By RON PRESTON
The Abilene Cowboys boys’ basketball team honored its graduating seniors and other players at the end- of- season banquet last Wednesday evening.
The team accomplished a 20-6 record, which made them the 10th team in school history to win 20 games in a season.
This team continued a 26 straight home-court winning record back to Feb 15, 2011.
This group also had back-to-back trips to the 4A state tournament, the first time in 25 years. Abilene has been to the state tournament 21 times in school history and only eight of those teams placed in the tournament with the current squad placing fourth.
This group of Cowboys had a three-year NCKL record of 27-3 finishing second this year to Wamego High School.
Four players received all NCKL and all-state recognition.
Keil Kelly received honorable mention NCKL, honorable mention class 4A from the Topeka Capital Journal and was a member of the Salina Invitational All Tourney team.
The Kansas Basketball Coaches Association with Academic All State honored Trevor Witt.
Matthew Barlow was named honorable mention NCKL and honorable mention Class 4A from the Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital Journal.
Jacob Harms was named first team NCKL, KBCA Academic All State and honorable mention Class 4A from the Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital Journal.
Andy Wilson was named to his third NCKL all league team, SIT-all tournament team, second team all –state, and all classes from the Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital Journal. The Wichita Eagle and Topeka Capital Journal also named him to the first team class 4A.
Coach Terry Taylor presented individual varsity awards to Wilson for three - point shooting percentage, free throw champion, and teams most valuable player.
Jacob Harms received the rebounding champion award.
The most improved varsity player award went to Jesse Patrick.
His teammates and coaches recognized Marcus Gonzales as the sixth man starter award winner.
Kaynan Anderson received the varsity sniper award and Keil Kelly was deemed the varsity defensive player of the year award recipient.
The hustle award went to Tanner Hoekman and Barlow received the most inspirational player award.
Assistant Coach Kyle Becker recognized the Cowboy freshman team who finished the season with a 14-5 record.
Freshmen individual awards went to Eric Harms, outstanding defensive player, Andrew Schwarting, Mr. hustle award winner and Marcus Willey was awarded the sniper award.
Junior Varsity Coach Tim Klein introduced the junior varsity team that competed the season with a 16-1 record and gave special recognition to Zach Barbieri, outstanding defensive player, Jesse Goodwin, most improved JV player and Chase Stalder received the shut down award.
Coach Taylor thanked the parents, the cheerleaders and pep band, the school administration and the Cowboy team members and student managers and game filmers for everything they did for the basketball program this season. Coaches Becker and Klein presented coach Taylor with a plaque honoring him on receiving his 500th career varsity coaching victory this season.