The Abilene High School basketball teams split with Clay Center Monday night in Abilene. The games were make-up games that were originally scheduled for January 17th. The two heavily favored teams won each match-up but it was far from easy. The Cowgirls lost 52-41 despite a career-night from Senior Beth Holmes. She finished with 31 points and did everything she could to get her team back in the game. The Cowboys couldn’t quite shake the Tigers all night in their 52-45 victory. It was Abilene’s 22nd straight win over Clay Center.
In the girl’s game Abilene fell behind 19-2 at the end of the first quarter and it looked like the Lady Tigers were going to roll as expected. Holmes and the Cowgirls had other ideas. Abilene actually outscored Clay Center 39-33 over the final three quarters. Clay Center went up by as many as 22 points on a bucket from 6’ Junior Clara Edwards which made the score 33-11 with 6:30 to play in the third quarter. Edwards finished with a team-high 21 points for Clay Center. Holmes and the Cowgirls kept chipping away and pulled to within 8 at 48-40 with a little over a minute to go in the game but that would be as close as Abilene would get. The Lady Tigers improved to 9-4, 5-0 and the Cowgirls fell to 5-8, 2-3 with the loss.
The Cowboys could never put away the Tigers who entered the game with just two wins. The two teams were tied at 9 at the end of the first quarter. Abilene got some separation in the second quarter and lead 33-20 at the half. The Cowboys got up by as many as 16 with 7:40 to play in the game but Clay Center was able to get the deficit down to single digits. The Tigers got to within 7 points on two separate occasions in the fourth quarter but could never overtake the Cowboys. Abilene got 19 points from Travis Beetch and 14 from Kaleb Becker in the victory. The Cowboys improved to 8-5, 4-1 with the victory while Clay Center fell to 2-11, 1-4.