Lady Longhorns move on to Class 3A sub-state semis
By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — March Madness started off somewhat sedated Tuesday night in the girls 3A sub-state quarterfinals.
The top-seeded Lady Longhorns had little difficulty dispatching Chaparral at home, 67-31, for their eighth-straight win, advancing to Friday's semifinal game in Cimarron.
Any visions of an eighth seed knocking off No. 1 disappeared quickly, as Holcomb held the Lady Roadrunners to just two field goals in the first quarter as they took a 21-5 lead, and then they extended that to 48-16 by halftime.
Haley Heydman had 20 of her game-high 24 points in the first half to pace the high-scoring Longhorns to their season average.
Taylor Deniston had 17 and Jordan Jarnagin 13 for Holcomb.
A young Roadrunners team had trouble holding onto the ball in the first half, turning it over 20 times and leading to 33 of Holcomb's 48 points in that same frame.
Holcomb coach Kenton Tennal was pleased with his team's effort, especially when things had a chance to get out of hand late.
"I thought we played really, really well in the first half," he said. "We attacked the basket. They were really packing it in with man-to-man defense. But we were still able to get to the basket."
Chaparral connected on just 11 shots on 30 attempts, while the Longhorns were 27 of 51 (53 percent).
Their leading scorer was 5-9 freshman Marissa Yoder with just eight points. Nobody else had more than five for the Roadrunners.
About the only deficiency for Holcomb was 3-point shooting, where they were just 5 of 23.
Holcomb missed its first nine attempts before hitting three straight late in the second.
Not too big a deal, Tennal said. He was more concerned with missing some easier passes to set up better shots overall.
"We've got to clean up our passes. We could have had a lot more open looks, but our passes just were just a little bit off," he said.
But overall, he was satisfied with his team's execution, especially exploiting a younger, less-experienced team such as Chaparral in playoff time.
"We haven't pressed a whole lot this year, but we thought we could exploit them with that and get to them early so we could get subs in more often to get ready for Friday," Tennal said.
Friday, the Longhorns (19-2) will face fourth-seeded Garden Plain (16-5) in what Tennal expects to be a tough matchup.
"They're good," he said. "It's going to be one our toughest games of the year, in the second round as a one seed. We'll have to bring it."
"They run a 1-3-1 with a little bit of man. They have a couple of athletes who are really good," he added.
His team has been practicing against that type of zone defense to prepare for this matchup, and he thinks it will be a good thing.
"We should be able to exploit that, hopefully get some easy layups out of it," he said.
Garden Plain defeated Lakin to reach the semifinals. Holcomb and Garden Plain will tip off at 6 p.m. in Cimarron.
Cheney and Cimarron advanced in the other half of the bracket, and will play each other at 7:30 p.m.
Chaparral 5 11 9 6 -- 31
Holcomb 21 27 11 8 -- 67
Chaparral (5-17)--Bergman 2 1-2 5, Mathes 1 0-0 2, Whealy 1 0-0 2, Wescoat 1 1-1 3, Clark 1 0-0 3, Mayo 2 0-0 4, Pletcher 2 0-0 4, Yoder 1 6-8 8. Totals 11-30 8-11 31.
Holcomb (19-2)--Ratliff 2 0-0 5, Jarnagin 3 6-8 13, Heydman 11 2-2 24, Deniston 8 0-0 17, Amos 3 0-0 8. Totals 27-51 8-10 67.
3-point field goals--Chaparral 1-4 (Clark), Holcomb 5-23 (Ratliff, Jarnagin, Deniston, Amos 2). Rebounds--Chaparral 22 (Mathes 5), Holcomb 21 (Jarnagin 5, Heydman 5). Turnovers--Chaparral 28, Holcomb 12. Fouled out--none. Total fouls--Chaparral 11, Holcomb 12. Technical fouls--none.
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