In the biggest comeback in Abilene head coach Terry Taylor’s memory, the Abilene Cowboys rallied from down 22 points late in the third quarter to earn a five-point win 49-44 over Circle High School Wednesday night. With the win, Abilene advances to the sub-state finals Saturday night to play Buhler at Buhler.
The Circle Thunderbirds had just completed an 11-0 run to open the third quarter to lead 36-14 when the Cowboys started to click on offense and the crowd came to life and the gym was buzzing as Abilene rattled off 13 unanswered to end the third quarter down 27-36.
Abilene’s offensive momentum and pressure defense carried on into the fourth period as the Cowboys blistered Circle for another 12-0 run to take the lead. Junior Blaise McVan gave Abilene its first lead of the game early in the opening period with a nothing but net three to put Abilene up 37-36 with 3:49 to play in the game.
Circle got its first two points of the quarter with 2:23 left but Abilene still led 39-38.
Josh Stuber scored a quick four points and Kaleb Becker went four for four at the line with McVan sinking two free shots to hold off Circle’s three-point shooting to walk off with the 49-44 victory.
Becker led all scorers with 20 points and Stuber had 10 for Abilene. Sophomore Luke McGinnis hit four treys to lead the Thunderbirds with 14 points.
The Cowboys survived to advance to the finals against Buhler on Saturday night at 6 p.m. Buhler defeated Wellington in a game played Tuesday night at Buhler and will host the Cowboys on Saturday.