The Abilene High School basketball teams split at Council Grove Tuesday night. The Cowgirls suffered their second straight close loss in a 42-35 setback to the Lady Braves. The Cowboy’s 30 point lead in the third quarter was too much for Council Grove to overcome in Abilene’s 65-54 victory.
The Cowgirls got off to a quick start, thanks in part to the play of Senior, Beth Holmes. Holmes scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the opening quarter. Her play helped Abilene build a 14-9 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Cowgirl offense slowed down in the second quarter but they still took a 20-18 lead into halftime. Abilene then only managed 3 points in the third quarter and it allowed Council Grove to take control of the game. Paisli Butler gave the Lady Braves the lead for good on a bucket to make the score 25-23 with around 5:00 minutes to play in the third quarter. It was part of a 7-0 Council Grove run to close the quarter and give them a 28-23 lead as they entered the fourth. They would lead by as many as 7 points on multiple occasions in the final quarter including the final score. The Cowgirls fell to 5-10 with the loss.
The last time the Cowboys played at Council Grove they let a double digit lead slip away in a 61-57 loss back in 2018. Late in the third quarter it appeared there was no chance of that happening again. Abilene used a 21-0 run to take a 56-26 lead with 39 seconds left in the third quarter. Council Grove scored the final 5 points of the quarter and backed that up with the first 16 points of the fourth quarter to put together a 21-0 run of their own to cut the deficit to 56-47 with 3:09 to play. It was too little too late though as the Cowboys would hold them off not allowing the Braves to get any closer.
Abilene improved to 10-5 with the victory they were led in scoring by Travis Beetch who finished with 19 points, Kaleb Becker added 18 and Josh Stuber poured in a career-high 15 points. Abilene will return home Friday against Wamego.