Cardinal girls gear up for season
Eudora High School girls' basketball coach Gretchen Schreiner is hopeful that a cohesive senior class and a potential star sophomore center will spell improvement over last season's 7-14 injury-laden campaign.
"A lot of people got varsity experience last year and our senior class is a very hard working group," Schreiner said. "Good things happen to people who work hard. We need scorers and we need to improve defensively."
Eudora lost three key players including guard Jessica Bryant, who is playing basketball this season at St. Mary College in Leavenworth, guard Melanie Smith and center Betsy Hickman. The returning Cardinals used the summer season to compete in a summer league at Baker University.
Schreiner, a second year coach who starred at Eudora from 1989-92 and then played at Emporia State, said the team showed some promise last season in a victory over Gardner-Edgerton and a narrow defeat against Baldwin. The Cardinals open their season at the Gardner Invitational Dec. 3, where they will be able to get a sneak preview of some of their Frontier League foes.
Sophomore Lauren Kracl is the Cardinals' returning leading scorer with 13 points per game. Kracl played for the Mo-Kan Hoop Service AAU team that won an AAU National Championship this summer. She gained valuable experience that Schreiner hopes will benefit Kracl's game and the team overall.
"I think that I play a lot smarter now," Kracl said. "Playing AAU helped me out on defense, fundamentals and seeing how different people play. I'm going to try to step up but at the same time, I'm sure a lot of the seniors will too."
Many of the hoopsters, including Kracl, stayed competitive in the fall during volleyball season. Seniors Brandi Abel a and Jill Woodward and juniors Tina Lauber and Jenny Durkin all played for Jill Stutler's volleyball squad.
"Volleyball definitely prepared me mentally and physically and I learned a lot from volleyball," Woodward said. "(In basketball), everybody had the first year of varsity jitters. Now, we know what to expect."
Senior Jill Abel experienced a stellar season with the cross country team this fall after spending her junior year on the junior varsity basketball team. Other returning members of the basketball squad are sophomore Rachel Abel, juniors Mary Johnson and Mallory Cleveland and seniors Shonna Warrington, Sarah Katzvey and Crystal Spence.