The Abilene Cowboys held on for a 41-39 victory over the Buhler Crusaders, Wednesday night, in the opening round of sub-state in Abilene. Abilene led by as many as 13 points in the 2nd quarter but watched their lead shrink to just one in the 4th.
Abilene led 26-24 at halftime and 33-23 as the two teams entered the 4th quarter. Buhler outscored Abilene 16-8 in the 4th and got back into the game with 3-point shooting. The Cowboys also hurt themselves with poor shooting at the free-throw line. The Cowboys were just 6-13 at the line and 0-4 in the final quarter. The Crusaders connected on 8-27 3-pointers in the game and six of those 3-pointers came in the second half. Buhler Junior, Drake Dick did most of the damage. He finished with a game high 16 points and made 5, 3-pointers, with three of those over the last two quarters. It was a 3-pointer by Freshman, Isaiah Hernandez that cut the Abilene lead to 39-38, with 3:13 to play in the game. The Cowboys would shut out the Crusaders the rest of the way and got a bucket from Senior, Tim Barbierri with 1:09 to play to give Abilene a three point win. Barbierri led Abilene in scoring with 11 points and finished with 13 rebounds. He stepped up with Senior, Preston Boyd side-lined with an injury. He is expected to play Friday night. The Cowboys also got a solid night from Senior, James Mayden. He scored all 9 of his points in the first quarter and helped Abilene jump out to a 14-6 lead at the end of the opening quarter.
(3) Abilene will play (6) Augusta Friday night at 7 PM at Abilene High School, with a birth to state on the line. The Orioles defeated Abilene 68-55 in Augusta on December 7th. Augusta defeated (11)Clearwater 64-46 Wednesday night.