Abilene tops Monarch boys; TMP girls roll
The Thomas More Prep-Marian boys basketball team played Abilene close in three of the four quarters in Friday night’s nonleague game at Al Billinger Fieldhouse.
The Cowboys, however, outscored the Monarchs by 14 points in the second quarter and held off a late TMP rally to claim a 68-60 victory.
“We’ve got to do a better job of stopping some of those runs,” TMP coach Bill Meagher said. “We can’t have those moments where we lull.
“Credit, obviously, Abilene; they’re a really good team. Some of that was just them, also.”
TMP led by five points early, but Abilene made it 14-14 with a long 3-pointer from senior Josh Stuber seconds before the first-quarter buzzer. The Cowboys, ranked No. 9 in Class 4A, enjoyed a size advantage inside against 3A TMP. Junior Kaleb Becker muscled his way for nine of his 11 first-half points in the second period.
Abilene went on a 13-4 run to start the second quarter and led 35-26 at halftime. Sophomore forward Dylan Werth provided the scoring punch for the Monarchs in the first half with 12 points.
The two teams played even in the third period, with the Monarchs outscoring the Cowboys by a point to trail 45-37 entering the final eight minutes. A 3-pointer by senior guard Jackson Schulte followed by a fast-break layup from senior guard Lucas Lang got the Monarchs within 54-50, but they got no closer until a basket in the final seconds from sophomore guard Kade Harris made it 62-59. The Cowboys then swished six straight free throws to seal the victory.
“There are no moral victories, but at the same time this game showed the things we are doing are progressing well, and they’re going to get a chance in the playoffs,” Meagher said.
Lang led TMP (9-4) with 20 points, including 16 in the second half. Werth added 16 points and Schulte scored 12. Stuber led Abilene (6-2) with 16 points, one of four Cowboys in double figures.
“We think there’s a lot of scoring in a lot of different places on the team,” Meagher said. “I think Lucas was super aggressive tonight, and I thought Dylan handled a really good big kid. I thought both of those guys did a really nice job.”
TMP returns to Mid-Continent League action on Tuesday with a home game against WaKeeney-Trego.
TMP girls 68, Abilene 21
When senior starter Kyleigh Allen went home from school sick on Friday, sophomore Jaci VonLintel made her first start in a Monarch uniform.
“I feel like I have six starters, she’s right in the mix,” TMP coach Rose McFarland said. “She’s a really good sub, too. When she comes in she usually sparks us, gives us some extra energy. She can play guard, she can play post.”
VonLintel made the most of her opportunity, scoring a career-high 28 points, including six 3-pointers. The 5-11 guard-forward added eight rebounds and had four assists for the Monarchs.
“She was ready to start,” McFarland said. “She’s been playing really well.”
VonLintel knocked down four shots from beyond the arc in the first quarter as the Monarchs jumped out to a 23-10 lead after the first eight minutes. VonLintel had 19 points at halftime as TMP, ranked No. 10 in Class 3A, enjoyed a 34-12 lead.
It wasn’t until just a few hours before tipoff when VonLintel learned she would be in the starting lineup, and that might have helped, McFarland said.
“She probably didn’t have time to think about it,” McFarland said. “The girls have confidence in her.”
VonLintel added another trey and seven points in the third quarter as TMP (10-2) took a 54-19 lead into the final period, which was played with a continuous clock.
“She’s good enough to start, there’s no question,” McFarland said, “but she’s a really good sub, and she has a really good attitude.”
Junior forward Emilee Lane added a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, and junior guard Megan Hamel scored 12 points and dished out nine assists.
“She had some good looks at the basket tonight, continued to get the rebounds,” McFarland said of Lane. “I thought Megan … got up and down the floor, was getting layups, knocking them down from outside.
“What’s nice is we don’t have to rely on one person all the time,” she added. “It’s not any one girl. So far, it’s been any of the six.”
Senior Abi Lillard led Abilene (2-9) with eight points.
TMP is home Tuesday in MCL action against WaKeeney-Trego, ranked No. 9 in Class 2A this week.