ULYSSES It might not have been one of the best wins of the season for the Holcomb Longhorns, but boys coach Scott Stegman said he'd take a victory any way he could.

He got it Tuesday when the Longhorns out-slugged Ulysses 50-42 in a non-league contest. Holcomb will conclude the regular season Friday at home against Syracuse, then will be in the Lakin Class 3A sub-state next week.

"I knew that if our defense shut down their 3-point shooting, we'd have a good chance and that's what happened," Stegman said. "We did a good job of blocking out on the boards, too, and that's always a key for us."

Ulysses (11-9) saw their regular season run end with three straight losses in a span of five days at Pratt, at Garden City and Tuesday. The Tigers will be in the Class 4A sub-state at Pratt.

Ulysses has lived and died for most of the season behind the 3-point arc. The Tigers mustered just 2-of-10 from 3-point land and shot 14-of-48 (29 percent) from the field for the game. Holcomb wasn't much better in its shooting, hitting 17-of-48 (35 percent).

Holcomb (14-6) dominated inside, owning a commanding 42-28 lead on the boards. Senior Jacob VanCampen led with 13 rebounds and Kyle Walck had eight from his guard position.

"Jacob's just a standout on the boards, that's what he lives and dies for," Stegman said. "For us, the win is about pride. If we're fortunate to qualify for state, we want to go with the best record we can."

The game was eerily reminiscent of the Longhorns victory Friday at Cimarron. Holcomb led 6-4 after one quarter and 19-14 at halftime in a game that seemed to have as many turnovers as points in the first half.

"If you counted the number of (close shots) we missed, we might have had 14 more points in that half," Stegman said. "Again, I thought our defense was the key. We did a good job on the perimeter and the open looks (Ulysses) are used to getting, they didn't get. We had a number of players like Brady Merz and Trey DeLaRosa who stepped up and contributed well tonight."

With the pace picking up in the second half, Holcomb finished the third period with a 30-25 lead, then went on a 20-17 scoring spree in the final eight minutes. It was still a six-point game with 32 seconds left, but Walck iced it with a pair of free throws with 14 seconds remaining.

Junior Logan Singhisen was the lone Longhorn in double figures with 13 points. Bryce Moral paced Ulysses with 10 points.

Holcomb and Syracuse enter Friday's game tied for second in the HPL with two losses. Holcomb will play its final HPL game, moving into the new Great West Athletic Conference for the 2010-2011 season.


Holcomb 50, Ulysses 42

HOLCOMB (14-6) Singhisen 5-14 3-7 13, Merz 2-5 2-2 6, Robinson 1-2 1-2 3, M. Gaede 2-6 3-4 7, Walck 3-10 2-2 8, DeLaRosa 1-4 2-5 4, VanCampen 3-7 3-4 9. Totals 17-48 16-26 50.

ULYSSES (11-9) Zerr 2-6 2-2 7, Malone 0-2 0-0 0, Moral 3-12 5-6 12, Jarnagin 2-6 3-4 7, Sullivan 3-7 0-2 6, B. Langston 2-7 2-2 6, Perez 0-3 0-0 0, T. Langston 0-0 0-0 0, Kissel 1-2 0-0 2, Oliver 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 14-48 12-16 42.

Holcomb 6 13 11 20 -- 50

Ulysses 4 10 11 17 -- 42

3-point goals Holcomb 0-3 (Merz 0-2, Walck 0-1), Ulysses 2-10 (Zerr 1-2, Malone 0-1, Moral 1-2, B. Langston 0-3, Perez 0-2). Rebounds Holcomb 42(VanCampen 13), Ulysses 28 (Jarnagin 6, Sullivan 6). Turnovers Holcomb 19, Ulysses 16. Fouls Holcomb 19, Ulysses 19. Fouled out Holcomb (M. Gaede).