Del City comes out on fire, then keeps Holcomb at bay.


HOLCOMB If it just wasn't for those opening and closing quarters.

That's what the Holcomb Longhorns have to reflect on. They fell to Del City, Okla., 76-54, on the second night of the Clarion Inn Southwest Classic on Friday at the Holcomb High School gym.

The Longhorns outscored the Eagles 30-23 in the middle two quarters, but it was those outer quarters that did in the Longhorns.

Del City used a 33-12 first quarter and 20-14 fourth quarter to keep the host Longhorns at arm's length.

The Eagles missed only one shot in the opening period, connecting 14 times, to look as though they would run away.

Anthony Holland had the hot hand, hitting all seven of his shots for 16 points to outscore Holcomb by himself.

"It's an easy game when the ball goes in the basket," Del City coach Tim Stogsdill said.

But give the Longhorns credit, he said. Holcomb came out in the second quarter as though the first hadn't been as dramatic as it was.

"They played scrappy. They played hard. I told our kids to give them credit," Stogsdill added.

The Longhorns hit 7-of-11 shots and limited Del City to a more reasonable 7-of-13 from the floor in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, they held the Eagles to just eight points, and by the time Max Ramsey hit a short shot to open the fourth period, Holcomb had climbed back to with 12 points.

Unfortunately for them, the Eagles got hot again, scoring their next seven times down the court.

Coupled with four Holcomb turnovers, that was enough to pull away and stay away.

In fact, it was turnovers against a hot team that cost Holcomb in the long run.

They had 19 on the night. Four straight in the first quarter led to eight unanswered Eagle points. Del City capitalized on other streaks to score in bunches of their own (6, 4 and 6) to pull away just when Holcomb looked to be catching up.

It was those turnovers that coach Chad Novack can point to as a major culprit in the loss.

"Any time you have that many turnovers against a team like that (bigger and faster), you're going to end up falling short," he said.

The Longhorns are fairly young, with not much varsity experience, and turnovers will happen early in the season, he said.

"Once we get that figured out, these kids will be a pretty good ball club," he added.

Novack was happy with the fight his team showed.

"After the first quarter, they settled down and responded to the pressure pretty well," he said. "These kids find a way to keep fighting. It's a thing we pride ourselves on. They could have easily folded the tent, but they didn't and they kept battling."

The one hard quarter Friday was reminiscent of the second quarter on Thursday against Pueblo East. After leading by two after the first quarter, Holcomb was outscored 21-6 in the second and lost by 11.

"Those one quarters kind of sealed our fate in these two games," Novack said. "Once we can put a full game together, these guys could be pretty good."

Tyler LaSalle had 17 points to lead the Longhorns, while Shane Bennett scored 11 and Aaron Hernandez 10.

Steffon Herd added 16 points for Del City, Brett Cannon 11 and Jamal Moseley 10.

Holcomb will face Garden City at 7 p.m. today at the Perryman Athletic Complex, the first ever varsity meeting between the two schools.

"It's going to be another tough game," Novack said. "They're going to be a disciplined ball club, so we'll have to just do what we do well and do our best."

Del City (3-0) will face Pueblo East at 3 p.m. at Perryman in a battle between the two out-of-state teams who are both 2-0 in the Classic.


Del City (76)

Holland 12 1-2 27, Long 0 2-2 2, Moseley 3 2-5 10, Fry 1 0-0 2, Glover 2 0-0 4, Harkey 2 0-0 4, Cannon 4 1-2 11, Herd 7 2-2 16. Totals 31 8-14 76.

Holcomb (54)

LaSalle 7 2-2 17, Hernandez 4 0-0 10, Homer 1 0-0 2, Tucker 1 0-0 2, Gilbert 2 0-0 4, Thomas 1 2-2 4, Bennett 5 1-2 11, Ramsey 2 0-0 4. Totals 23 5-6 54.

Del City 33 15 8 20 -- 76

Holcomb 12 19 11 14 -- 54

3-point goals--Del City 6-14 (Moseley 2, Holland 2, Cannon 2); Holcomb 3-7 (LaSalle 1, Hernandez 2). Rebounds--Del City 16 (Glover 2, Harkey 2), Holcomb 18 (LaSalle 4, Tucker 3, Gilbert 3, Thomas 3, Bennett 3). Total fouls--Del City 13, Holcomb 11. Fouled out--none. Turnovers--Del City 10, Holcomb 19.