MARYSVILLE – The Abilene Cowgirls got a career shooting night from sophomore Jenna Hayes but still fell in a hard fought road contest at Marysville 42-38 Friday night.
Hayes found her confidence in shooting her three-point shot as she made five of them to lead the Cowgirls with 17 points and she completed a double-double performance with 11 rebounds. Hayes was five for eight from three-point range and the Cowgirls stayed with two or three points of the Lady Bulldogs throughout the contest.
“It was a better game this time out,” Abilene head coach Mike Liby said. “A tighter game.”
Hayes hit her first trey at the 7:07 mark of the first period that briefly gave the Cowgirls a 3-1 lead. The Bulldogs rattled off a 9-0 run to take a 10-3 advantage but then seniors Beth Holmes and Hannah Snowball made baskets and junior Abi Lillard banked in a shot to pull the Cowgirls with three at 9-12 at the end of the first period.
Holmes hit the first of her two treys in the game in the second quarter and Hayes and senior Jade Vopat found the net to keep Abilene within three at halftime 17-20.
Marysville senior Sami Bartels jump-started the Lady Bulldogs after the break to stretch their lead to 23-17 before Vopat got a bucket for the Cowgirls midway through the quarter.
“I just caught the ball and was confident in my shot and I got open and my teammates were hitting me,” Hayes said. “We talked about transition defense and just getting back because they like to push the ball. So we worked on defense and our offense will come.”
“Jenna always comes ready to play but her scoring came around for us tonight. What we know she can do,” coach Liby said. “I thought our defense stopped their transition baskets tonight but we just didn’t have an answer for Bartels. We knew she was going to be it, scoring for them and Abi Lillard did her best job possible against her. We tried to help her out a lot but Bartels just has so many basketball skills and size.”
Bartels finished off Marysville’s scoring with back-to-back baskets and then Hayes popped her second three followed by a Snowball basket that kept Abilene within range at 24-29.
Hayes and Holmes netted threes to open the Cowgirl fourth to keep them within three at 30-33 after Bartels shot in two inside jumpers.
Marysville took its biggest lead of the night when junior Macy Roever hit a three from the corner and sophomore McKenna Minnemum popped in one from the top of the key to give the Bulldogs a 39-30 lead.
Following an Abilene time out, the Cowgirls fed Hayes for back-to-back threes to get Abilene back within three with under a minute to play. Marysville hit a pair of free throws to go up 41-36 but Holmes answered with a layup for the Cowgirls. Bartels ended the game by making one of two at the line with just two seconds on the clock.
Abilene continued its aggressive offensive play and its defense was solid against the Lady Bulldogs in this second game of the season after Marysville had won 50-32 at Abilene in mid January.
Bartels led all scorers with 20 points while Roever finished with nine points for the Bulldogs. Holmes ended with 11 to go along with Hayes 17 for the Cowgirls. Lillard and Snowball finished with four each.
Abilene goes to 5-9 on the year and will travel to Council Grove (9-6) who lost to Clay Center on Friday.
Contact Ron Preston at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marysville 42, Abilene 38
Abilene 9 8 7 14 – 38
Marysville 12 8 9 13 – 42
Abilene (5-9) – Holmes 11, Vopat 2, Lillard 4, Hayes 17, Snowball 4. Totals: 8 (7) 1-7 38.
Marysville (6-8) – Pieschl 1, Franco 3, Minneman 5, Bartels 20, Lauer 2, Roever 9, Ronnenbaum 2. Totals: 11 (3) 11-20 42.