A week ago, Abilene had a long bus ride home searching for answers after a fourth quarter collapse in a 61-57 loss at Council Grove. Tuesday night, Abilene’s bus ride home was a little bit happier as the Cowboys defeated #8 Hays 66-62. It was the first win at Hays since the series got renewed in 2009, after Abilene pulled out of the Hays shoot-out in 2000.
The Cowboys were shorthanded in the win as they only used six players in the game. Abilene was without two of their reserves which made it difficult because of Hays deep bench. The Indians use a rotation of 10 players and frequently substitute players in and out of game. Hays also plays uptempo and entered the game averaging 70 points and 11 three-point shots made per game. The Indians broke the single season record of three point shots made in a season Tuesday night. Hays needed 12 three pointers for the record and they connected on 13 threes against the Cowboys, but the Indians only managed seven two point field goals for the entire game.
Abilene led 15-8 at the end of the first quarter and 28-26 at halftime. Hays would started out fast in the second half and grabbed their biggest lead of the game at 35-30 with 6:30 to play in the third quarter on back to back threes by Tradgon McCrae. The Cowboys would counter with a 15-0 run capped by a Tucker Robinson bucket with 1:20 to play in the third to give Abilene a 45-37 lead which was the same score at the end of the quarter. The Cowboys hit 9-12 free throws in the fourth quarter to put the game away and erase memories of their poor free throw shooting in the fourth quarter last Friday at Wamego.
Abilene improved to 12-6 on the season with the victory. The Cowboys were led by Senior, Noah Wildman, who finished with a game high 20 points. Wildman was named the First National Bank of Hope Player of the Game. Abilene also got double figures from Senior, Tucker Robinson 13, Junior, Preston Boyd 11, Sophomore, Travis Beetch 11 and James Mayden finished with nine points as he hit all three of his three point attempts. Hays fell to 11-6 with the loss. The Indians were led by Senior, Ethan Nunnery, who finished with 18 points. Abilene will travel to Clay Center on Friday. The Tigers fell to Wamego 68-51 Tuesday night. The Cowboys defeated Clay Center 62-48 on January 12th.
The Abilene Cowgirls were doomed by a slow start in their 57-37 loss at Hays. The Lady Indians connected on four threes in the first quarter on their way to a 19-2 lead by the end of the quarter. Hays would lead by as much as 27 points in the game.
Abilene dropped to 12-6 with the loss. The Cowgirls were led by Senior, Sydney Burton, who finished with a team high 12 points. She was named the First National Bank of Hope Player of the Game. Hays improved to 11-6 with the victory and was led by Sophomore, Brooke Denning who finished with a game high 18 points. Abilene will travel to Clay Center Friday. The Lady Tigers improved to 16-1 with a 55-39 victory over Wamego. The Cowgirls lost to Clay Center 60-55 in overtime on January 12th.