By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — After second-seeded Cimarron lost on Monday night, the top-seeded Holcomb boys had one thing on their minds — don't be another high-seeded upset victim.
The Longhorns took control early on, cruising to a 78-50 quarterfinal win over Chaparral Tuesday, setting up a quick turnaround game Thursday against Kingman in the Class 3A substate at Cimarron.
The Longhorns turned an 18-11 first-quarter lead into 38-17 by halftime and never looked back as they ran their record to 18-3 with their ninth-straight win.
Tuesday also marked the return of the Big Sleep, as in Trey Sleep.
The 6-4 junior returned from a two-game hiatus to rest a shoulder to pour in 24 points to lead the Longhorns.
Sleep was 10 of 11 from the floor.
He and Heath Tucker — who ended the night with 18 points — scored 16 of Holcomb's 18 points in the opening quarter on a combined 6-of-7 shooting.
Sleep hit two free throws to start the scoring, then a layup in the first 32 seconds of the game.
Tucker hit back-to-back 3s and a tip in for eight-straight points.
Sleep put in another layup and Holcomb had a 14-6 lead with just over three minutes played.
Chaparral relied on the 3-ball in the first quarter, hitting 3-of-6 attempts but hit only one other field goal.
The second quarter defined Holcomb's play of late, holding the Roadrunners to two field goals and a free throw.
In that quarter, Chaparral turned the ball over eight times, including a stretch of five times that led to eight-straight Longhorn points.
Holcomb closed that quarter on a 16-2 run.
For the game, the Longhorns were 31-of-48 shooting (64.5 percent) from the floor, while Chaparral was just 18 of 38.
Coach Chad Novack praised how his team took care of business.
"For the most part, we played pretty well tonight," he said. "When you get to the first round of sub-state, everybody's fighting to stay alive. (Chaparral) brought a lot of energy that first quarter, but the kids handled it well."
Having Sleep (16 points, eight boards a game) back in the lineup was good to see, too, he said.
"He did a good job of getting in position, and our guards did a great job of getting him the ball," he said.
Blake Richmeier added 10 points to help balance the Holcomb scoring, one of 10 Longhorns who got in the book.
Many of Holcomb's shots came from close range against a Roadrunner lineup that boasted players ranging in size from 6-2 to 6-9.
The tallest, Jaden Miller, scored nine points for Chaparral (8-13) to tie for his team high, but six of those came on long-range 3s.
The size didn't intimidate the 'Horns, Novack said.
He knew Chaparral's tendency was to shoot from the outside, but the Longhorns held them to just three second-chance opportunities.
"We did a good job of limiting the inside," he said. "We did a good job of blocking out. That's something we try to pride ourselves on."
The Longhorns don't have much time to prepare for Thursday's semifinal game at 7:30 p.m. against Kingman (15-6), the fourth seed.
Novack said the Eagles are an athletic group with some height and a good bench.
"They come out hard and play really well. It should be a very, very good game," he said.
Garden Plain and Cheney will play at 6 p.m. in the other semifinal on Thursday.
Chaparral 11 6 14 19 -- 50
Holcomb 18 20 19 21 -- 78
Chaparral (8-13)--Nulick 3 0-2 6, Newlin 3 0-0 7, Bringer 1 0-0 2, Williams 1 0-1 2, Capps 2 0-0 6, Schroeder 2 3-3 7, Berry 2 4-4 9, Bergman 0 0-2 0, Menhusen 1 0-0 2, Miller 3 1-2 9. Totals 18-38 8-14 50.
Holcomb (18-3)--Gottschalk 3 2-3 8, Tucker 7 1-2 18, Sleep 10 4-5 24, Rupp 1 0-0 3, Stegman 0 2-2 2, Richmeier 5 0-0 10, Merz 0 1-2 1, Ramsey 1 0-0 3, Dortch 1 0-0 2, VanCleave 3 0-0 7. Totals 31-48 10-14 78.
3-point field goals--Chaparral 6-15 (Newlin, Capps 2, Berry, Miller 2), Holcomb 6-18 (Tucker 3, Rupp, Ramsey, VanCleave). Rebounds--Chaparral 15 (Schroeder 4), Holcomb 28 (Tucker 6, VanCleave 6). Turnovers--Chaparral 18, Holcomb 13. Fouled out--none. Total fouls--Chaparral 16, Holcomb 14. Technical fouls--none.