By RON PRESTON
CHAPMAN – It was senior night for the Chapman Fighting Irish and they came to play.
Chapman’s five seniors accounted for all their scoring in a 54-49 defeat of the Abilene Cowboys.
“It was just their night. Give those kids a lot of credit, they played really hard tonight and shot the ball well, I thought,” commented Cowboy Coach Terry Taylor following the game.
Chapman’s Zach Heiman took over the game in the fourth quarter as he scored 13 of his game-high 22 points.
Heiman hit four treys in the last period, two with less than three minutes to play to give the Irish the lead and victory by 5 points over the cold shooting Cowboys.
“In the fourth quarter, they really got hot and every shot they took it went in. That happens some nights. We had some opportunities and then they put in a bank shot and then those threes sealed it,” coach Taylor added.
The Cowboys jumped off to an early lead in the game and led by as much as 11 points at one point late in the second quarter.
Abilene lead by seven points after the first quarter behind three inside buckets by Jacob Harms.
The second period began with an Irish jumper by Logan Lehmkuhl on their first possession.
Jesse Patrick followed for the Cowboys with a pair of free throws at the 7: 24 mark to make the lead 17-10, Cowboys.
Abilene would apply pressure defense and Kaynan Anderson would hit a three pointer from the right corner to make the score 20-10, Cowboys.
Irish Coach Tony Ingram would call a time out following a Heiman two point jumper with the Cowboys leading 20-13.
Following the time out, Patrick hit an inside shot off an assist from Tanner Hoekman for the Cowboys.
This was quickly followed by a Keil Kelly jumper to stretch the Cowboy lead to 24-13.
The Irish used another time out at the 2:56 mark and Lehmkuhl would score 5 quick points off an inside jumper and following an Abilene turnover, he would connect on a trey from outside the arc.
Abilene called a time out following his shots at the 1:43 mark in the half and the score 24-18, Cowboys.
Following this time out, the Irish closed the gap closer with another Lehmkuhl jumper.
Cowboy Marcus Gonzales would hit the second of two free throws to end the scoring for a 5 point Cowboy lead at half time 25-20.
Following the intermission, the Irish caught fire and stayed even with the Cowboys as both teams would score 14 points in the third period.
Andy Wilson hit an alley-oop bucket from an Anderson pass to open the scoring for the Cowboys.
Harms followed with an inside shot and Kelly would hit a trey at the 4:27 mark to make the score 32-25, after a Heiman jumper and a Lemkuhl trey.
Kyle Anderson hit a jumper for the Irish followed by another inside shot by Heiman to make the score 33-29, Cowboys.
Coach Taylor called a time out with 2:05 remaining in the third period.
Tyler Harris then hit a trey at the 1:41 mark to get the Irish within one point at 33-32.
Wilson and Harms each two point shots for the Cowboys to get lead back to five points 37-32.
Heiman then hit a jumper for the Irish with 49 seconds left to play in the quarter.
Patrick followed this with a lane penetrating shot to end the quarter 39-34, Cowboys.
The Irish started the period with a pair of treys from Heiman and Lehmkuhl around a couple of two point buckets by Kelly and Harms to cut the lead to three 43-40 at the 5:55 mark in the game.
Following a Cowboy time out, Heiman would tie the game with a trey just outside the arc 43-43.
Patrick give the Cowboys their final lead of the game by hitting the first of two free throws to make the score 44-43.
The Irish held the Cowboys scoreless for the next three minutes and Anderson would hit a jumper from the top of the key to give the Irish the lead at 45-44.
Heiman followed with two more treys as the Irish took a 51-44 lead with less than two minutes to play.
Anderson hit the first of two free throws for the Cowboys with Chapman grabbing the rebound off the second attempt.
With time running out, the Cowboys were forced to foul to try and get the ball.
Heiman hit the first of one and one free throw attempt from the free throw line and Abilene would get the rebound with Kelly driving the floor and scoring with just 44 seconds left in the game.
Harris hit a jumper for the Irish to bring the score 54-47, Irish.
Patrick ended the scoring with a put back bucket following a rebound for the 54-49 final score.
“We didn’t shoot well and we didn’t finish plays. Give Chapman credit, they out hustled us tonight,” added coach Taylor.
“We’ve got to regroup and get our heads up and get ready for sub-state beginning Monday. It’s a whole new season then, and if you win, you continue to play, otherwise the season will be over,” concluded coach Taylor.
The Cowboys dropped to 16-4 and will host an undetermined opponent in the first round of the sub state on Monday.
Chapman 54, Abilene 49
Abilene (16-4) 15 10 14 10-49
Chapman (7-13) 8 12 14 20-54
Abilene: Barlow 2, Wilson 7, Anderson 4, Kelly 13, Patrick 9, Gonzales 2, Harms 12.
Chapman: Lemkuhl 14, Leary 3, Harris 7, Heiman 22, Anderson 8.