Abilene Sweeps in NCKL Opener at Concordia

The Abilene High School basketball teams traveled to Concordia Friday night, to open NCKL play.  In the first game, the Cowgirls survived a slow start in a 36-32 victory over the Lady Panthers. In the nightcap, the Panthers were just what the Cowboys needed.  The Cowboys entered the night 1-2 and had lost two straight games.  Concordia was never in it, as Abilene defeated them 74-37, in what was the 11th straight victory in the series for the Cowboys.

In the Cowgirls victory, Beth Holmes came up big in the 4th quarter.  The Senior Point Guard, scored 8 of her game high 14 points in the final period.  Abilene trailed 28-24 with 6:30 to play in the contest.  That is when Holmes would take over.  She scored six unanswered points to put the Cowgirls up 30-28.  Her three-pointer with 4:51 to play gave Abilene their first lead of the game since they lead 2-1 to start the game.  The Cowgirls would not trail the rest of the night.

Early on there was plenty of struggles for Mike Liby’s Cowgirls.  Abilene only managed 3 points in the first quarter and only had 7 points through the first 15 minutes of basketball in the opening half.  Sophomore, Jenna Hayes scored 7 unanswered first half points in the final 1:08 of the half to pull Abilene to within 16-14 at the break.  Hayes also reached double figure with 11 points.

The boy’s game was a complete reversal from last Friday.  Abilene lost 64-40 last Friday at home to Augusta and was down by as many as 32 points in the game.   Friday night, Abilene raced out to a 25-11 lead at halftime and never looked back.  The Cowboys lead 45-21 at halftime and 63-33 by the end of the third quarter which insured there would be a running clock in the final quarter.  Abilene lead by as many as 32 multiple times in the third quarter.

The Cowboys were lead in the victory by Junior, Avery Bryson, he finished with a game-high 17 points.  Abilene also got double-figures from Sophomore, Kaleb Becker, who totaled 12 points.  In all nine different players scored for Abilene.

With the win, the Cowgirls improved to 3-1, 1-0 while Concordia dipped to 1-4, 1-1.  The Cowboy are now 2-2 and 1-0 while the Panthers are 1-4, 1-1.  Abilene will not play again until January 7th at Chapman.