Beavers win GWAC title over Holcomb on Senior Night, 75-50
By KEVIN THOMPSON
SCOTT CITY — A league title, a win over a rival, and in front of a senior night crowd.
Not bad for the top-ranked team in Class 3A, as Scott City took out Holcomb 75-50.
Both teams were riding eight-game win streaks, but it was Scott City who kept its alive Tuesday night on its home court.
The Beavers (17-1, 8-0) were firing on all cylinders, as the cliche goes, in every way, as they dominated the Longhorns from start, taking a 22-12 lead after one quarter and increasing that to 42-22 by halftime.
By the end of the third, the Beavers had started the running clock rule, as they scored 27 points in that period on 10-of-16 shooting, including 4-of-5 on 3-pointers.
Scott City executed the offense both inside and out, converting 56 percent of its shots (31-for-55), and the defense effectively limited what had been a potent, gelling Holcomb offense as of late.
"The kids were looking forward to playing. Holcomb's been playing really well and they were looking to play a good team," Beavers coach Glenn O'Neil said. "Holcomb is definitely that."
The more weapons a team has on the floor, the more effective that team will be, he said. And the Beavers are loaded.
O'Neil credited an overall game execution as the key to the win, citing the seven threes opening up the inside game, where players like Drew Kite (17 points) and Joey Meyer (13) could do their thing.
"I felt we had some tight cuts inside. Against a pressure defense, you have to be able to do that kind of thing," he said.
Trey O'Neil had 17 points, Austin Habiger 12 (all on threes) and Brett O'Neil 10. Tyler Hess, the only other Beaver to score, had six.
Holcomb had three players score 11 — Heath Tucker, Aaron Hernandez and Max Ramsey — but nobody else had more than six.
Tyler LaSalle and Shane Bennett combined for just nine points, 15 below that duo's combined average, a credit to the defense, coach O'Neil said.
"We know they've got all kinds of weapons," he said.
They just didn't let Holcomb fire as much this night.
Scott City scored the first seven points, but Holcomb whittled the lead down to four and five points late in the first quarter before the Beavers went on a 9-0 run.
The teams traded baskets to start the second before the Beavers closed on another 9-0 run.
More mini-streaks got them leads between 28 and 32 points early into the final quarter.
This is the third straight year the Beavers have won the Great West Activities Conference title, but it's just one goal on the way to capturing a third straight state title, O'Neil said.
"This was special on senior night, and fortunately we have one more game here for the seniors with sub-state," he said. "Our guys have been special throughout their careers, as far as the seniors (nine on the squad). We have seniors who could start on teams around here, but they know what their role is. Because they accept that role, they make us better."
For Holcomb coach Chad Novack, it was a better game than the 59-37 loss a month ago, especially in the first 12 minutes when his team attacked the Beavers against a match-up defense.
But defensively, he said, they struggled against a team that was on fire.
Tucker, back for his second game after a hip injury, adds another piece to Holcomb's puzzle, but the team, Novack said, needs to get all the pieces aligned heading towards the post season.
"As a team, we just have to learn to play with more confidence against these guys. Whenever you play a team like this, it doesn't matter what offense you run or what defense you run, if you don't play with confidence, you're not going to beat them," he said.
Holcomb, still in the hunt for a two- or three-seed in substate, hosts Ulysses on Friday and finishes with Hugoton.
Scott City finishes at Goodland next Tuesday.
Holcomb 12 10 16 12 -- 50
Scott City 22 20 27 5 -- 75
Holcomb (14-4, 5-3) — Tucker 5 1-5 11, LaSalle 3 0-0 6, Hernandez 5 0-0 11, Cox 1 1-2 4, Gilbert 1 1-2 3, Richmeier 0 1-2 1, Bennett 1 1-2 3, Ramsey 3 5-6 11. Totals 19 10-19 50.
Scott City (17-1, 8-0) — B. O'Neil 4 0-0 10, T. O'Neil 8 0-0 17, Hess 2 2-2 6, Habiger 4 0-0 12, J. Meyer 5 3-4 13, Kite 7 3-4 17. Totals 30 8-10 75.
3-pt. goals — Holcomb 2-10 (Hernandez, Cox), Scott City 7-13 B. O'Neil 2, T. O'Neil 1, Habiger 4). Rebounds — Holcomb 25 (Tucker 6, Ramsey 7), Scott City 27 (Hess 7, Kite 6). Turnovers — Holcomb 16, Scott City 11. Technical fouls — Scott City (Wilson). Fouled out — none. Total fouls — Holcomb 12, Scott City 16.
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