Eudora boys let a close one slip away
The Eudora boys basketball team couldn't stand tough Friday night, letting Osawatomie gain the upper-hand early, setting the pace of the game.
Eudora lost the contest by just five points, 46-41, in Trojan territory.
"They did not play very well in the first half," Eudora Coach Chad Eshbaugh said. "Then, they got us caught up in their style of play. Their play was very slow and deliberate. They didn't give us the real easy looks. We played right into their hands."
Senior point guard John Powers agreed.
"I think our inability to execute set the pace of the game," Powers said. "We came out and got some fast breaks, but were not able to execute on those fast breaks. Also, we all complied to their slow pace."
Turning the ball over 18 times didn't help matters for the Cardinals.
"Possessions are so precious," Eshbaugh said.
Junior Lear Bowling opened scoring with a jump-shot two minutes into the game. Osawatomie responded about a minute later with an aggressive basket by junior Clint Freeman.
Bowling took charge again and cranked in a three-pointer for a 5-2 lead. Senior Philip Walen hit another two-pointer for the Trojans. Eudora failed to convert on its end of the court. On the defensive end, senior Matt Fisher blocked a shot and Wes Hinman, also a senior, recovered for the Cardinals. He was fouled while taking a shot, and hit both from the free throw line. Eudora led by three points again with about 2:30 remaining. The Cardinals had the edge at the end of the first quarter, leading 9-8.
Eudora came out hot in the second quarter and managed to gain a 17-8 lead in about four minutes. A tough defense kept Osawatomie from scoring until 3:36 was left on clock.
Eudora didn't hold its ground, however, as the Trojans went on a 12-point run in just three minutes. Osawatomie claimed a 22-17 first half lead.
To start the second half, the Trojans quickly popped in four points. Hinman scored six of Eudora's 10 points in the third quarter, trying to keep the Cardinals in the game.
After Fisher pumped in a short jump-shot from the side with 1:15 to go in the third quarter, the Cardinals were back within three points, 30-27.
Osawatomie scored two more buckets to lead 34-27 going into the fourth quarter.
About 30 seconds into the final quarter, Fisher scored another basket and stole the ball on the other end, converting it into two points. Once again the Cardinals were within three points, 34-31.
However, turnovers and missed shots by Eudora helped Osawatomie earn a seven-point lead with 4:45 left to play.
It took junior Zac Tyler just two minutes to connect on two shots. Fisher stole the ball again and Hinman converted it into two more points with about three minutes left. Eudora was within two points, 41-39. The Cardinals didn't score again until two minutes later, when Bowling sank a deep two-pointer. Osawatomie held its 45-41 for the remainder of the game.
"We knew it was going to be a close game," Eshbaugh said. "Anytime you play a close game, there's a small margin of error. If you play close games, you're gonna lose occasionally.
"Mainly, I was not pleased with the way we came out in the first half and played," he added. "We've got to get things back so that we are playing well again."
"We didn't play well," Powers said. "We've been playing well as a unit until the past couple of games, then we went back to trying to do too much on our own instead of as a team."
Fisher scored 11 points to lead the Cardinals. Hinman added 10 points. Bowling and Tyler had nine each.
"I thought we had pretty good production out of Lear Bowling," Eshbaugh said. "He did pretty well off the boards for us all night.
"We had good balance scoring wise. But then, hardly anybody else chipped in at all. There were some positives from this game, but we really need more of those."
Fisher also had 10 rebounds, good for a guard, Eshbaugh said. Freeman scored 17 points for Osawatomie.
The Cardinals bounced back nicely Tuesday night, beating Pleasant Ridge on their home court by a score of 51-34.
Hinman led Eudora with 14 points.
The Eudora boys play host to Baldwin City Friday night.