The postseason is about surviving to fight another day and that’s what the Holcomb Longhorns did Thursday night, holding off a very tough Kingman Eagle team 65-57 in boys’ sub-state semi-finals at Cimarron.
The game opened like many Longhorn wins, with Holcomb jumping out 9-2, but Cody New, Kingman’s 5-foot-6-inch point guard, proved unstoppable for the Longhorns and he single-handedly kept the Eagles in the game, scoring 11 of Kingman’s 23 first half points. Holcomb led just 25-23 at the break.
The Longhorns’ season scoring leaders, Trey Sleep and Heath Tucker each had only 2 points and 2 fouls at halftime. Kingman kept it close in the third quarter, tying the game at 31, but a 12-3 Holcomb run, that included a 4-point play by Heath Tucker, pushed the Longhorn lead to 9, before Kingman answered and it was 43-36 heading into the final stanza.
In the fourth quarter, the Eagles turned to the 3-ball, but the Longhorns kept answering and after an old-fashioned 3-point play by Trey Sleep, Holcomb led 58-48 with just 1:18 to play. Kingman’s Tyler Garrison would bury three straight shots from beyond the arc, while Holcomb hit one free throw, and suddenly, it was a 2-point game with 40 seconds to play. Dalton Gottschalk, a 53% free throw shooter on the year, came through down the stretch hitting four straight free throws to seal the game. Dalton hit 10 of 12 from the line and led the Longhorns with 21 points.
Heath Tucker scored 12 in the second half to finish with 14 and Trey Sleep added 11 second half points to finish with 13 for the Longhorns. Cody New led all scorers with 23 points, followed by Tyler Garrison with 13 for Kingman.
The Eagles end their season at 15-7. The Longhorns improve to 19-3 and will face the Cheney Cardinals in the sub-state final Saturday night at 7:30. Cheney beat Garden Plain 63-46. You can hear all the action of that game on KBUF 1030-AM.