Scott City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–With the regular season coming to a close in a hurry, two teams in the same sub-state matched up Tuesday night at the site where the sub-state tournament will take place March 2-4. Tuesday’s winners also saw them have respectable fourth quarter leads, only to see comebacks fall short. In the girls game, Scott City hung on for a 47-45 victory, while the Holcomb boys used two big runs in the final period to win 51-44.
Scott City led wire-to-wire in this one, although it remained close for a majority of the night. After starting out 6-0 off a pair of Macie Price three pointers, Holcomb would rally, to pull to within 12-11 after the first quarter. The Lady Beavers would stretch their lead with a 5-0 run to lead 22-15 at the 2:26 mark of the half, as the Lady Longhorns would close the half on a 6-3 run to make it 25-21 at the break. Scott City (10-8, 6-2 GWAC) scored the first six points of the half to make it 31-21 with 6:03 remaining in the third period. When it looked like they would pull away, Holcomb had other intentions. A 10-2 run by the Lady Longhorns pulled them to within 31-20 with 1:50 left in the third quarter. The Lady Beavers responded with the final four points of the third quarter to take a 37-31 lead heading into the final frame. Holcomb (6-12, 2-6) scored the first points to pull to within four early in the fourth quarter at 37-33. Scott City looked like they would put it away, going on an 8-1 run to get their biggest lead at 45-34 with 4:01 remaining. The Longhorns would not go down without a fight, using an 11-2 run to get to 47-45 with 11.2 left. Holcomb called their final timeout. Scott City would throw a baseball pass down to Price, who missed the layup. Eboni Sapien got the rebound for the Lady Longhorns, and found Darien Mader under the basket with two seconds left, and missed the layup. Emily Smith grabbed the board for Scott City, as they held on for the two point win at 47-45. Leading the way for Scott City were Emily Smith and Emily Weathers with 10 points apiece. The Lady Beavers were 12-22 at the foul line and committed 15 turnovers. Zoe Engler had 12 points in the fourth quarter, and finised with 13 points on the night to lead Holcomb. The Lady Longhorns were 11-15 at the free throw line, and had 13 turnovers. With the win, Scott City has clinched their first-ever winning record in GWAC play, and the first time they will finish with a winning record in league play since 2008-09 season, when they were in the MSAA. The Lady Beavers have now won two straight against Holcomb for the first time since they won two straight in the 2003-04 season.
Coach Sarah McCormick Postgame
Holcomb came in on a big roll, winning 16 straight games after dropping their season opener at Liberal. Scott City entered with another tough loss to Ulysses on Friday. Both teams played to a 12-point Longhorn win on January 10 at 59-47. Tuesday’s game did not see either team reach a double digit lead. Overall, the game saw five ties and six lead changes. The teams were tied at 13 after the first quarter. In second quarter, the Beavers scored four of the first five points to take a 17-14 lead with 6:23 left in the half. Holcomb (17-1, 8-0 GWAC) scored the next six points to lead 20-17 midway through the second quarter. Scott City scored the next four to take the 21-20 lead with 2:10 left before the break, only to see the Longhorns close out the half on a 6-2 run to lead 26-23 at the half. Holcomb would not surrender the lead, although they would see themsleves tied three times in the quarter. Scott City (10-8, 3-5) rallied to tie the game at 32, 34 and 36 at the end of the third period. The Beavers had their chances to retake the lead to begin the fourth quarter, but two costly turnovers would hurt them. Holcomb scored the first eight points of the final period to take a 44-36 lead with 4:22 left. When it looked like the Longhorns would cruise the the win, the Beavers made one final push. In a matter of 13 seconds, Jordan Horn scored six straight points, inlcuding a rare four-point play wiht 2:55 left to pull the Beavers to within 44-42. Holcomb scored seven straight to put the game away for good, and had their biggest lead with seconds left to lead 51-42, before settling for the 51-44 win. Conner VanCleave finished with a game-high 21 points, while Kobe Dickson added 10. The Longhorns shot 14-20 at the free throw line and had 11 turnovers. Scott City was led by Jordan Horn with 13 points and Drew Duff added 9. The Beavers were 9-9 at the charity line, and had seven turnovers. In the end, it would be the cold shooting for Scott City that held them back from the big upset win. With the win, Holcomb has clinched at least a share of the GWAC title, thanks to the Hugoton loss at Ulysses. The Longhorns have now won four straight over Scott City, and now five of the last seven games since 2014. Scott City’s five losses in conference play are the most since the 2003-04 season, when they went 4-6 in the MSAA.
Coach Brian Gentry Postgame
Scott City will travel to Hugoton on Friday, and host Goodland to wrap up the regular season on Tuesday. Holcomb will visit Colby on Friday, before hosting Hugoton on Friday, February 24.