Cardinal girls offense big in victory, missing in first league setback
The Eudora High School girls basketball team's 3:30 matinee game last Friday turned into the Lauren Kracl Show. The sophomore poured in a career-high 34 points and grabbed 19 rebounds in a 67-43 victory over 5A Turner.
"We rebounded and played good defense two things we weren't doing before," EHS Coach Gretchen Schreiner said. "When we started playing defense, we started playing offense as well."
After losing its first two games of the Gardner-Edgerton Invitational Tournament, Eudora (1-3) (0-1) claimed its first victory of the season in the tournament's seventh-place contest. Spring Hill defeated Baldwin in the championship game of the tournament.
Eudora found itself behind winless Turner in the second quarter of the game until sophomore guard Rachel Abel (five points, five steals and four assists) sparked the Cardinals' offense by feeding Kracl for the go-ahead bucket and a 31-17 halftime lead. Seniors Jill Woodward and Sarah Katzvey played well for the Cardinals throughout the game. Woodward finished with 13 points and two steals while Katzvey, who was injured for most of last season, scored six points and hauled in seven rebounds. Kracl, who scored only two of her points in the first quarter, was named to the all-Tournament team.
"We kept our composure and we wanted it really bad," Kracl said. "After we knew we could win, we had a lot of confidence."
While the Cardinals' offense flowed, it could have used some jumper cables when it faced Wellsville's swarming defense and intense press in a 47-37 loss in the league opener on Tuesday at Eudora.
"We had an ugly whole game," Schreiner said. "Two players wanted to play tonight for us, Woodward and (senior) Brandi Abel."
After losing 24 games over a span of three seasons, Wellsville (3-2) has won three of its last four games, including a victory over Frontier League rival Osawatomie in the Central Heights tournament. With the score tied at 12, the Eagles forced Cardinal turnovers and went into the halftime break with a 25-12 lead. Woodward played like she was on a mission to bring Eudora back into the game as she scored all of her nine points in the second half, pulled down six rebounds and three steals.
"Coach asked for somebody to stepup and I decided to set the tempo for the game," Woodward said. "It was very frustrating to lose and I know we are going to play tougher teams. It's a bad way to start out."
The Cards came within two points with three minutes remaining in the game before Wellsville scored 12 unanswered points. Kracl, who was shut down on the scoring front by the physical Wellsville defense, finished the game with 15 points, 12 rebounds. three assists and three steals. Brandi Abel contributed nine points for Eudora.
Eudora may get the chance to avenge its loss to Wellsville when it competes in the Wellsville Tournament in January, but the two teams will not face off in Frontier League play this season.
Friday the Cardinals will travel to La Cygne where they will face Prairie View (2-2) and then return to EHS on Tuesday to face Louisburg.