After playing their most complete game of the season Tuesday at Scott City, the Holcomb Longhorns looked to pick up another win on the road Friday.
It didn’t have the sleekness of Tuesday’s win, but Holcomb picked up a 66-41 win over Colby to improve to 8-1.
Holcomb jumped out to an 18-8 lead after the first break, and led 32-20 at halftime. A 34-21 second half put the game away, but it came with a mixed bag of positives and negatives.
Coach Chad Novack pointed out his team’s efficiency to start the game
“I thought we came out and played really well right off the bat,” he said. “We passed the ball well, and we were playing good, solid defense.”
Holcomb’s quick start came, in part, to board dominance as they grabbed 12 to Colby’s one. That helped the ‘Horns jump out to a 14-2 lead as they scored on seven of their first 10 possessions.
Colby got as close as eight points twice in the opening minutes of the second period, but that was the closest they would get the rest of the night.
While Holcomb maintained its lead, Novack noted the three straight turnovers in the second period and six overall in the quarter alone as a negative.
“We got complacent,” he said. “That’s something we talked about. We get a lead, then in that second quarter we get complacent and settle. That’s something we really have to work on. I don’t know if that’s just lack of focus there in the second quarter or whatever it may be.”
Novack challenged his team to get grooved again and it worked.
“That third and fourth quarter, we did a really good job of attacking and passing the ball really well,” he said.
Leading 32-20 at halftime, Holcomb shot nine of 10 from the field, scoring on nine of its 11 possessions to go up by 22 at one point.
That streak continued in the fourth when, at one point, they scored on seven-of-eight possessions to take their largest lead of the night, 27 points.
Colby didn’t get a second-chance until the third period, and just once more on the game’s final play.
Kobe Dickson led four Holcomb players in double figures with 17. Carter Blackburn had 12, Steven Crain 11 and Trey Gilbert 10.
Twenty-two assists meant his team passed the ball well and shared in the scoring, Novack said. The high-low game was working well in the second half. Guards cut on the back side for good shots. Those were some of the positives.
“Probably the one big thing that stood out today was our lack of valuing the basketball with our turnovers,” he added. “Too many silly, unforced turnovers (16) that we need to touch up on.”
But overall, a pretty good game for the state’s No. 3 team in Class 4A-II, which now heads to Hillsboro for a tough tournament next week.
Colby (2-7, 1-4) got 22 points from Jordan Schippers. Calvin Staap, averaging nearly 12 points a game, had just five.
Devin Mader, Zeke Leyva and Garrett Williams stepped up on defense to contain Stapp, Novack said.
“Those three like that challenge of guarding the other team’s quickest or best player,” he said. “It’s a way for them to really contribute. They’ve all taken that challenge, and tonight they did a great job.”