HOLCOMB — The Holcomb girls, getting used to playing at home again, pulled off conference win over Goodland, 51-39, Friday night in a Great West Activities Conference matchup.
Playing only their second home game since Dec. 19, the Longhorn girls got their fourth straight league win over the Cowgirls, taking control from the outset.
Tied at 4-4 halfway into the opening quarter, Holcomb scored eight straight points to finish the period with a 12-4 lead.
After a slow start in the second, they went into intermission with a 24-12 lead, thanks in part to 12 Goodland turnovers, resulting in 11 Holcomb points.
The ‘Horns had five players score in the half, eight from Eboni Sapien, six from Darien Mader and four from Britnie Novack.
After three, they had increased the lead to 36-21, despite Goodland running a full-court press, which Holcomb broke quite easily, a fact not lost on coach Nathan Novack.
“That’s the luxury of having guards who are fast, who know how to use the sideline (to their advantage),” he said. “We’ve done a lot better job of knowing when to take that sideline and when not to.”
The closest Goodland came in the final quarter was 12 points midway into the period when they put together a 9-4 run and then nine points late when they resorted to sending Holcomb to the line in the final two minutes.
It was a pretty complete game, start to finish, Novack said.
“I’m definitely happy with the way we scored,” he said. “Good balance. We had a lot of post entry stuff. I felt really good about how well balanced the girls were.”
Sapien led the ‘Horns with 17 points. Novack added 12.
“And the ball never stayed in one person’s hands for too long,” Novack added, talking about his team’s ball movement and keeping the Cowgirls defense on the move.
“The ball was always moving and our sets looked good,” he said, as did the transition game and half-court offense.
Pretty complete game, he reiterated, and coming at a good time with just three regular season games remaining before they host a Class 4A-II sub-state.
The carryover from a comeback win at Lakin Tuesday, combined with this win gives Holcomb (10-8, 2-5) a boost in confidence it needs going down the stretch.
“I felt we’re probably more intense. Even when I went to the bench, everybody seemed in tune. Their intensity was there the whole time,” Novack said. “You could definitely see it was a team effort.”
Getting to know the home floor with sub-state just three weeks away (March 1-3) was helpful, he added.
“This is our second (game) since Dec. 19, so it’s been a while but it’s good to be home.“