MARYVILLE – The Abilene Cowboys knew going into Friday night’s game at Marysville if they wanted a chance to win the NCKL conference they had to win on the Bulldogs home court. They did just that with a dominating win 66-51 to take control of the conference with three games remaining.

The Cowboys jumped out early against the Bulldogs and ran off with a 10-point lead after one and they took a 30-22 advantage at the break. The Cowboy zone defense shut down the Bulldogs drives to the basket and they had to rely on perimeter shooting to score. Even though they connected on nine threes in the contest their percentage was way below normal and the Cowboys rebounding effort especially in the first half limited them to one shot per possession.

Meanwhile the Cowboy offense was clicking with Travis Beetch and Avery Bryson leading the charge with 21 and 18 points respectively. Bryson’s 18 points was a career high.

Kaleb Becker and Grant Heintz had nice games inside for Abilene with Becker finishing with eight points and Heintz having nine. Blaise McVan came off the bench to find his three-point shot for six points.

Abilene outscored Marysville 36-29 in the second half during the victory.

Earlier in the season, the Bulldogs played a Saturday afternoon game in Abilene winning by 10 at 60-50. Abilene improves to 9-5 and 6-1 in the conference. Marysville is 11-3 and they have two losses in league play.

The Cowgirls got a big night from sophomore Jenna Hayes as she had a career high 17-point game while making five three-pointers as Abilene fell to the Marysville Lady Bulldogs 42-38 in the Bulldogs gym.

Beth Holmes added 11 points to the Cowgirl total as Abilene played a much better game against Marysville than happened in Abilene with a 50-32 loss on a Saturday afternoon.

Abilene trailed 20-17 at half time and twice during the second half closed within two points but just couldn’t get the tying or go ahead shots to fall.

Abilene is 5-9 and will play at Council Grove on Tuesday.

Contact Ron Preston at

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