HOLCOMB — For the first half and partly into the second, things were going well as the Holcomb girls looked to pick up their first win of the season.
Tied with Ulysses 17-17 at halftime, the Longhorns took their first lead of the game on Lauren Jones’ 3-ball.
By the end of the third quarter, however, Ulysses held a 9-point lead on its way to a 48-36 win on the road.
The tight defense from the ‘Horns that held the Tigers to just 7-for-29 shooting in the first half fell victim to the Tiger leader, Gina Ballesteros, who hit three treys and 11 points in the pivotal third quarter to help her team improve to 5-1 for the season.
“Holcomb’s overall effort was great,” Ulysses coach Tim Hofferber said. “Coach Novack had them coached well. Colby had a similar zone against us in our only loss, so I thought he gamed planned well and they executed really well. They kept us out of transition and rebounded well out of it.”
As the game progressed, Hofferber said, his team executed the fundamentals better, and that led to the turnaround in the second half.
“We had a bad taste in our mouths from the Colby game (before break),” he added.
This win made up for that.
Ulysses opened the game with a 4-0 run before Holcomb hit its first field goal at the 3:13 mark, a Gracelyn Rupp trey. Blair Holliday drained another for the ‘Horns’ only points of the period.
Ulysses opened a 17-13 lead in the second, before Holcomb answered with four points to tie the Tigers at halftime.
But it was a lot of Ballesteros in the third, along with a Ulysses defense that held Holcomb to just 2-of-12 shooting, that propelled the Tigers to the win.
Ballesteros finished with 22 points, including four 3-pointers.
Holcomb coach Nathan Novack, whose team is still looking for its first win, found the positives, just as Hofferber indicated.
“Normally, we don’t play zone, but I thought we did really well with it,” Novack said. “We were pretty active in it ant that’s why it was effective.”
Blair Holliday led Holcomb with 11 points. Madi Ruda added eight.