Lear’s free throws leave Louisburg bowled over
Eudora's Lear Bowling thrives under pressure, as the senior guard proved Friday night at Eudora.
"It makes it even more fun with the pressure," Bowling said. "It makes you concentrate harder."
Bowling's six-for-six effort from the charity stripe lifted Eudora (8-5) (3-2) to a 57-49 Frontier League victory over Louisburg (9-4), the seventh-ranked team in class 4A.
Bowling finished with a team-high 14 points, pulled down five rebounds and dished out four assists.
The Cardinals' triumph proved to be sweet revenge for a 47-45 non-league loss Jan. 8 at Louisburg.
In that game, seniors Tommy Stein, Zac Tyler and Wes Hinman all fouled out in the fourth quarter while junior three-point specialist Kaleb Niedens did not play.
Coach Scott Stein said the Cardinals executed the game well last Friday and converted on the free throws on which they worked tirelessly at practices.
"I thought we played outstanding with our quickness," Stein said. "Making free throws is critical. We always work on free throws (in practice)."
The Cardinals put on an offensive and defensive clinic in the first quarter as they raced out to a 9-0 lead, eventually giving up a basket with 3:46 remaining in the quarter.
Niedens, eight points and four rebounds, converted on two line-drive three-pointers while sophomore point guard Tyler Cleveland, seven points and three assists, connected with Zac Tyler, 11 points, five rebounds and three assists. Tommy Stein had two points and three rebounds, and Wes Hinman, 10 points and five rebounds.
Louisburg roared back in the second quarter behind some unconscious three-point shooting and only trailed 28-27 at the break.
Strangely, the third quarter ended in the same way as the second. In both cases, Cleveland held the ball for the last shot, a Cardinal player missed, but junior Dustin Moyer put back the offensive rebound as the buzzer sounded in each quarter.
The Louisburg pressure tightened up in the fourth quarter, but its hurried long-range three-point shot didn't go through late in the game as the Cardinals held on for a eight-point victory.
The Cardinals will play Osawatomie (5-8) Friday at Eudora. The Trojans have six seniors and a great deal of raw talent and despite their losing record. OHS owns a victory over Iola, the eighth-ranked team in class 4A.
"We like to get out and play a fast-paced game because it is more enjoyable for the fans," Osawatomie Coach Darren Soucie said. "We can play really good or stink up the place, but now we're playing better as a team."
Coach Stein knows the Cardinals will have their hands full with the last three Frontier League games after the Trojans march into town. Eudora will travel to Baldwin Feb. 8, play host to Paola Feb. 15, and finish the regular season at Gardner-Edgerton Feb. 22.
"The rest of the schedule looks pretty tough," Stein said. "Osawatomie is getting better, Baldwin will be a tough game because they're at home, and both Paola and Gardner are good basketball teams."
Senior guard Tommy Shutt injured his leg in the second game of the Tonganoxie Tournament and is not expected to return for at least two weeks, Stein seniors. Stein called junior guard Tyler Jackson up from the junior varsity squad for last Friday's game.