May 30, 2024

Holcomb splits with Ulysses

Ulysses, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-Once again, the Holcomb Lady Longhorns played a close first quarter and once again, the opponent used a strong second quarter to open a big lead. This time, Ulysses opened the second quarter with a 22-2 run to turn a 14-10 first quarter lead into a 36-12 lead behind Jessi Arnold’s 18 first-half points. But, the Lady Longhorns fought back with an 8-0 run, sparked by a 3-pointer from Zoe Engler and finished by a Taylor Deniston trey at the buzzer to make it 36-20 in favor of the Lady Tigers at halftime. Holcomb continued the run into the second half, outscoring Ulysses 12-2 to cut the lead to 6, 38-32. From there, though, the Tigers regained control and rolled to a 65-43 win.

Taylor Deniston led the way for Holcomb with 15 points, followed by Eboni Sapien with 10. Ulysses’ Jessi Arnold led all scorers with 24. It was the Lady Tigers second win of the season, while the Lady Longhorns fall to 3-4. Holcomb will host Scott City Tuesday night.

The boys’ game was a back-and-forth battle. After Holcomb scored the game’s first 4 points, Ulysses launched an 11-0 run, enroute to a 17-11 first quarter lead, fueled by 5 3-point baskets. The Longhorns regained the lead midway through the second quarter and led 28-26 at halftime. Holcomb started the third quarter on a 9-0 run, but Ulysses used pressure defense and the 3-point shot to take a 43-42 lead. Then, with 2.8 seconds left in the quarter, Conner Van Cleave heaved a 3/4-court pass that Trey Sleep tapped to Dalton Gottschalk, who nailed a trey at the buzzer to give the Longhorns a 45-43 lead heading into the final stanza. Early in the fourth quarter, the Tigers took a 50-49 lead, but the Longhorns responded to retake the lead and hit their free throws down the stretch to hold on for a 65-61 win.

The Tigers’ Tregg Rodriguez led all scorers with 30 points, including hitting 5 shots from beyond the arc, but it wasn’t enough for his team, which hit 10 of 19 3-pointers for the game. As a team, Holcomb hit only 2 treys all night, but 3 Longhorns scored in double figures, led by Dalton Gottschalk with 25, including hitting 10 out of 12 free throws. Holcomb was 17 of 25 from the charity stripe, which helped offset Ulysses’ hot 3-point shooting. In addition to Gottschalk’s 25 points, Conner Van Cleave had a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards, and Trey Sleep tossed in 16 points. The Longhorns also showed their unselfishness in this game, dishing out 19 assists as a team.

Holcomb improves to 7-0 and will face Scott City, 6-0, Tuesday night in a GWAC showdown for first place.