Holcomb boys shut down Garden City, 70-59
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported who Holcomb's leading scorer was in the game. Max Ramsey led Holcomb with 17 points.
By KEVIN THOMPSON
Both the Garden City and the Holcomb boys had already won 10 games before the Finney County Shootout on Tuesday night, and both were looking to make a statement in what is set to become an annual event.
That greater statement was made by the visiting team, as Holcomb pulled off a 70-59 victory at The New Garden.
Holcomb seemed to hit on all cylinders for much of the game, while Garden City had trouble finding the right gears for most of the first three quarters.
The Longhorns shut down the Buffs inside early, limiting them to to just five first-half rebounds. They also held the home team to just four points in the second quarter and just six in a stretch that went all the way back to the 2:30 mark in the first period when Bo Banner's jumper gave Garden City its final lead at 13-9.
In that 10-minute stretch, meanwhile, Holcomb scored 20 points, including pairs of 3-pointers from both Jeremy Cox and Blake Richmeier while Max Ramsey was scoring four underneath.
Tyler LaSalle, scoreless in the first half, scored 13 third-quarter points, including a trio of threes, as Holcomb finished that period with a 51-33 lead, its largest of the night.
Garden City pulled to within 10 a number of times in the fourth quarter, then got to within eight at 65-58 with 1:44 remaining.
Garden City coach Jacy Holloway knew Holcomb was going to be a tough team, and that was proved right, calling the Longhorns "a very solid team."
Playing without starter Emilio Parr for disciplinary reasons seemed to affect his team, Holloway said, taking away some of the continuity he brings under the board keeping the ball alive. It was just some adversity that didn't help his team.
"(Getting just five boards early the first half) is just a mentality. It's sitting back and not being involved in the game," Holloway said. "And we missed some easy shots in that first half."
Guards Tristan Nanninga and Denton Keller got in early foul trouble, which limited the Buffaloes on ballhandlers, as well, Holloway said. Trying to counter that against LaSalle was a chore made tougher because of the foul issues.
Coupled with Holcomb's post players Shane Bennett and Ramsey, who didn't always play at the same time, the Buffaloes were just in for a tough night, he added.
Banner finished with 26 points, 12 coming from the free-throw line.
"He did a great job. We found ways to give him the ball and we felt that he was a mismatch for them, but he probably could have taken advantage of them even more," Holloway said.
For Holcomb coach Chad Novack, the second and third quarters were about as perfectly executed as his team has played all season.
"The first quarter we played a little nervous. We still did some good things, but second and third quarter we played extremely, extremely well," he said. "We played incredible on the defensive end (holding Garden City to just 7-for-19 shooting), executed our offense really, really well, and crashed the boards really well."
The first-half rebounding differential of 15-5 was just one indication of how well his inside players were doing, he said. For the game, the Longhorns had 35 rebounds.
"If you do that, you're going to give yourself a chance to win some games," Novack said. "Our bigs tonight really stepped up and kind of did whatever we wanted to, at times. Credit our guards for getting them the ball."
Holcomb was led by Ramsey's 17, LaSalle's 15 and Richmeier's 12, but Jeremy Cox had nine and Aaron Hernandez seven in a balanced offensive attack.
"This is a very unselfish group," Novack said. "They don't care who scores as long as at the end we get the 'W'. They share the ball really well."
The Longhorns (11-3) won the Hillsboro tournament over a week ago, and that helped them prepare for a game against a bigger school, Novack said, especially in the confines of a big atmosphere.
"That's maturity. Last year, we probably wouldn't have won this game because they were so young (Garden City won 41-28). This year, we've got a lot of maturity on the floor, and that's helped us out," he said.
Hitting 27-of-35 free throws (77 percent) helped, too.
"These guys are playing with a lot of confidence and believing in the system," Novack said.
For Garden City (10-5), this is a time to play through adversity and get on track again, Holloway said.
Parr's playing status for Friday is still unclear, Holloway said. Garden City Police cited Parr Sunday on allegations of possession of a hallucinogen, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of tobacco by a minor.
The Buffaloes take on Guymon, Okla., at approximately 7:30 p.m. Friday at The New Garden.
Holcomb 12 17 22 19 -- 70
Garden City 13 4 18 24 -- 59
Holcomb (11-3) — LaSalle 4 6-6 15, Hernandez 2 3-5 7, Cox 2 3-4 9, Gilbert 0 2-2 2, Richmeier 3 4-5 12, Roth 0 3-6 3, Bennett 1 1-2 3, Ramsey 6 5-6 17. Totals 18 27-35 70.
Garden City (10-5) — Delgado 3 3-5 10, Riggs 1 0-0 2, Nanninga 4 0-1 9, Banner 6 12-13 26, Keller 1 4-5 6, Tramp 2 0-2 4, Hernandez 0 2-2 2. Totals 17 21-28 59.
3-pt. goals — Holcomb 7-15 (LaSalle 3, Cox 2, Richmeier 2), Garden City 4-13 (Delgado 1, Nanninga 1, Banner 2). Rebounds — Holcomb 35 (LaSalle 6, Ramsey 6, Bennett 6), Garden City 21 (Banner 6, Tramp 6). Turnovers — Holcomb 10, Garden City 5. Fouled out — Garden City (Terpstra, Tramp). Technical fouls — Garden City (Terpstra). Total fouls — Holcomb 21, Garden City 24.