The Abilene Cowboys all season long have been able to hold their opponents off in close games, which helped them earn the top seed in the Abilene Sub-State with a 17-3 record. It was the same story Thursday night in Abilene as the Cowboys defeated El Dorado 48-40 to end the Wildcats season at 8-13.
Abilene trailed at halftime 24-22, but the Cowboys would start the second half on an 8-0 run to take a 30-24 lead with 5:10 to play in the third quarter. Abilene would never trail again. During that stretch Ben Veach would score 7 of the 8 points, and he ended up with a team high 17 points, which is his second highest point total of his career.
“He was a big key for us inside, his quickness and length made a difficult guard for them”, said Abilene Head Coach Terry Taylor.
Abilene’s second big run would finally put away the Wildcats for good. El Dorado got a three pointer from Colby Johnson with 3:55 to play to pull the Wildcats to within 40-38. The Cowboys would then respond with eight straight points to take their biggest lead of the game at 48-38 with 40 seconds left.
“They really took advantage of getting the ball inside. They really ran some nice sets to get their post guys that they wanted to get isolated down low. They are 17-3 for a reason. They are a good basketball team”, said El Dorado Head Coach John Regehr.
El Dorado fell behind 14-9 at the end of the first quarter but used perimeter shooting from Senior Trevor Burnett to take at two point lead into halftime. Burnett scored a game high 18 points with 11 of those points coming in the second quarter. “He acted like he did not want his career to end”, said Regehr.
In the other semifinal game, Ottawa defeated Wamego 63-50 in a battle of top 5 teams in 4A Division I. Abilene will play Ottawa in the championship Saturday night at 7:30pm. Abilene defeated Ottawa last year 64-48 in the semifinals of the Ottawa Sub-State.
Friday night the top seeded Abilene Cowgirls 14-6 will play El Dorado 2-18 in the second game. In the first game, second seeded Wamego 6-14 takes on Ottawa 4-16.