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Abilene senior Beth Holmes grabs a rebound under the Wamego basket and prepares to take the ball up court as the Cowgirls knocked off the number three seed Wamego Red Raiders 32-19 in the opening round of sub-state Tuesday night.

WAMEGO – The Abilene Cowgirls pulled off the biggest upset in the state tonight with a dominating win over the number three seed Wamego Lady Raiders 32-19 in Wamego.

Senior Beth Holmes gave the Cowgirls the lead in the first quarter by scoring eight points and Abilene played outstanding 3-2 zone defense to shut down the home team to cruise for the sub-state victory. The Cowgirls held one of the best offensive teams in the North Central Kansas League to just eight points in the first 16 minutes of the game.

Key rebounding by a number of Cowgirls led by Abi Lillard and Holmes kept the ball in Abilene’s hands down the stretch. Jenna Hayes at the free-throw line making for of five in the fourth quarter helped seal the win.

Hayes led Abilene in scoring with 12 while Holmes 11 and Jade Vopat chipped in six with two key first half threes.

Abilene defeated the Lady Raiders for the first time in three games this season and their defense completely upset Wamego’s game rhythm. Defense wins championships and the Cowgirls continued with their improved team defense over a team that had beaten them by nearly 30 points earlier in the year on that court.

Abilene advances to play in the sub-state championship at Clay Center at 7 p.m. Friday night. The Lady Tigers defeated Pratt 50-36 at Clay Center on Tuesday as well.

Contact Ron Preston at sports@abilene-rc.com.

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