Cardinals check Bishop
Ward falls 64-57 in Eudora’s first victory of the season
The Eudora boys basketball team captured it's first win of the season Friday night with a 64-57 win over Bishop Ward in the Paola Invitational Tournament.
Throughout the three-game swing, the Cardinals found themselves improving with each contest. That progression concluded with Friday's win.
"We continued to improve over each game," coach Scott Stein said. "I was really pleased with our performance."
Eudora started the game on fire as junior Luke Abel hit his first four three-point attempts. The torrid shooting helped the Cardinals rack up 21 points in the first period.
"It was a great start for us," Stein said. "It was something we really needed."
The Cardinals (1-2) built an early lead on the good shooting but allowed Ward to sneak back into the game and close to 32-29 at halftime. As impressed as he was with the first period, Stein was less enthused with his team's second-period performance.
"We turned the ball over too much," he said. "We started making some poor decisions during that time."
The team was able to keep Ward at arm's length throughout the game, however, as nearly everyone got into the scoring act. The hot-shooting Abel contributed with 15 points, and senior Jeremie Bryant added 10 in the win. Juniors Rodney Spillman and Nolan Smith each scored seven for the Cardinals.
The standout performance of the night didn't come from the offense but rather came off of the glass. Senior Joe Kaup turned in a monster effort, as he pulled down 16 rebounds for the Cards. It was a performance that impressed his head coach.
"I'm not one for individual accolades," Stein said, "but that was an outstanding performance by Joe. Those type of efforts just don't happen that often."
The hot shooting from the field didn't carry over to the free-throw line. Eudora shot less than 50 percent from the line, going 6-for-14.
"That's something that we need to work on," Stein said. "We can't shoot like that from the line and expect to win close games."
The Cardinals won the game by doing the things Stein knew they had to do before the season started. With no size inside, Eudora relied on speed and an improved defense to keep Ward at bay and capture that important first victory.
"We have no size," he said. "So we're going to have to do the little things well in order to compete and have a chance to win. That means making good decisions and not turning the ball over so much."
On Tuesday, the team made it two in a row with a 64-51 win over Silver Lake. It was the home debut for the Cardinals, who raced out to an early 13-4 lead on their way to scoring 22 by period's end.
Eudora built a 20-point halftime lead behind the outside shooting of Mark Abel. The 5-foot, 8-inch junior had 15 points in the first half on his way to 20 for the game.
Senior Joe Kaup followed his strong rebounding performance from Friday with 11 points. Luke Abel added 12.
The Cardinals kept the Eagles at arm's length most of the night. Silver Lake managed to cut the deficit to single digits twice, but each time the Cards responded.
Silver Lake managed to pull within 10 at the end of the third period, at 47-37, the Cardinals' lead was too much to overcome.
Eudora (2-2) travels to Paola Jan. 4.