For the second night in a row, the Holcomb Longhorn boys found themselves in a tight, early defensive struggle against a scrappy team, but pulled away after a close 1st quarter for a double-digit win over Palmer Ridge, 63-48.
Holcomb trailed early, but took the lead for good late in the opening quarter and led 12-9 after one. The Longhorns headed into the 2nd quarter without Conner Van Cleave who was on the bench with two fouls, but Dillon Williams helped shore up things inside and Holcomb quickly built a 12-point lead less than 2 minutes into the period. Behind the scoring of Christian Merz (10 points) and Dillon Williams (8 pts), Holcomb built a 15-point halftime lead, 33-18.
Palmer Ridge trimmed the lead to 8 midway through the 3rd quarter, but the Longhorns finished the period on a 7-2 run to lead 43-30. In the final quarter, Holcomb pushed the lead out to 19 on a couple of occasions enroute to the win.
Conner Van Cleave overcame his 1st half troubles to score 15 2nd half points and join Christian Merz as Holcomb’s leading scorers with 19 apiece. Merz was 4 out of 6 from beyond the arc and as a team the Longhorns hit 6 of 16. Holcomb shot 51% from the field, but just 42% from the free throw line, 9 of 21. The Longhorn defense harassed the Bears into 24% shooting from the field.
Palmer Ridge falls to 1-3 and Holcomb improves to 3-0. Next up for the Longhorns, is Wichita Trinity on Saturday at Garden City High School, with tipoff scheduled for 5:15, pregame at 5:00 on AM 1030 KBUF.
Things did not go as well for the Holcomb girls as they struggled to find any offense, falling to Pueblo East, 41-18. The Lady Longhorns led early, 3-2 but couldn’t score for the final six minutes of the 1st quarter, falling behind 12-3. In fact, Holcomb would go more than 12:30 minutes without scoring until getting a bucket from Jordan Jarnigan with less than 1:30 remaining in the half to make it 23-5 in favor of Pueblo East at the break. It wasn’t much better in the 3rd quarter, with Zoe Engler’s three-pointer providing Holcomb’s only offense and the Eagles led 35-8 going into the final quarter. Holcomb finally got untracked in the fourth, outscoring the Eagles 10-6. Jordan Jarnigan who had 4 of the Longhorns’ 5 first half points, finished with 11, followed by Engler with 4 and Brynna McVey with 3.
The Lady Longhorns are now 1-2 on the season and will wrap up the Roundball Classic against Canyon Randall on Saturday. That game tips off at noon, with pregame on AM 1030 KBUF at 11:45.