The Abilene Cowgirls punched their ticket to the 4A State Basketball Tournament at the Tony’s Pizza Event Center in Salina. Abilene defeated Wichita Trinity 43-27 Saturday night at Abilene High School. The Cowgirls return to state for the first time since 2017. Abilene’s other trips to state include 1991, 2007, 2008, and 2016.
Trinity pulled to within 21-18 with 5:00 to play in the third quarter on a bucket by Junior, Lauren Mathews. Abilene would respond with a 9-0 run to blow open the game. The run was capped on a bucket by Senior, Hannah Willey to make it 30-18 with 2:08 to play in the third quarter. It was the Cowgirls biggest lead of the game at the time. Abilene would lead 32-21 as the two teams entered the fourth.
In the final quarter Abilene used the same formula that they’ve turned to so many times, getting to the line. The Cowgirls were 9-14 at the line in the final quarter. Abilene’s defense was also terrific. The Lady Knights managed just six points in the fourth quarter and 13 total points in the second half. Trinity only shot 10-42 23%, 3-21 14% on three-pointers and were 4-4 at the line. Abilene was 14-22 63% at the foul line and shot 14-35 40% from the floor. The Cowgirls also held in check the 6’ tandem of Sophomore, Austin Broadie and 6’1” Junior, Lauren Mathews. They combined for 32 points in their 60-40 victory over Winfield in the first round of sub-state. Abilene limited Broadie to 9 points and Mathews 4 points.
The Cowgirls were led in Scoring by Seniors, Sydney Burton 15 and Hannah Willey 11. Juniors, Beth Holmes and Abi Lillard, also came up big for the Cowgirls. Holmes finished with 9 points, her highest total since a February 1st victory at Marysville and Lillard totaled 8 points and turned in perhaps her best performance of the season.
Abilene improved to 20-2, finished the season undefeated at home and have won 10 straight games. Wichita Trinity finished the season 13-7. They didn’t have a single Senior on their roster and should be one of the best teams in 4A next season.