By KEVIN THOMPSON
New coach, same old team.
That describes the Holcomb Lady Longhorns' 73-52 win at Liberal, giving Kenton Tennel his first win with his new school.
Holcomb broke open a close game with a strong two middle quarters, including a 28-11 third period that put the game out of reach.
While the Lady Redskins ran a box-and-one against guard Katie Pfeifer, three other Holcomb players got open for double figures, led by Kyshia Prieto's 20, followed by Karissa Pena with 16 and Kylee Amos with 13.
Holcomb hit for nine 3-pointers, one short of Tennel's goal for the game, but he'll take it for now, he said.
For their first game, Tennel thought the offense clicked well, despite some different defensive looks against them early.
Defensively, he said, they have room for improvement.
"They killed us on the inside. They had a big girl they kept giving it to and we didn't do a good job of fronting her. I didn't have anybody finally put a front on her until I put my freshman Jordan Jarnigan in," he said.
Tennel also wasn't pleased with the boxing out on the defensive end, but it was a really physical game that tested his team early.
The extra attention on Pfeifer was not unexpected, Tennel added, and the strategy allowed other girls to shoot, which led to the big scoring games for the other three.
"I don't expect anybody to be able to box-and-one Katie with any type of success. We work on shooting probably more than anyone in the state, so I don't see anyone being successful with that, but I would love them to keep trying," he said.
Holcomb came out the second half running, and that athleticism tired out the Lady Redskins, Tennel added.
One area to work on, he noted, was the full-court press, a signature of this team the past few years. It needs some tuning.
"We tried, but we weren't too successful. We had maybe one or two steals off of it. We have to do a better job," Tennel said.
They'll have a few days to work on everything before hosting three games in the Southwest Clarion Classic next weekend.
Holcomb 14 20 28 11 -- 73
Liberal 11 13 11 17 -- 52
HOLCOMB — Pfeifer 2 1-2 7, Jarnigan 2 3-3 7, Prieto 6 4-5 20, Heydman 2 1-2 5, Deniston 2 1-2 5, Amos 5 0-0 13, Pena 8 0-1 16. Totals 27 11-14 73.
LIBERAL — Robinson 1 0-0 2, Regalado 9 3-5 21, Chapman 8 0-0 18, Besecker 2 0-0 6, Ramirez 1 0-0 2, Hernandez 1 0-0 2, Jennings 0 1-2 1. Totals 22 4-7 52.
3-point goals — Holcomb 9 (Pfeifer 2, Prieto 4, Amos 3), Liberal 4 (Chapman 2, Besecker 2)