Vopat

Abilene senior Jade Vopat (2) converts a steal into a scoring layup as the Cowgirls defeated Concordia 39-20 Tuesday night to complete the season sweep. Vopat had a career high nine points for Abilene.

Seniors Beth Holmes and Jade Vopat led the Abilene Cowgirls past the Concordia Lady Panthers 39-20 Tuesday night to complete the two game sweep of the regular season. It was actually the third win over the Panthers as the Cowgirls had defeated Concordia 34-20 four days prior at the Salina Invitational Tournament at Central High School.

Tuesday, the Cowgirls got a game high 14 points from Holmes and a career high nine points from Vopat to spark the offense in the 19-point win. Defensively, Abilene held the Lady Panthers to just five first-half points after shutting them out in the first quarter.

“We have been working on defense for the last two weeks,” Abilene head coach Mike Liby said. “That’s been our primary focus. The girls have worked hard at tightening some things up defensively. Now we have to work on our offense some.”

Junior Abi Lillard put the Cowgirls on the board in the opening period with a jumper at the 4:46 mark. Holmes followed with a trey and sophomore Jenna Hayes got a jumper with just seconds left in the opener.

Vopat stole the ball and converted a layup to begin the Cowgirl second. Holmes followed suite a minute later and Abilene led 11-4 after Kendall Reynolds sunk a free throw and a three for the Lady Panther’s first points of the game. Vopat added a trey to close out the half and Abilene led 16-5.

“Jade has had a couple of great practices in a row,” coach Liby said. “Actually, last night in practice she couldn’t miss and we were hoping that it would carry over to today.”

The Cowgirls opened the second half with a 5-0 run as Holmes, Vopat and Lillard all had buckets. The Cowgirls led 21-5 at that point.

Lillard finished with eight points in the game with Hayes adding four. Hayes and Holmes took charge of the Cowgirl rebounding effort with six each during the night. Senior Hannah Snowball came off the bench to grab three. Abilene’s defense had 10 steals and forced 17 Concordia turnovers.

“Hayes and Lillard were solid tonight against Concordia’s big girl under the basket,” the coach said. “They held her to two points. We needed to front her a lot and it worked out for us and we took her out of the game.”

Reynolds led the Panthers in scoring with nine points.

Abilene improved to 5-6 on the season and 2-3 in conference play. Friday Abilene will host Thomas Moore Prep of Hays and then face Clay Center at home next Monday before closing out the week with a rematch with Marysville on the road.

“TMP is about a .500 team that I think we will match up pretty well with,” Liby said.

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

Scoring summary:

Abilene 39, Concordia 20

Concordia 0 5 8 7 – 20

Abilene 7 9 15 8 – 39

Concordia – Bechard 3, Reynolds 9, Wahlmeier 2, Rundus 6. Totals: 5 (2) 4-12 20.

Abilene – Holmes 14, Vopat 9, Lillard 8, Hayes 4, Clemence 2, An. Bathurst 2. Totals: 13 (2) 7-12 39.

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

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