Holcomb girls upset Goodland; advance to substate final

Eboni Sapien hit the game winning shot with 2 seconds to play, as the Holcomb Lady Longhorns finally bested the Goodland Cowgirls, 41-39, to advance to the substate final against Hugoton on Saturday night.

It was the third meeting between the two GWAC foes, with Goodland prevailing in the first two matchups, most recently winning in overtime, 50-44, on Holcomb’s home floor. The Longhorns used a stingy defense and a steady offense to pull off the win this time, with Sapien leading the way with 16 points. Holcomb opened the game on a 7-0 run, sparked by a 3-point play from Sapien. But Goodland would outscore the Longhorns 12-4 to take a 12-11 lead after one quarter.

In the second quarter, each team went on short runs, with Holcomb building a 20-15 lead, only to see Goodland tie it at 20. At halftime, the Lady Longhorns led 23-22. The two teams traded the lead back-and-forth through the third quarter, with a Zoe Engler trey putting the Lady Longhorns ahead for good 31-29 late in the period. Holcomb led 32-29 heading to the final stanza.

The Cowgirls tied it up twice in the fourth quarter, but could never retake the lead. Hannah Ferguson, Goodland’s standout 6-foot sophomore, hit a layup to tie it at 39, but left Holcomb with 30 seconds on the clock.  After a timeout, Holcomb got the ball to Sapien who drove around her defender and put up a short shot for the game winner.

In addition to Sapien’s 16 points, Jordan Jarnigan had 9, followed by Zoe Engler and Britnie Novack, each with 7. Ferguson led Goodland with 16 points, but Jarnigan and Novack teamed up to harass and frustrate her all night long, coming up with several turnovers on pass attempts into the post.

Up next for the Lady Longhorns is a rematch with the Hugoton Lady Eagles, who blew out Colby 57-27 Thursday night and put up 91 against Holcomb just a little over a week ago. The substate final will tip off at 6:00 PM, with the pregame show beginning at 5:45 on AM 1030 KBUF.