HOLCOMB — Dumas, Texas, had six games under its belt to Holcomb’s one, but it was the Longhorns who looked more seasoned early in the opening round of the Clarion Inn Roundball Classic Thursday evening.
But after taking an 11-point lead early in the final period, Holcomb couldn’t not sustain the momentum, falling 60-55 after Dumas outscored them 20-7 in the final quarter.
“The fourth-quarter pressure kind of got to some of us,” coach Nathan Novack said. “We made some careless turnovers. They (Dumas) obviously took the momentum in that stretch (early in the fourth), they made some plays, and we just couldn’t play with their pressure.”
Eboni Sapien led the ‘Horns with 20 points, but the Dumas duo of Courtney Mild (16 points) and Raven Jones (17) proved too much to overcome, as the pair scored 26 of their team’s 41 second-half points.
Holcomb outscored the Demons, 14-6, in the opening period, holding Dumas scoreless for over three minutes to end the quarter.
They took a 27-16 lead with 20 seconds to play in the half, thanks to a Lauren Jones trey, before Adriana Urbina drained a three to end the half, with Holcomb leading 27-19.
Holcomb forced the Demons into 16 first-half turnovers, to make up for losing the rebounding battle, 17-8.
Dumas pulled within three midway into the third, before Chesney McVey’s trey started a 10-2 run to give Holcomb a 41-32 lead with under two minutes to play.
Then, in the span of just 16 seconds, the Demons scored nine straight points to pull within three, 41-38.
Holcomb pulled away at the end of the period, ending on a Jones three-pointer, and starting the fourth on Eboni Sapien’s traditional three-point play.
That gave Holcomb a 51-40 lead, but Dumas went on an 11-0 run to tie the game 51-51 with 5:02 to play.
Sapien ended that binge with an inbound steal, basket-free throw play at 3:32. But Adriana Urbina got a long rebound and buried a three to give Dumas its first lead of the game, 56-54, with 2:02 to play, moving to 58-54 on an inbound set and deuce on the next possession.
Getting the lead and building on it would have been the ideal way to prevent the late comeback, Novack said.
“We’re not accustomed to that, though,” he said. “That needs to be the focus when we get a double-digit lead and keep building on that. It’s a tough loss, but our girls are resilient and they’ll be ready to go tomorrow.”
Holcomb (0-2) will host Wichita Trinity at 6 p.m. Friday night.