Abilene Cowboys 38 Concordia 34
The Abilene Cowboys beat the Concordia Panthers for a third time in less than a month but it was far from easy. Abilene also defeated Concordia 59-57 on February 8 and 49-33 February 25. Friday’s victory looked like it would be more like the second match-up, a game in which Abilene got up by as many as 24 points. With the victory, the Cowboys advanced to State for the first time since 2017. It’s just their 4th trip to State since 1997. Abilene had trips to State in 2012, 2013 4th and 2017 3rd, under Terry Taylor. Erik Graefe spent 6 years under Taylor and was able to guide the team in his first season.
The Cowboys got out to a fast start in the game. Blaise McVann hit a three-pointer at the end of the first quarter to give Abilene a 15-6 lead. In the second quarter, the Cowboys were able to stretch the lead to 14 at halftime. McVann scored on a layup in the final seconds, to make the score 25-11.
The second half was a different story. Abilene managed just 5 points in the third quarter and their lead shrank to 30-23 at the end of three quarters. The Cowboys had a drought that extend nearly a quarter where they didn’t score. They scored at the 4:58 mark of the third quarter and didn’t score again until Cooper Wildey got a bucket to make the score 32-23 with 5:13 to play. Concordia continued to narrow the gap as Abilene struggled at the line. The Cowboys made just 6-15 free-throws in the final quarter. The Panthers just ran out of time. The 4 point margin at the end of the game was as close as they had been since the first quarter.
Concordia ended their season at 10-12. They were led in scoring by Chase Parker, who finished with 10 points. Abilene improved to 13-5 with victory and were led by Blaise McVann with 9 points. The Cowboys will host McPherson, Monday at 6 PM. The Bullpups won at Buhler 57-54 on Friday.