It was a special night at Abilene High School on Thursday. The Abilene Cowgirls defeated defending back to back NCKL Champion, Clay Center for a second time on the season 48-32. With the victory the Cowgirls captured the league crown outright, for their first title in three years. The Cowboys cruised in their 65-32 victory over the Tigers and with the victory earned at least a share of the league title for the 6th time in the last 8 years under Terry Taylor. Abilene had only two league titles from 1992 to 2010.
The Cowgirls got huge nights from their Seniors, Hannah Willey and Sydney Burton, on Senior night, in the victory over the Lady Tigers. Abilene led 11-9 at the end of the first quarter. Clay Center started the 2nd quarter on a 10-3 run to grab a 19-14 lead with 4:37 to play before halftime. Willey would then take over. She scored the first 8 points on the Cowgirls 14-1 run to close the first half. Willey scored 12 of her 18 points in the 2nd quarter which included a 4 point play. Abilene took a 28-20 lead into the lockeroom.
The second half belonged to Burton, during a stretch in the 3rd and 4th quarters, Burton scored 15 consecutive points for the Cowgirls. She finished the night with a game high 20 points. Abilene also put the clamps on Clay Center in the 2nd half. The Tigers went over a quarter of game time without scoring. They scored at the 4:46 mark of the 3rd quarter on a basket by Senior, Addy Mullin and did not score again until Sophomore, Clara Edwards hit a free-throw with 2:23 left in the game. Abilene stretched the lead to 40-27 at the end of the 3rd quarter and got up by as many as 18 in the final quarter.
The Cowgirls won their 6th straight game and improved to 16-2, 9-0 on the season. Clay Center fell to 15-4, 6-3. The Lady Tigers were led by Mullin with 11 points in the loss.
The boys game was never close. Abilene led 19-11 at the end of the first quarter, 40-15 at halftime and 55-18 at the end of the 3rd quarter. There was a running clock in the 4th. The Cowboys had 11 players score in the game. Three players for Abilene finished in double figures Junior, Travis Beetch 11, Senior Tim Barbieri 10 and Senior, Preston Boyd 10. Clay Center was led by Senior, Trevin Schurle with 23.
It was the 19th straight victory over Clay Center for Abilene. The Cowboys improved to 15-3, 8-1 and won their 10th straight game. The Tigers fell to 4-15, 1-8 with the loss.
Abilene will travel to Chapman on Tuesday before wrapping up the regular season next Friday at Hays.