The Abilene Cowgirls fell for the first time on the season in the opening round of the Salina Innovational Tournament, to the Andover Lady Trojans 53-45. The Cowgirls entered the tournament as the #2 seed and fell to 8-1 with the loss, while Andover won their third straight game to improve to 3-7 on the season.
Andover led the entire game and led by as many as nine points in the opening quarter and took a 15-10 lead into the second quarter. The Cowgirls would go on an 8-0 run in the second quarter, that was capped by a pair of Sydney Burton free throws to tie the game at 24-24 with 1:50 to play in the first half. That would be as close as Abilene would get the rest of the night. Andover would lead 25-24 at halftime and 53-45 going into the fourth quarter.
The Cowgirls were led by Seniors, Hannah Willey and Sydney Burton, who finished with 17 points a piece.
The top-seeded Abilene Cowboys fell for the third time in nine years as the higher seed at Salina South. The Cougars pulled away in the second half for the 65-51 victory. Abilene’s record dropped to 6-3 with the loss while South’s improved to 3-6 on the season.
South lead 12-10 at the end of the first quarter and 23-19 at halftime. In the third quarter the Cowboys built a four point lead on a three-pointer by Senior, Damian Hartman to go up 32-28 with 4:07 to play in the quarter. The Cougars would close the quarter on a 9-3 run to lead 37-35 and closed the game on a 37-19 after they trailed by four.
Abilene was led by Junior, Travis Beetch, who finished with a career-high 20 points. The Cougars were led by Sophomore, A.J. Johnson, who totaled 16 points in the win.
The Cowgirls will play (6) Concordia Friday at 1:30. The lady Panthers lost 64-31 to (3) Salina Central. The Cowboys will face (5) Buhler. The Crusaders lost 52-41 to (4) Andover. Abilene’s games will be played at Salina South High School on Friday.