The Abilene Cowboys won the Salina Invitational Tournament with a 56-53 victory over Andover Saturday night at Mabee Arena on the campus of Kansas Wesleyan University. It was Abilene’s first SIT title since 2012 and their fifth in school history.
Abilene trailed most of the first half and didn’t grab their first lead until Junior Parker Gentry nailed a three with 0:30 seconds to go in the half to make the score 23-22. The Cowboys would take that lead into halftime. In the third quarter Abilene took control of the game as they opened the quarter on a 14-4 run to grab their biggest lead of the game at 37-26 on a pair of free throws from Senior Parker Base. The Cowboys outscored Andover 14-6 in the third and would take a 37-28 lead into the final quarter.
In the fourth Abilene had a ten point lead 50-40 with 3:34 left on a Ryan Wilson free throw, but the Trojans would battle back. Andover, who struggled on three point shots all night hitting just 9-27, finished the game on a 13-6 run and scored a couple of late threes from Jacob Wilson to give themselves a chance in the final seconds. The Trojans had the ball at the end of the game with a chance to tie the game but missed multiple shots and Abilene held on for the win.
Andover shot 56% in their upset overtime victory against Salina Central on Friday, but was held to just 29% shooting tonight. Abilene out-rebounded the Trojans 37-26 and had another solid night at the line hitting 23 of 35 free throws. Parker Base finished with 16 points and Ryan Wilson finished with 12 points. Tucker Robinson finished the night with 12 points and 15 rebounds for the Cowboys.
Parker Base, Ryan Wilson, and Ben Veach were named to the All-Tournament team for their performance during the tournament. Base was also named the Most Inspirational Player at this year’s tournament.
In the first game of the day the Abilene Cowgirls defeated Goodland 50-47 for the 3rd place finish. Abilene was led by Senior McKenzie Funston who finished with a season high 25 points. Abilene lead by as much as 10 points but held off Goodland for the three point victory. Goodland missed a three point shot at the end of the game to potentially tie it. For her outstanding performance in the tournament games, Funston was named to the all tournament team and was also named the Most Inspirational Player.
The Cowboys have won seven in a row and are now 10-1 while the Cowgirls improved to 8-3 on the season. Abilene will host Concordia Tuesday.