Jenna Hayes

Abilene’s Jenna Hayes (4) fights for a shot in the first half against TMP Friday night. The Lady Monarchs defeated the Cowgirls 49-34.

If anyone thought the Lady Monarchs of Thomas Moore Prep – Marion were not going to be a good basketball team because of the 4-8 record they established this season, think again.

The Lady Monarchs, playing without one of its key pieces due to injury, blanketed the Abilene Cowgirls with a 10-point first quarter deficit on the way to a 49-34 win in Abilene Friday night.

Veteran head coach Rose McFarland had her squad of taller athletic Lady Monarchs clicking on all cylinders on this night in Abilene. Sophomore Megan Hamel blistered the nets with a three and a minute later had a mid jumper that gave TMP a quick 5-0 lead over the Cowgirls.

“We knew their inside game was probably pretty good,” Abilene head coach Mike Liby said. “They haven’t shown consistently of shooting outside but of course they do it tonight. You just kind of wish the table would turn at some point in time.”

Abilene’s Jenna Hayes scored the Cowgirls first bucket on Abilene’s next possession but then TMP rattled off a nine to zero run that put them securely in the lead at 14-2 with just over two minutes remaining in the quarter.

Senior Annie Bathurst came off the bench and hit two free throws for the Cowgirls and on the next drive junior Abi Lillard stole the ball and returned for a layup as the Cowgirls pulled with 6-14.

TMP sophomore Emilee Lane gave the Lady Monarchs a final two points of the period and they took a 16-6 lead into the second quarter.

Hayes and senior Beth Holmes jump-started the Cowgirl second period with a jumper by Hayes and a free throw from Holmes as Abilene pulled closer. But the Lady Monarchs then held the Cowgirls scoreless over the next four minutes while ratting off another 8-0 run.

Sophomore Joy Clemence rattled in a trey for the Cowgirls at the 1:38 mark before Hayes had a jumper and a free throw to end the Cowgirl second.

The Monarchs took a 10-point lead to the locker room at the break and then added another 10-point cushion by outscoring Abilene 16-6 in the third. Abilene’s Hannah Snowball and Holmes were the lone Cowgirls to score in the period.

Hayes opened the Cowgirl fourth with a first possession three-pointer and then the Cowgirls struggled at the free throw line making two of eight attempts over the next three minutes. Junior Allison Liby grabbed an offensive rebound for a put back bucket and then Holmes finished off the Cowgirl scoring with a trey and a layup. But the Lady Monarchs survived the brief Cowgirl surge with a 49-34 win.

“We had some shots but we just missed them tonight,” coach Liby said. “We had some point blank shots and there were times where we had an offensive play ran and then we would turn it over.”

Hays junior Kyleigh Allen led her team with a game high 15 points while sophomore Sophia Bathazor finished with 13. The Lady Monrachs caused 22 Cowgirl turnovers and they led the rebounding edge 37-25 on the night. They had 15 offensive rebounds that resulted in second and third chance baskets.

Holmes and Clemence led the Cowgirls on the boards in this game with six and five respectively.

Abilene moves to 5-7 on the year and they will face Clay Center (7-4) Monday night in Abilene. This game is a makeup game from mid January. Friday the Cowgirls travel to Marysville.

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

Scoring Summary:

TMP 49, Abilene 34

TMP 16 10 16 7 – 49

Abilene 6 10 6 12 – 34

TMP (5-8) – Lane 6, Balthazor 13, Hamel 8, Allen 15, DeWitt 1, Wasinger 6. Totals: 11 (4) 15-24 49.

Abilene (5-7) – Holmes 12, Lillard 2, Hayes 10, Snowball 2, Liby 2, Clemence 4, Bathurst 2. Totals: 8 (3) 9-17 34.

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

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