HOLCOMB — Chalk up a successful senior night for the Holcomb Longhorns, as the boys continued their winning streak with a 61-49 league win over Colby on Friday.
Ten seniors dressed for their final regular season home game, with five non-starters getting the opening minutes.
Those opening minutes were anomalous for the ‘Horns, who found themselves down 8-2 after three minutes.
Then the team that has won 16 straight games got on track, scoring on nine of their last 10 possessions in the opening quarter to take a 22-13 lead.
Trey Gilbert scored 12 of his game-high 20 points in that period, including a layup, followed two seconds later by a steal for a layup, followed by a 3-pointer.
After missing their first four field goal attempts, the ‘Horns finished quarter 9 of 12 from the floor, and carried that momentum into the second period, taking a 39-21 lead at intermission.
They went ahead 43-21, before Colby got back on track, but the Eagles were never really in the game any time after that, despite closing out the game on an 11-6 run to get the score a bit closer.
With the win, Holcomb improves to 18-1 (9-0 in the GWAC), while Colby falls to 5-13 (1-8).
Kobe Dickson added 18 points for Holcomb, as well as pulling down 13 of Holcomb’s 38 rebounds.
Holcomb was 23 of 55 from the field, while Colby was 18 of 53. The Eagles’ leading scorers were Xavier Slaven and Jordan Schippers, both with 11 points.
Holcomb also defeated Colby on the road in early January, 66-41.
“We started some guys we don’t normally start, so we started (the game) a little different,” coach Chad Novack said. “But when we came out and sped the game up a little bit, our guys did a good job and played with a lot of energy and passed the ball really well.”
Holcomb turned over the ball three times in the opening minutes but settled down the rest of the game, committing just seven more in the next 28 minutes.
Novack noted that his team played unselfish ball again, one of their trademarks, and passed the ball efficiently and played together.
In both the second and third quarters, five different ‘Horns scored on shots ranging from layups to 3-pointers to even a couple of dunks, including a lob to Trey Gilbert, who rattled it home to open the second quarter.
“This being senior night and their last regular season home game, we said to go out there and play your hardest,” Novack said, and they did that.
With the final regular season game a week away at Hugoton before hosting the sub-state tournament the following week, Novack said they’ll find ways to use the time.
“It’s a good time to watch a lot of film, work on some things,” he said. “This time of year you’re not going to be able to change a lot. It’s just a matter of fine tuning and getting a little bit of a break for their bodies and legs.”
Holcomb will get the top seed in its sub-state, with Hugoton, Larned and Pratt battling it out for the next three spots.
Those three teams started the night within a game of each other.