After a layoff of more than a week, the Holcomb Longhorns appeared sluggish in the early going, before breaking open a 4-4 game with a 13-0 run over the last three minutes of the opening quarter to take a 17-4 lead, on their way to a 59 – 29 rout over the Pratt Greenbacks in the opening round of sub-state play. Christian Merz led the charge, hitting 5 3-pointers and leading all scorers with 23 points. As a team the Horns were 6 of 22 from long range. Dalton Gottschalk hit the other trey for Holcomb and was 7 of 8 from the free throw line, finishing with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Trey Sleep added 11 points and Conner Van Cleave tossed in 10. Samson Kohman, an athletic 6’4 sophomore, led Pratt with 13 points.
Holcomb dominated the boards, out-rebounding Pratt 39-10, including 13 offensive rebounds which led to 11 second-chance points. The Longhorns also scored 19 points off Pratt’s 14 turnovers.
The Longhorns improve to 20-1 and will try to earn their second straight trip to the state tournament when they take on the Hugoton Eagles for the third time this season Saturday night in Larned. Hugoton rolled over Larned 64 – 39 Thursday night. The Longhorns have beaten the Eagles twice this season by double-digit margins.
You can follow all the action on AM 1030 KBUF and westernkansasnews.com, with tip-off set for 7:30 Saturday night.