COUNCIL GROVE – The Council Grove Lady Braves used a strong second half performance to rally past the Abilene Cowgirls for their 10th win of the season Tuesday night in Council Grove.

The Lady Braves (10-6) trailed Abilene by two at halftime but out scored the Cowgirls 24-11 in the final 16 minutes of the game for a 42-35 victory.

Abilene’s Beth Holmes, who ended with a game high 19 points, netted a trey to open scoring in the third quarter that pushed Abilene to a 23-21 lead. The Lady Braves then ran off a 7-0 run during the remainder of the period and went to the fourth with a 28-23 lead.

“We needed someone else to step up and score tonight,” Abilene head coach Mike Liby said. “We had shots. I think they were good shots. They were open for the most part. We had some early turnovers in the third quarter that hurt us a little bit but I was happy with our boards tonight. I thought we really tried to control the boards tonight.”

Sophomore Jenna Hayes opened the Cowgirl fourth with a bucket followed by free throws by Allison Liby and a three-point play by Jade Vopat kept the Cowgirls within two possessions of the Lady Braves midway through the final period.

Abilene got within three at 34-37 when Vopat made a pair of free throws with a minute and a half to play. From there Council Grove had a bucket and made three of four from the line to pull ahead of the Cowgirls.

Holmes had 10 of the Cowgirls’ 14 first-quarter points. Council Grove kept Abilene’s Abi Lillard and Jenna Hayes from scoring inside throughout the game.

Senior Abbi Good led the Braves with 19 points, as she was big for the home team underneath the basket in the fourth quarter.

“Jade and Allison got some points for us in the fourth that kept us in the game,” coach Liby said. “We had an opportunity, we just couldn’t get there.”

The Cowgirls fall to 5-10 and will host Wamego Friday night in Abilene. The Lady Raiders fell to Chapman 39-37 Tuesday night to make it a three-team race atop the NCKL between the Irish, Clay Center and Wamego. Wamego has four league contests remaining and it is essentially tied with the Lady Irish for third place in Class 4A West division with just two weeks remaining in the season.

Contact Ron Preston at

Scoring Summary:

Council Grove 42,

Abilene 35

Abilene 14 6 3 8 – 35

C. Grove 9 9 10 14 – 42

Abilene (5-10) – Holmes 19, Vopat 6, Lillard 1, Hayes 4, Snowball 2, Liby 3. Totals: 10 (2) 11-20 35.

Council Grove (10-6) – Armstrong 5, Julian 2, Butler 7, Allen 4, Good 19, Cannon 5. Totals: 12 (2) 10-16 42.

Contact Ron Preston at

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