ADAIR-It might have taken a little while for the top-ranked Kansas Lady Comets to put together the right group of players to down the number two Lady Warriors, Monday night at Adair's Event Center. But when Coach Steve Odle did get the right Kansas personnel on the court, they pretty much had their way with their previously undefeated hosts. In the second contest of the night, the Comet boys fell just far enough behind in the first half that their big second half rally came up just a little bit short.
The opening quarter of the ladies' game saw Adair take an early lead on Kylie Looney's 3-pointer. But by beating the Lady Warriors on the boards by an 8-3 margin, in addition to four buckets by Kelsey Barnwell, Kansas was able to retake the lead.
Courtney Cowan added four points to account for the remainder of her team's dozen first quarter points. Uncharacteristically turning the ball over and shooting a combined 2-of-10 from the floor, the Lady Comets managed only a deuce each from Barnwell and Cowan and 3-of-4 Ty Sizer free throws in the second. Despite owning an 8-2 rebound advantage, the Lady Warriors fell further behind when the only chalked up a half dozen, to fall behind 20-15 at the break.
Oddly, at the end of the first half Kansas's diminutive Brittany Nipps had more rebounds (4) than any of her taller teammates, but with the start of the second half all of that would quickly change. With Barnwell on the attack, to the tune of 11 of her game-high 23 points on offense, the Lady Comet defense, anchored by Cowan and Sizer with three boards each, frustrated most of Lady Warriors' efforts for second shots. As a result, Holly Pippin got six of her team's third quarter 10 to trail 35-25.
Trailing by 10 to start the fourth, Adair needed to score quickly and try to stop the clock as much as possible. The teams traded only a basket each over the fourth's first three minutes, but a pair of Lady Warrior treys by Raven Campos got her team within 5 of Kansas.
That's where the Comet ‘cat and mouse' game began. With the Adair defenders forced to come out and get the Kansas outside shooters, Sizer took control of the middle. Knocking down 6 of her 9 points and hauling in 3 more rebounds, the Lady Comet post also picked up a block and an assist. Despite turning the ball over 5 times and shooting an anemic 2-of-8 free throws in the fourth, the Kansas girls remain undefeated with 43-37 victory.
In the opening moments of the boys' game the 14th-ranked Warriors came out of the gate on offensive fire. And that fire was kindled by senior Brady Bradbury, who threw down three deuces, a pair of treys and a free throw for 13 points, all in the first quarter.
Over the same time Kansas shot a frigid 4-of-14 from the floor and turned the ball over a half dozen times to boot. What little offense the Comets generated came by way of Corey Cowan's four points and a bucket each from Johnny Lewis and Logan Blaine to fall behind 18-9.
In the second period Kansas continued to have shooting struggles and missed on their first six attempts from the floor. But Cowan chipped in six more of his team-high 16 points and hauled in three of his game-high dozen boards in route to yet another double-double performance. The Warriors, however, found themselves in similar scoring doldrums of their own. Post player Hunter Neighbors scored half of his team's 8 second quarter points to stretch their halftime lead to 10.
Both teams came out of the break with their running shoes on. Kansas' Cowan and Brody Kendrick scored four each and joined three teammates in putting in 17 points in the third quarter. But Logan Crawford put in 6 and Bradbury tossed in 8 more of his game-high 23 points to pace Adair's 16.
Following the frenetic frame, the Comets had managed to trim the Warrior lead to single digits, setting up the definitive fourth. Casey Armbrister took control of the stanza for the visitors and scored 10 of his game's 12 tallies. In addition to his scoring, the sophomore took control of the paint and brought in a half dozen boards in the final period, putting him just a single rebound short of the game's second double-double.
Blaine's 3-point shot and another bucket each by Cowan and Lewis had the Comets within four with fewer than two minutes to play. But with the four points apiece by Adair's Theron Gilmer, Jordan Fleming and Crawford, the Warriors scored just enough to hold off the Kansas rally and hold on for the 54-50 win.