By KEVIN THOMPSON
HOLCOMB — That whoosh heard outside the Holcomb High School gym Tuesday evening?
That was coach Kelly Snodgrass letting out a huge sigh of relief. A very, very welcome sigh of relief.
Her Lady Longhorns had just held on to defeat Jetmore 49-45 to get back on the winning track after dropping their last two games.
Holcomb had been 9-1 before falling in the Hi-Plains League tournament title game then to Scott City a week ago. Snodgrass will certainly take the win, but it took until the final horn to tell her that this was for real.
It helped that Breanna Gottschalk — who stands 5-foot-11 — played like she was 6-11. The junior post scored 30 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, hit 14 free throws and was generally a pest for the Jetmore offense inside all night.
"Bre is a huge presence inside and outside. She dominates the boards," Snodgrass said. "That's how she got a lot of her points."
Holcomb fell behind 12-5 midway through the opening quarter before switching from a tight man-to-man defense to one that was a bit loose. After holding Jetmore to three baskets the rest of the half, the visitors didn't score in the final four minutes of the half.
Gottschalk, who dropped in 11 points in the first quarter and none the second, gave Holcomb their first lead since the opening basket when she nailed a 3-pointer. In a two-minute span, she grabbed five rebounds and scored seven points.
Shelby Cossman kept Jetmore in it hitting two threes and a trio of free throws as the two Longhorn teams ended the period tied at 33.
Cossman hit another three to open the final quarter as Jetmore took the lead. Amy Stegman's driving layup at 6:35 gave Holcomb a one-point lead. Over the next five minutes, Holcomb built that lead to 47-42. Jetmore scored their only other bucket of the quarter at the 1:25 mark. From there it was a free throw contest to the end.
Back to coach Snodgrass' sigh of relief.
"We haven't really put four full quarters together yet," Snodgrass said. "Like I told the girls, that's only going to get us so far. We have to pick it up and find other avenues to score."
The fourth-year Holcomb coach was pleased with how her defense stepped up, especially against Cossman, a scoring threat from the outside and inside. Holding Cossman to 17 points was a victory in itself, especially when her Jetmore teammates weren't able to get open much of the night.
"We picked up the pressure a little bit and decided to show up," Snodgrass said.
Holcomb will be back in league action Friday at home against Wichita County on Homecoming.
Snodgrass hopes things come a little easier as the Longhorns look to build a streak like the one that opened the season. Then she can breathe easier.
JETMORE (9-7) — Cossman 4-15 6-10 17, Edwards 1-5 0-2 2, Beckwith 2-8 3-4 7, Hayes 1-1 1-1 3, Beougher 1-3 2-2 5, Borger 1-4 1-3 3, Salmans 3-12 2-3 8. Totals 1-48 15-25 45.
HOLCOMB (10-3) — Pfeifer 1-2 1-2 3, Lohfink 0-4 0-0 0, Baier 1-7 0-0 2, Gottschalk 7-18 14-16 30, Komlofske 1-1 0-0 2, Boyles 3-10 2-2 8, Pena 0-4 0-0 0, A. Stegman 1-10 1-4 3, Landwehr 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 14-57 19-26 49.
Jetmore 17 5 11 12 -- 45
Holcomb 13 7 13 16 -- 49
3-Point goals — Jetmore 4-13 (Cossman 3-7, Beougher 1-3); Holcomb 2-7 (Gottschalk 2-4).