February 29, 2024

Holcomb girls win in thriller; boys send Buffs packing


Final Girls Highlights: GCHS vs. Holcomb

Holcomb, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-If Saturday night was any indication, Holcomb and Garden City could become one of the best basketball rivalries in Western Kansas. 

Haley Heydman was sensational-pouring in a game-high 27 points; Taylor Deniston added 10 including the go-ahead put back in the final minute to give No. 5 Holcomb a 51-48 win over No. 8 Garden City at Longhorns Field House. 

“I thought both teams made many adjustments throughout the game,” Lady Buffs Coach David Upton said afterwards. “They had a good plan; we had a good plan. Kids made plays.”

In defeat, this game could easily be described as Garden City’s (10-7, 3-2) best played contest of the year. They answered every run. And even when they fell down, they never blinked. 

Less than 24 hours earlier, the Buffs watched Great Bend hit a barrage of first-half 3-pointers. On Saturday, Holcomb did it to them in final 16 minutes.

The Horns barrage began late in the third quarter. After hitting only one of their first 12 from downtown, the Longhorns buried three straight triples, one by Kylee Amos; one by freshman Molly Harrington and one by Heydman. Those three rode a long-distance hot streak into a 34-32 lead heading into the final frame. 

But Garden City responded with seven straight points of their own, including Taryn Tempel’s go-ahead layup that gave Garden City a 36-34 advantage. That lead didn’t stick. 

Amos’ and one put the Horns in front by one only to see Tionnia McKee’s free throws make it 38-37 Garden City. After exchanging blows, Heydman’s three over Jaymie Berbeck put the Horns back in front. On the Buffs ensuing trip down the floor, Jacksenie Tornero was fouled. The senior hit both free throws to tie the game 42-42 with 4:20 to play. Then the storm hit. 

Holcomb regained the lead on Deniston’s straight-on 3-pointer; the Horns fifth long ball of the second half. Then McKee pulled the buffs within one when she knifed through traffic and laid the ball in softly off the glass. Garden City trailed 45-44 with under three minutes to go. 

The Buffs would retake the lead when Tempel intercepted Amos’ inbounds pass; found Bernbeck in transition, who was fouled on a layup attempt. The junior hit both free shots and Garden City led 46-45 at the 1:10 mark of the fourth. 

It appeared the Buffs would get the ball back when Jordan Jarnigan lost the ball momentarily near half court against the Garden City press. But the sophomore picked the ball up and whistled it ahead to Amos. With Upton’s squad scrambling, Emalee Ratliff found a cutting Heydman, who knocked in a layup and was fouled. The senior hit the free throw and the Horns took a 48-46 lead with under a minute left. 

Just when it appeared Garden City was finished, Heydman missed the front end of the 1-and-1 and Dreiling grabbed the rebound. Seconds later, Tempel was fouled driving to the basket. The senior, whose had her ups and downs at the line all year, swished both to tie the game at 48 with 14 seconds. 

The game appeared to be headed for overtime after Jarnigan missed a hook shot in the paint, but Deniston grabbed the rebound, put it back in and was fouled. The junior completed the three-point play to give the Lady Horns a 51-48 lead with five seconds remaining. 

Garden City had one last chance to send it to an extra session, but Tempel’s three from the wing hit the front rim, giving Holcomb their first ever win over the Lady Buffs. 

“After coaching her (Taryn Tempel) for four years, that was a pretty good shot in my opinion.”

Tornero and Berbeck each scored 11 points to lead Garden City. Tempel and McKee chipped in 10 apiece. Deniston scored 10 points for Holcomb. 

Next up: Garden City vs. Dodge City-Tuesday, February 18-6 p.m. on KWKR 99.9 FM and westernkansasnews.com

Final Stats: GCHS vs. Holcomb girls


Holcomb boys 66, Garden City 55

Final Highlights: GCHS vs. Holcomb

There might be reason for concern for Jacy Holloway’s bunch. For the second straight night, their offense seemed stuck in quicksand, and Holcomb took full advantage. 

Dalton Gottschalk scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the first half and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Longhorns cruised past Garden City 66-55 Saturday night at Longhorns Field House. 

“That’s a good team right there,” Holloway said after the game. “We didn’t overlook them in anyway. We just gave them too many easy baskets.”

A lot of those came in the late stages of the first quarter. After trailing early, Holcomb took a 9-7 lead after Blake Richmeir’s driving layup. What ensued after that, can only be described as a complete collapse. 

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Holcomb (14-3, 6-1) forced five, first-quarter giveaways leading to a 19-5 run to end the period. By the time Holloway looked up, his team was down 26-12. 

But the onslaught continued, and Trey Sleep’s uncontested finger roll swelled the Longhorn lead to 18. They would never trail again. 

Garden City (10-7, 2-3) would get as close as 11 in the final quarter after Hunter Delgado’s four-point play. But Heath Tucker, who fouled out late in the fourth period with 10 points, drilled a straight-on three from 25 feet out to weather the storm. 

Sleep recorded his second double-double of the season-17 points and 10 rebounds; Richmeir added eight. Mitchell Hernandez scored a season-high 18 points, while Delgado chipped in 11. Caleb Tramp nearly notched his second straight double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. 

Next up: Garden City vs. Dodge City-Tuesday, February 17-7:30 p.m. on KWKR 99.9 FM and westernkansasnews.com

Final Stats: GCHS boys vs. Holcomb

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