SALINA – The Abilene Cowboys captured their fifth win of the season with a dominating second half performance over the Liberal Redskins 75-55 in the first round of the SIT Thursday evening.
Down two at halftime, the Cowboys erupted for 45 points in the final 16 minutes and the Cowboy defense held Liberal to 21. The Redskins opened the game with six first half three’s but the Cowboys held the Western Kansas team to 23 second half points and completely shutdown the three point shooters in the fourth quarter.
Senior Travis Beetch led the Cowboys with his third game in a row of 20 plus points with 26. Kaleb Becker shot in 12 for Abilene.
With the opening win, Abilene will play Andover in the 4:30 p.m. game Friday at Maybe Arena.
The Cowgirls were fighting off a three point shooting opponent of their own. Despite seven threes in the first half, Abilene stayed with Salina South until the very end but South edged away for a 44-40 win.
Senior Beth Holmes led all scorers with 17 points and junior Abi Lillard added 12. Sophomore Jenna Hayes had six points but cleared the boards with 13 rebounds for Abilene.
Abilene faces Andover in the three o’clock game Friday at Salina Central.