February 4, 2023

Longhorns split with Cimarron

The Holcomb Longhorns fell to the Cimarron Bluejays in girls’ action 46-29 Tuesday night, but the Horns blasted the Jays in the boys’ game, 66-34 to remain undefeated.

In the opener, the Lady Longhorns struggled offensively, not scoring until only 20 seconds remained in the first quarter, when Courtney Wren hit a pair of free throws. The Bluejays weren’t much better early, scoring only 6 points in the opening quarter. A pair of free throws by Zoe Engler at the start of the second quarter cut the Cimarron lead to 6-4, but the Bluejays score the next 7 points to build a 13-4 lead. Holcomb came back, with buckets by Engler and Britnie Novack, trimming the lead to 5 at 13-8. However, Holcomb couldn’t score over the last three minutes of the half and Cimarron pushed the lead to 10 by halftime, 18-8.

Cimarron found the scoring a little easier in the third quarter, outscoring Holcomb 16-8 to lead by 18 heading into the final quarter, 34-16. The Bluejays would stretch the lead to 21 early in the fourth, but the Longhorns trimmed it to 17 by the final buzzer, falling 46-29.

Holcomb was led by Eboni Sapien with 10 points, all in the second half, and 8 rebounds, with Zoe Engler adding 8 points and 7 rebounds. Freshman Taylor Jantz led the Bluejays with 16 points and Korina Bailon added 10. The Lady Longhorns did win the rebounding battle, 36-25

The Bluejays improve to 6-1 on the season and will face Dodge City on Friday. The Lady Longhorns are now 2-4 and will host Ulysses Friday.

In the nightcap, the Longhorn boys built a 10-point lead in the opening quarter, only to see the Bluejays rattle off 6 straight points and Holcomb led 18-14 after one period of play. The defense tightened in the second quarter and the offense picked up as the Longhorns outscored the Bluejays 20-9 to lead 38-23 at halftime. Christian Merz was unstoppable in the first half, hitting four 3-pointers en route to 18 first half points. He would finish the game with 20 to lead all scorers.

Conner Van Cleave, who came into the game averaging 21 points and 12 rebounds, watched most of the first half from the bench with two fouls and had only points at the break. He made up for it in the third quarter, though, scoring 9 of the Longhorns’ 13 points, as Holcomb built the lead to 22, 51-29. The Longhorns coasted through the final 8 minutes for the 66-34 win.

Van Cleave earned another double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, while Jaime Hernandez also had double-digit rebounds with 10 boards. The Longhorns dominated the boards by a 37-15 margin. As a team, Holcomb also dished out 17 assists, with Brandon Stegman providing 6 of those. Sophomore Jaylen Pickle led Cimarron with 10 points.

Holcomb is now 6-0 on the season and will host the Ulysses Tigers on Friday.