Beth Holmes

Abilene’s senior Beth Holmes (1) fifghts for control of the basketball under the Cowgirl basket in second half action Monday night against Clay Center.

Despite an epic career night performance from senior captain Beth Holmes, the Abilene Cowgirls couldn’t get over the hump against the NCKL leading Clay Center. The Tigers remained undefeated in conference play and currently sits in fifth in Class 4A West standings. Monday they defeated Abilene 52-41.

The Lady Tigers jumped out to a 19-2 lead over the Cowgirls after one but Holmes gathered her troops as they fought back to make it a game especially in the second half where they outscored Clay Center 30-21 over the final 16 minutes. Holmes had a game high 31 points as she did everything she could to will her team to victory. Her 23-second half points were more than the Tigers scored as a team during the same time. Holmes and senior guard Jade Vopat accounted for seven steals and four assists that resulted in Cowgirl points.

“I think we were just upset with our first half in what we had done,” Holmes said after the game. “So we came out aggressive and just said hey, we have nothing to lose, so we got after it. I knew I just had to take the ball at them and it ended up working out.”

Abilene junior Abi Lillard added seven points to the Cowgirl total. Lillard and sophomore Jenna Hayes grabbed five boards each to lead Abilene in rebounding.

Clay Center improves to 9-4 on the season and has won three straight after falling to Hesston and Eureka at the Hillsboro Tournament in January. Junior Clara Edwards led her team with 21 points while sophomore Shelby Siebold put in 13 for the Lady Tigers. Edwards came into Monday’s game with an average of 15.7 points per game while Siebold averaged six and half points per contest.

Abilene moves to 5-8 on the season and 2-3 in league play and they head to Marysville on Friday. The Lady Bulldogs won the earlier meeting in Abilene 50-32.

“We think that if we can play like we did tonight against Clay Center the hopefully Marysville will also be better than what we did the first time,” Holmes said.

Contact Ron Preston at

Scoring Summary:

Clay Center 52,

Abilene 41

Cl. Center 19 12 12 9 – 52

Abilene 2 9 16 14 – 41

Clay Center (9-4) – Siebold 13, Liby 6, Henry 8, Schurle 2, Hammel 2, Edwards 21. Totals: 13 (6) 8-13 52.

Abilene (5-8) – Holmes 31, Lillard 7, Liby 2, Clemence 1. Totals: 11 (3) 10-23 41

Contact Ron Preston at

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