The Abilene Cowboys season came to an end Saturday at Buhler. The Crusaders held on for a 56-54 victory and punched their ticket to the 4A State Tournament in Salina. Abilene had trailed by as many as 10 in the fourth quarter but had a chance to tie the contest late in the game.
Buhler was led by Junior, Max Alexander, who transferred from McPherson. He finished the night with a game-high 20 points. Alexander hit a three-pointer with 7:41 to play in the game to give the Crusaders a 46-36 lead. The two teams would trade buckets before Abilene finally went on their biggest run of the game. Cowboy Senior, Travis Beetch scored 7 straight points to pull Abilene within 54-52 with 1:04 to play in the game. Beetch capped the run with the first of two free-throw attempts. He missed the second free-throw and Kaleb Becker grabbed the offensive rebound and called a time-out. The Cowboys unfortunately turned over the basketball out of the time-out. Abilene then fouled Isaiah Hernandez and he missed the front end of a one-in-one but 6’7” Valley Center transfer, Myles Thompson pulled down the biggest rebound of his career. Hernandez got fouled again and this time sank both free throws with 18.6 seconds left. Avery Bryson got a quick basket for the Cowboys to trim the lead to 56-54 but there was only 1.8 seconds left on the clock. Abilene fouled Taiden Hawkson, who missed both free-throws but the Cowboys didn’t have time to get off a decent shot.
Abilene finished the season at 14-8. The Cowboys were led by Beetch, who finished with a game high 16 points. It was the final game for him, Jayshaun Jones and Matt Davis.