Southwest Classic: Longhorns sweep Trinity
By KEVIN THOMPSON
Holcomb — The final day of the Southwest Classic turned out well for the Holcomb Longhorns.
The girls completed a sweep of the three-day event and kept their record perfect at 4-0 with a 62-48 win over Wichita Trinity on Saturday night.
And the boys completed the night with a comeback win over the Knights, 57-50, to improve their season record to 3-1.
Holcomb boys 57, Wichita Trinity 50
After winning by two points on Thursday and losing by two on Friday, the Longhorns had to mount a second-half comeback to defeat Class 4A-ranked Wichita Trinity.
But first they had to overcome a setback second quarter, bide their time in the third, and hang on to finish things in the fourth.
Down just 12-11 after the first quarter, Holcomb watched as the Knights caught fire, hitting 8 of their 10 field goal attempts and taking a 25-15 lead at intermission.
After cutting that down to two by holding Trinity scoreless for over four minutes, the Longhorns fell victim to Tyler Burns' final two baskets, the last one at the buzzer as he fell to the floor.
Trinity only scored eight points in the third period and Conner VanCleave tied the game at 37 with a free throw with 35 seconds to play.
Heath Tucker drove for a spinning layup at the buzzer and Holcomb was up by three heading to the fourth quarter.
After they lost the lead briefly, the Longhorns outscored the Knights 16-8 down the stretch to get the victory.
That difference could have been larger if they had made free throws in the final period. Holcomb went to the line 19 times but missed eight of those after missing just twice in the previous three quarters.
It was one of a number of areas coach Chad Novack said his team will need to learn from, but it felt good to go 2-1 for the weekend against quality teams.
"For a team as young as we are to play three close games, this is a great experience," Novack said. "It can only make us better."
Finishing with an athletic team like Trinity, he said, was going to be tough if his team didn't play good defense, and that was evident in the second period.
"We came out flat. We didn't have a lot of energy, and when you play a ranked team in 4A and you play flat, it's going to get pretty ugly," Novack said. "There were times when it got pretty ugly out there."
A tight man-to-man defense by the Knights affected his team, Novack added, but the Longhorns adjusted after halftime, set better screens and got the ball inside more.
Trey Sleep led all scorers with 23, most of those in the paint.
Tucker and Blake Richmeier added 10 each.
"Credit Sleep getting great position and crashing the boards well," Novack said. "Also credit the other kids for getting him the ball. These guys are very unselfish and do a great job of seeing the floor well."
Trinity's leading scorer was Matt Jones with 15. Alex Carro had 11 and Austin Shanks 10.
Holcomb will host Goodland on Friday to close out the pre-holiday season.
Wichita Trinity 12 17 8 13 -- 50
Holcomb 11 12 16 18 -- 57
Wichita Trinity (1-3) — Carro 4 2-2 11, Miller 1 0-0 2, Shanks 4 2-2 10, Burns 2 3-4 7, Loon 1 1-2 3, Jones 6 0-1 15. Totals 18 10-13 50.
Holcomb (3-1) -- Gottschalk 1 3-6 4, Tucker 3 4-4 10, Sleep 9 5-7 23, Rupp 1 0-1 2, Stegman 1 0-1 2, Richmeier 3 3-5 10, VanCleave 2 1-2 5. Totals 2 16-26 57.
3-point field goals--Wichita Trinity 4-16 (Carro, Jones 3), Holcomb 1-7 (Richmeier). Rebounds--Wichita Trinity 16 (Jones 8), Holcomb 33 (Sleep 9, Tucker 7). Turnovers--Wichita Trinity 6, Holcomb 12. Fouls--Wichita Trinity 22, Holcomb 18. Fouled out--Wichita Trinity (Burns, Jones).
Holcomb girls 62, Wichita Trinity 48
The Lady Longhorns overcame a sloppy start that included seven scoreless possessions, five turnovers and a 15-4 deficit to defeat the Lady Knights.
Haley Heydman scored seven straight points to help turn the tide.
Down 22-14 at the first break, Holcomb went on a 17-0 run and held Trinity to just a field goal and four free throws to take a 36-28 halftime lead.
Trinity got within four of the lead in the third quarter, but the Longhorns held Trinity to just a field goal and two points in the final period and wrapped up their fourth straight win to open the season.
Four girls scored for Holcomb. Besides Heydman's 24, Kylee Amos had 16 and Jordan Jarnagin and Taylor Deniston each had 11.
Heydman also had 11 boards to lead Holcomb, but they still lost the rebound battle, 30-29.
While the win was great, how they got it wasn't so much, said coach Kenton Tennal.
"We've got to get better at moving our feet on defense," he said. "We don't have to give up that many points."
Trinity out-worked Holcomb, Tennal said, playing as hard as he expected they would.
"We were more physically talented, but they would not go away," he said.
While their shooting was decent (40 percent) and they hit six threes, Tennal said the turnovers were too high (18) and Holcomb couldn't seem to put the Knights away.
"We've got to get that killer mentality," he said. "Our girls played hard after that first quarter. I have some girls who want to win more than anything, but we've got to turn that into boxing out and fighting for loose balls."
Wichita Trinity 22 6 18 2 -- 48
Holcomb 14 22 19 9 -- 62
Wichita Trinity (1-3) -- Schrag 2 0-0 4, Zielke 1 1-6 3, Guetershort 4 2-2 11, Miller 5 2-2 14, Clinton 3 2-3 8, West 1 0-0 2, Hollinger 3 0-0 6. Totals 19 7-13 48.
Holcomb (4-0) — Jarnagin 4 3-3 11, Heydman 8 6-7 24, Deniston 4 3-3 11, Amos 5 2-2 16. Totals 21 14-16 62.
3-point field goals--Wichita Trinity 3-12 (Guetershort, Miller 2), Holcomb 6-20 (Heydman 2, Amos 4). Rebounds--Wichita Trinity 30 (Schrag 5, Billinigs 5), Holcomb 29 (Jarnagin 11, Denioston 7, Amos 7). Turnovers--Wichita Trinity 20, Holcomb 18. Fouls--Wichita Trinity 14, Holcomb 15. Fouled out--Wichita Trinity (West).
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