CONCORDIA – Making two points right when the final buzzer rang, the Concordia Panthers gave the Abilene Cowboys their first loss of the season and ended the Cowboys 25 consecutive reagular season winning streak from the past two years winning, 62-61.
“The fourth quarter,” Abilene coach Terry Taylor said, “their kids stepped up and made some good plays for their team.”
The Cowboys had the game under control the first quarter with a 14-11 lead, and then an eight-point lead at halftime, 28-20.
The third quarter, which the Cowboys are known for coming out and playing their best quarter of the game, came out and made a good 10 point run after Andy Wilson quickened the pace of the game with a fast break that led to a two-point basket, which gave the Cowboys a five-point lead going into the fourth quarter, 43-38.
“I thought we did okay the third quarter,” Taylor said. “We were up five points. Granted we lost a point or two from the quarter before, but we still did okay the third quarter.”
The fourth quarter, like Taylor said, the Panthers came out and made some good plays and had some good possessions.
The final few minutes of the game, when the Cowboys had the lead by just a few points, the Panthers needed to foul. And when the Cowboys came to the line, they did not make their free throw shots and soon were down to a one point lead over the Panthers with only a few seconds left.
“It got down to the last minute or two and we did not make good decisions,” Taylor said. “We missed some free throws. We did a lot of little things wrong, like rebounds here and a missed free throw. Little things really make a difference in a close games.”
The final 20 seconds of the game, the Cowboys had a one point lead, and after 10 seconds of stalling, the Cowboys missed a free throw, and the Panthers got the ball.
Concordia’s Grant Holmes took the ball down the court and passed to his teammate Cooper Holmes. Cooper Holmes put the ball up and missed with two seconds left. He got his own rebound, and with less than a second left, he shot the ball up to the basket and the buzzer rang right as the basketball fell into the hoop; Panthers winning by one point over the Cowboys, 62-61. Cooper Holmes led the game in scoring 24 points.
“We forced a couple shots when we shouldn’t have,” Taylor said. “The loss is just one of those things that you’re on the road at a tough place to play and it’s the kind of game that makes you a better team and makes your team realize their weakness ”
Taylor said a loss like this one can sometimes make a team realize they have weaknesses and can make them work harder in practice, and he hopes that is what happens with his team.
They will work on improving everything, like they do every other day (win or lose), in practice. The Cowboys will work on taking care of the ball on offense and working on their defense because he felt like during the game their defense needed worked on, especially when they got in foul touble and Keil Kelly fouled out with about six minutes left in the fourth quarter, and Taylor said he felt Kelly fouling out really hurt the team and that cannot happen again during a tight game like this one was for the Cowboys.
“We are going to continue working and putting the pieces together,” Taylor said. “We got some size inside, we got some athletes, and we got some shooters. We will find what each person’s strength is and play off that like we have done each year before this one.”
Taylor said Tuesday when Chapman comes to town, they Cowboys will be ready to play and this loss will be behind them.
“We are disappointed we loss to a league team and on the road,” Taylor said, “But it doesn’t end our sesason, one loss doesn’t break an entire season for our team, We will come back strong Tuesday and be fine.”
The Cowboys are 3-1.
Concordia 62, Abilene 61
Abilene 14 14 15 18 — 61
Concordia 11 9 18 24 — 62
Abilene—Barlow 10, Wilson 14, Anderson 10, Kelly 4, Patrick 9, Gonzales 4, Harms 10.
Concordia—Garcia 7, J.Pounds 2, G. Holmes 22, C. Holmes 24, Bergmann 7.