Tough night for Eudora boys
Allowing Gardner-Edgerton to muster a 9-0 run during the second quarter came back to bite the Eudora boys basketball team Tuesday night.
An early 12-10 lead during the first quarter quickly turned into a 36-25 deficit by halftime.
The Cardinals' efforts in the second half weren't enough as they dropped a 63-54 crucial game to the Trailblazers.
"We played OK, but we just had that one lapse in the second quarter," junior Zac Tyler said. "We competed hard and the effort was there. We dug a hole that we just couldn't get out of. They (Gardner) had some good players, but we dictated how we played."
The loss couldn't have come at a worse time for the Cardinals, who had just earned two substantial wins over the weekend against Paola and Anderson County.
Eudora Coach Chad Eshbaugh agreed.
"We did not value the ball during that stretch," he said. "We let them get some easy lay-ups off turnovers. It was like a two-ended sword for us."
Eudora had just 15 turnovers, but most of them were answered with an easy shot on the other end by the Trailblazers. Eudora also hit just 5-of-14 during the detrimental quarter.
"The second quarter killed us," senior John Powers said. "We were just as good, if not better, than they were. We just had to play good basketball and we didn't. Their quickness wasn't a factor; it was just our inability to protect under the basket."
Early in the second quarter, juniors Wes Hinman and Lear Bowling knocked down two easy baskets.
Soon after, Gardner-Edgerton's Le'Mar Harrison sparked the Trailblazers 9-0 run with an open 3-pointer to pull Gardner-Edgerton within one point, 16-15. Adam Winkler knocked down a bucket about 30 seconds later to give the Trailblazers a 17-16 edge. After a free-throw shot made by Davey Highfill for Gardner-Edgerton and a 2-pointer by Harrison, Tyler Hale cranked in two baskets in 15 seconds to push the Trailblazers to an 8-point lead, 24-16.
After that, Eshbaugh called a timeout to try and get his team back on track. Gardner-Edgerton answered with another shot by Highfill to earn a 10-point lead.
Hinman attempted to hit one from underneath with about 3:30 to go, but was fouled on the shot.
Hinman stepped to the line and hit both free throws. Thirty seconds later, Powers knocked down a short inside shot to pull the Cardinals back to within six points, 26-20.
With about a minute left in the half, Gardner turned the ball over. The Cardinals pushed the ball up the court and Bowling laid it in for two. Hale scored again for the Trailblazers with 28 seconds left. Powers answered back with 16 seconds left on the clock. The score was 34-25. But, with 1.6 seconds left, Fisher fouled Highfill, who sank both from the charity stripe.
Powers, who usually isn't a dominant scorer, led the Cardinals with 10 points going into the break. Highhill had 9 points for the Trailblazers.
Eudora attempted to take up the slack in the third quarter, but the best it could do was to keep the scoring even. Each team scored 14 points in the third. Tyler and Hinman combined for eight of the 14 points. Eudora trailed 50-39 heading into the final stretch.
The Cardinals could never secure a scoring run for the remainder of the game, dropping their record to 12-6.
In action Friday night, Fisher scored a career-high 27 points to help Eudora beat Paola, 65-58. He scored 21 of the points in the second half. As far as Eshbaugh knows, the win was the first time Eudora has beaten Paola.
Saturday afternoon, Eudora defeated Anderson County by 20 points. The key stretch was a 25-11 second quarter in favor of the Cardinals.
The Cardinals will face Prairie View Thursday at about 7:30 p.m. and Baldwin City Saturday at 1 p.m. Both games will be played at home.