Halftime advantage couldn’t stop Wildcats
Louisburg tops Eudora 47-45 in away game
The Eudora High School basketball team gave up a 13-point, third-quarter lead at Louisburg Tuesday night, falling 47-45 to the Wildcats in the last game of a four-game road trip.
Head Coach Scott Stein blamed himself for making poor decisions contributing to an offensively-lackluster second half.
"I blew it at the end of the third quarter by making too many substitutions," Stein said. "I blew it in the fourth quarter. We turned it over and didn't get a good shot. I take total blame for it."
The Cardinals (4-4) (2-2) outhustled the Wildcats (6-2) and capitalized on Louisburg's frontcourt (6'6'' senior Zac Cowger, 6'5'' senior John Paul McEwen and 6'5'' sophomore Tyler O'Brien) mistakes.
Senior Lear Bowling was red hot from the outside, scoring eight of his 11 points in the first half on nothing-but-net jump shots.
Seniors Wes Hinman, six points and three rebounds, and Zac Tyler, three points and three rebounds, held their own under the basket against the larger Wildcats.
The Cardinals also got second-quarter bench help from when seniors Jason Burrous, team-high 12 points, and Tommy Shutt, three points, combined for three consecutive treys.
The Cardinals went into the lockerroom with a 34-23 advantage but Louisburg slowly crept back into the game with a tenacious defensive effort that held Eudora to four points and only one field goal. The Wildcat defense didn't allow Eudora to make a lot of the shots it was hitting in the first half.
Louisburg senior Mark Edgar hit a three pointer to bring the 'Cats within five points as the third-quarter buzzer sounded.
Both teams exchanged the lead several times, but the Cardinals suffered when Hinman, Tyler and senior Tommy Stein all fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Junior Dustin Moyer, four points, calmly sank four free throws at the end of the game after missing two earlier. The last two gave Eudora a 45-44 advantage. Louisburg's Edgar hit the game winning shot with 7.8 seconds remaining.
"We played well enough defensively to win," Coach Stein said. "We need to run our offense in the second half instead of just the first."
Friday night 11 players scored for Eudora in a 78-48 win at Anderson County in the first game after the holiday break.
Coach Stein said he was impressed with the team's performance, and a lot of the things they worked on over the break paid off on the court.
"We executed really well," Stein said. "We had a special emphasis on blocking out and rebounding. I thought we did a much better job at boxing out."
Center Tommy Stein, two points, pulled down a season high nine rebounds while sophomore point guard Tyler Cleveland, four points, dished out 10 assists as the Cardinals raced out to a 25-8 first quarter lead.
"Cleveland did a great job of pushing the ball up the floor and Tommy Stein did a very good job of controlling the boards," Coach Stein said.
Hinman and Tyler led all Eudora scorers with 16 and 15, respectively. Junior Kaleb Niedens came off the bench to score eight points and senior James Blades contributed four points.
The Cardinals will return to the cozy confines of Eudora gymnasium for the first time in exactly a month when they face a familiar foe Friday.
Eudora will play undefeated Spring Hill for the third time this season. This game will count in the Frontier League standings. The two teams met in the championship game of the Eudora Invitational where the Broncos won 68-48.
Eudora played an extraordinary first half against the three-time defending Frontier League champions before falling 80-60 at Spring Hill Dec. 18.
Monday Eudora will begin to defend its championship in the Tonganoxie Tournament, which runs through Jan. 19.