Holcomb girls blitz Ulysses in big win
By KEVIN THOMPSON
By KEVIN THOMPSON
ULYSSES — The Ulysses Lady Tigers found out what eight other teams this season have discover — the power of the FCP.
That's Full Court Press, an effective weapon in the blitzkrieg-style attack that the Holcomb Lady Longhorns have used to compile a 9-0 record, as they took out the Tigers in Great West Activities Conference action, 72-32 on Friday night.
Holcomb used that tactic to build a 51-20 halftime lead before putting it away, forcing most of Ulysses' 21 turnovers in the first 16 minutes.
The Longhorns also used laser-guided shooting in the opening half, hitting 18-of-25 field goals (75 percent), as all seven girls who played that half got into the scorebook.
Holcomb shot 64 percent for the night (27-of-42) while holding the Tigers to just 11-of-26 shooting (42 percent).
Karissa Pena scored Holcomb's first eight points to set the tone. She led all scorers with 17 points.
Katie Pfeifer had 13 points, Kylee Amos 12 and Haley Heydman 10 to lead the Longhorns.
The Holcomb effort was solid for four quarters, and that bodes well for the Longhorns as they head into mid-season tournament play Monday in Hillsboro, coach Kenton Tennal said.
"We've been working a lot harder in practice lately getting our focus," he said.
The full-court press early was key to setting the tone immediately, he said, and the Longhorns have enough other weapons to resort to to finish the job, and that showed in this game.
Jordan Jarnagin stepped up, he observed, canning three goals in the second quarter and finishing with eight points.
"It's the best I've seen on varsity all year. That's what we've got to have," Tennal said.
The first half was the best of their season, he added, as far as focus and execution. And the four-quarters performance was probably the most complete, as well.
Heading into next week's tournament, Tennal said, his team is confident.
"Their confidence is through the roof right now. They're so ready to play Hesston (also undefeated), it's going to be a good time," he said.
Ulysses finished with 28 turnovers, but 21 of those were in the first half, and Tigers' coach Tim Hofferber saw his team's play stand in strong against the dominant Longhorns.
"We're not the kind of team that can hold the ball, and that kind of plays into Holcomb's hand," he said. "But when you're building a program and trying to be like a Holcomb, you're going to have to take your licks. But I was proud of their effort, and I thought we match their physicality pretty well."
His Tigers responded well after the opening quarters, still executing and playing hard most of the game, which bodes well for next week.
Ulysses has little time to take off. The Tigers host Colby Monday, travel to Garden City on Tuesday, then play in a tournament in Coffeyville.
"It's a challenge for them, but nobody said it was going to be easy," Hofferber said. "But tonight they showed they can battle."
Holcomb 27 24 10 11 -- 72
Ulysses 9 11 7 4 -- 31
Holcomb (72) — Pfeifer 4 2-3 13, Jarnagin 4 0-0 8, Prieto 1 2-2 5, Heydman 4 2-2 10, Deniston 2 3-4 7, Amos 5 0-0 12, Pena 7 3-4 17. Totals 27 12-15 72.
Ulysses (31) — Gallegos 2 3-3 8, Langley 1 1-4 3, Price 4 0-0 9, Arnold 2 2-2 6, Calderwood 1 1-2 3, Bohl 1 0-0 2. Totals 11 7-11 31.
3-pt. goals — Holcomb 6-14 (Pfeifer 3, Prieto , Amos 2), Ulysses 2-6 (Gallegos, Price). Rebounds — Holcomb 12 (Prieto 3, Pena 3), Ulysses 17 (Langley 6). Turnovers — Holcomb 12, Ulysses 28. Fouled out — none. Totals fouls — Holcomb 13, Ulysses 12.