nearly five minutes, mostly caused by Holcomb pulling out the offense and forcing Goodland's defense to spread. Gottschalk's one free throw was the only offense in that stretch for either team, but it ran time off the clock and Goodland was forced to foul.
Gottschalk led all scores with 24 points. Lohfink finished with 10 and Pfeifer and Stegman each had eight to pace the Longhorns.
Holcomb (8-1, 2-1) will travel to Colby next week for three games at the Orange and Black tournament.
Goodland 12 16 9 9 -- 46
Holcomb 15 16 13 12 -- 56
Goodland — Archer 4 2-3 12, Be. White 1 0-1 2, Rome 3 2-4 9, Herl 6 5-10 18, Br. White 0 3-4 3, Phillips 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 12-22 46.
Holcomb — Pfeifer 3 0-0 8, Lohfink 4 2-2 10, Prieto 1 2-2 4, Gottschalk 8 7-8 24, A. Stegman 3 2-4 8, Landwehr 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 13-16 56.
3-pt. goals — Goodland 2 (Rome 1, Herl 1), Holcomb 3 (Pfeifer 2, Gottschalk 1). Rebounds — Goodland 16 (Archer 7), Holcomb 27 (Gottschalk 5, Stegman 5). Turnovers — Goodland 8, Holcomb 6.