Clay Center Lady Tigers 52 Abilene 19
Abilene pushed the Lady Tigers in a January 15, 34-21 loss at Clay Center but the Cowgirls were no match for the Clay Center Friday night. The Lady Tigers are ranked #2 in the state in Class 4A and look every bit the part. They led 17-6 at the end of the first quarter but the Cowgirls finished the first half on a 6-0 run and trailed 25-14 at halftime.
Any momentum that Abilene may have had at the end of the first half was quickly erased in the third quarter. The Lady Tigers outscored Abilene 20-3 in the third quarter and led 45-17 as the two teams entered the fourth. There was a running clock in the final quarter and Clay Center went on to the 32 point victory.
Clay Center improved to 17-0, 8-0 on the season. They were led by Senior, Clara Edwards, who finished with a game-high 27 points. Abilene fell to 3-13, 1-6 with the loss. Abi Lillard finished with a team-high 11 points in the loss.
Abilene Cowboys 69 Clay Center Tigers 61
Abilene and Clay Center entered Friday’s contest going in two different directions and the team playing better basketball wasn’t Abilene. The Tigers had won three of four games entering the game with the Cowboys, while Abilene had lost three of four.
The Cowboys got off to a fast start. They led by as many as 11 in the second quarter and had a 31-27 advantage at halftime. Just like in the first matchup though, the Tigers proved to be tough to shake. In Abilene’s 56-52 victory at Clay Center on January 15, the Cowboys led by as many as 21 in the first half, only to watch the Tigers trim it down to 1 late in the fourth quarter. Friday night, Clay Center outscored Abilene 23-17 in the third quarter and took a 50-48 lead into the final quarter.
In the fourth, the Cowboys opened the quarter on a 12-0 run and got up 60-50 with with 2:27 to play in the game. The Tigers finally scored on an Isaac Lee three-pointer with 2:18 left to cut the deficit to 60-53. It was too little too late though as Abilene put the game away at the line. The Cowboys were 8-12 at the stripe in the final quarter.
Abilene improved to 9-5, 5-3 with the victory. The Cowboys got career-highs from Kaleb Becker 23, Avery Bryson 19 and Josh Stuber 17 in the win. Clay Center slipped to 4-13, 2-6 with the loss. The Tigers were led by Isaac Lee with 22 points and Mark Hoffman with 18.