The Abilene High School basketball teams both finished in 5th Place at the Salina Invitational Tournament Saturday. The Cowgirls for the second straight day used a big second quarter to put away their opponent. They outscored Buhler 21-6 in the second quarter and the Lady Crusaders never recovered as the Cowgirls rolled to a 43-28 victory. The Cowboys put together one of their best efforts of the season in their 60-50 victory over Liberal. It was the second straight year that the Cowboys defeated the Redskins for 5th Place.
The Cowgirls were tied at 10 at the end of the first quarter and fell behind 12-10 after Buhler Sophomore, Alyvia Owens scored for the Crusaders with 6:34 to play before halftime. Abilene put together a 14-0 run to take control of the game. Senior, Hannah Willey capped the run with a basket to make it 24-12 with 2:06 to play in the first half. The Cowgirls would lead 33-16 at halftime and shot 54% in the first half. Despite just 6 points in the third quarter, Abilene would lead 36-22 as they entered the 4th. Abilene would get up by as many as 18 points in the final quarter.
Abilene was led by Seniors, Hannah Willey and Sydney Burton, who both finished with 14 points. The Cowgirls improved to 10-1 with the victory, while Buhler slipped to 5-6.
In the boy’s game, Abilene would overcome a hot-shooting start by Liberal. The Redskins connected on two 3-point shots in the opening quarter on their way to a 12-8 lead at the end of the 1st. Just like in the girls game, the boy’s put together a 14-0 run, that started at the end of the first and continued with the first 12 points of the 2nd, to take a 20-12 lead on a 3-pointer by Senior, Damian Hartman. The Cowboys would take a 21-18 lead into the half.
Abilene would increase their lead to 40-34 after three quarters and used another run to put away the game. Liberal got to within 36-34 after a made free-throw by Junior, Syris Dunlap with 1:39 to play in the third. Abilene would score the next 11 points to take a 47-34 lead with 5:45 to play in the game. The run was capped by a 3-pointer by Senior, Colton McVann.
The Cowboys got a career-high 16 points from Senior, James Mayden and also got double-figures from the inside Senior combination of Preston Boyd 14 and Tim Barbieri 11.
Abilene improved to 8-3 with the victory, while Liberal dropped to 6-5 on the season. Abilene will host Concordia on Tuesday.