Ron Preston, Abilene Reflector-Chronicle
On Friday, December 14th, the Abilene Basketball Cowboys marched into Concordia with confidence and left the arena stunned with an incredible 88-39 obliteration of an undermanned Tigers team missing two of their starters.
Very early on, it appeared like the Cowboys would not need a handful of their starters. At the end of the first quarter, the Cowboys were up 21-8, and the backups didn’t let their foot off of the gas pedal. Sixth man Kaleb Becker, freshman, put up 17, the team high, and was accompanied by fellow bench player Colton McVan, senior, with 12 of his own. Senior starters Damian Hartman and Preston Boyd played very little and did not even score any points. They didn’t need to. Both were pulled fairly early on.
A fourth quarter stream of threes, mainly from the shots of sophomores Josh Stuber and Blaise McVan, Colton McVan, and freshman Kaleb Becker. Everyone on roster for the game recorded a stat in what appears to be the biggest blowout since 2001’s game against Conway Springs–it being 90-39.
Most fans at home were left speechless. Senior Dawson Whalen, who followed the game via the radio, commented that it was “incredible”. Most of the reaction in the town seemed to echo his sentiment. Coach Graefe called it a “statement win” after the game, and it truly seems that it was. With the Chapman game coming up on Tuesday the 18th, the resurgence of the Irish definitely puts Abilene’s recent claims to the division title in at least a little bit of jeopardy.
However, if the Cowboys perform at or near the level they did on Friday, there should be no reason to worry.
As far as the girls game, it was the same script with different characters. Hannah Willey herself single-handedly scored half of Abilene’s points for the night as the Cowgirls defeated the Lady Panthers 56-37.
Despite the large sum of Willey’s points, the team as a whole did play an excellent game. Sydney Burton helped provide some backup for Willey, as did a few other members of the girls’ squad. Junior Jade Vopat provided excellent support, as Coach Burton posted to her Twitter over the weekend. “Forgot to share my favorite moment of last Friday’s game. (Jade) steals the balls [sic], gets stuck in the corner and does the smart move of hitting it off the opponent’s leg so we can get reset. Way to go Jade!”
The girls will also return to Abilene to take on the Lady Irish on Tuesday.