SALINA – The Abilene Cowgirls hustled past the Concordia Lady Panthers for seventh place in the Salina Invitational Tournament Saturday morning.
Abilene took an early lead and never trailed in the 34-20 win over NCKL opponent Concordia.
“This was a much better game today,” Abilene head coach Mike Liby said. “We wanted to win this game as it is a two-game stint as we play them again Tuesday. We want to win the double header. We want them both. The girls kind of rallied around that today.”
Beth Holmes and Jenna Hayes sparked Abilene’s offense with Holmes leading all scorers with 15 while Hayes added eight for Abilene. The Cowgirls played a solid steady team defense throughout the game that limited the Lady Panthers to a single point in the third quarter of the game.
“Our third game, being tough to come back in the morning and our legs are tired,” coach Liby said. “But, I thought we played good defense which is what we have been hammering on for the last week and our offense came around today.”
Sophomore Joy Clemence came in off the bench to score five points and junior Allison Libby had two key baskets under the rim for Abilene. Junior Abi Lillard scored two for the Cowgirls after being swarmed by the Lady Panthers defense. Lillard, Hayes and Liby worked the boards for the Cowgirls.
“Allison got two nice buckets, underneath stuff,” coach Liby said. “That’s her role. She knows she has to get in there and fight for those balls.”
Concordia senior Karlee Wahlmeier scored eight points to lead the Lady Panthers.
The two teams will match up against each other on Tuesday in Abilene for game two of the regular season. Abilene took game one of the season 36-32 in Concordia in December.
Following the championship game of the tournament, senior Beth Holmes was named to the All Tournament Team.
“Beth Holmes is our team captain for a reason,” coach Liby said. “She just had a really good tournament.”
With the win the Cowgirls improve to 4-6 while Concordia goes to 1-9 on the season.
Lady Trojans bomb three balls over Cowgirls in SIT
The Cowgirls found a taller team that had success in shooting three balls against Abilene. The Lady Trojans of Andover High School made seven threes in the game as they kept the pressure on the Cowgirls for a 53-33 Friday night in the Salina Invitational Tournament.
Trailing 23-17 at halftime, Abilene was held without a point in the third quarter while Andover rattled off another 18 to go up 41-17 heading to the final eight minutes.
Abilene’s Abi Lillard connected on four buckets beneath the rim and Jade Vopat sunk a couple of layups in the Cowgirls’ 16 point fourth quarter. The Cowgirls struggled at the free throw line going nine for 23 on the night.
Lillard scored 12 points to lead Abilene with Beth Holmes having nine and Jenna Hayes and Vopat finishing with six each.
Andover junior Mallory Woolston finished with a game 19 while senior Allison Day had 10.
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Andover 53, Abilene 33
Abilene 6 11 0 16 – 33
Andover 13 10 18 12 – 53
Abilene – Holmes 9, Vopat 6, Lillard 12, Hayes 6. Totals: 9 (2) 9-23 33.
Andover – Webb 1, Day 10, Woolston 19, Ralston 9, Eby 2, Forney 4, Cunningham 8. Totals: 14 (7) 4-13 53.
Abilene 34, Concordia 20
Concordia 7 5 1 7 – 20
Abilene 7 10 7 10 – 34
Concordia – Bechard 5, Reynolds 3, Strait 2, Wahlmeier 8, Rundus 2. Totals: 6 (1) 5-9 20.
Abilene – Holmes 15, Lillard 2, Hayes 8, Liby 4, Clemence 5. Totals: 11 (1) 9-13 34.