By RON PRESTON
MARYSVILLE — When you play a road game in the North Central Kansas League it is tough to win, regardless of who you are or what your record shows.
The Abilene Cowgirls found that out Friday night in a 62-55 NCKL road loss to the Marysville Bulldogs.
The Cowgirls were hoping to rebound from their home loss to league leading Wamego on Friday, but were out played and out hustled in the first half of the game against Marysville.
“We had too many turnovers, missed shots and we got into foul trouble,” said Coach Janelle Geist following the game. “We were out hustled in the first half.”
The Lady Bulldogs jumped off to a quick four-point lead in the first quarter before Kiley Crider hit a three at the 5:50 mark to get the Cowgirls on the scoreboard.
Cowgirl Belle Barbierie hit a two-point jumper off an assist by Gracie Sexton to tie the game at 12 with 3:29 remaining in the first period.
Abilene took their first lead of the game, 14-12, later in the period before the Bulldogs Dani Schwartz hit a three and Abi Degenhardt connected on a layup to regain the lead 19-14 at the end of one.
The second quarter saw turnovers, missed shots and fouls by both teams as the Bulldogs extended their lead to six points to end the first half, 34-28.
Sexton scored six of her team high 13 points in the second quarter to help keep Abilene’s hope alive in making a comeback in the second half.
The second half saw the Bulldogs start out aggressively and score five quick unanswered points to lead 39-28 with 6:57 left to play in the third period.
Marysville would stretch the lead to as many as 12 points in the third and lead, 45 -33, midway through the quarter.
Abilene kept clawing back at the lead using a pressure defense and cut the deficit to six 55-49 with 1:36 to play in the game.
The Lady Bulldogs were in the double bonus situation for most of the final quarter due to the Cowgirl fouls trying to get the ball on rebounds or steals.
Marysville scored all 12 of their fourth quarter points at the free throw line.
Crider scored with a trey with less than 20 seconds left in the contest to make the final 62-55 in favor of the Bulldogs.
“We’ve struggled to handle any pressure that comes our way, that has been our downfall all year,” coach Geist added.
The Cowgirls drop to 9-6 overall and 3-4 in the conference.
Next up for the Cowgirls is a non-league game, hosting the defending 3A state champion Silver Lake Eagles, Tuesday. The Eagles are currently ranked 10th in 3A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.
“This will provide us another big test on Tuesday, followed by a road trip to league leading Wamego on Friday,” concluded coach Geist.
Marysville 62, Abilene 55
Abilene 14 14 13 14 -55
Marysville 19 15 1612 -62
Abilene: Gassman 4, Geist 5, Guy 2, Sexton 13, Crider 12, Barbieri 8, Thompson 2, Taylor 9.
Marysville: Manley 2, Schwartz 9, Degenhardt 17, Landoll 2, Wicks 6, Heiman 14, Pralle 2, Vogelsberg 2.