Wildcat defeat ends Eudora’s streak
Boys push over Louisburg in 60-57 win
For a Eudora Cardinals boys basketball team heading into the homestretch of the season, 5-1 is how it should be done. But 2-6 the team will have to fix.
The Cardinals were the host Friday to Louisburg, mercifully ending its nearly six-week road trip. Eudora went just 2-5 during the stretch, including a mid-January 52-38 loss at Louisburg. A two-point victory over Maur Hill marked the Cards' only victory.
But back in friendly confines Eudora defeated Louisburg 60-57. It was the fifth win at home for the 7-7 Cards.
Eudora's momentum lasted all of three days. The Cardinals fell hard in their next game on the road, 62-44 at Silver Lake on Tuesday.
The Silver Lake contest further tarnished Eudora's road record. Cardinal senior Chris Gabriel began the game with a strong basket on the blocks, but the Eagles responded with a 9-0 run.
Silver Lake led 11-6 after one quarter.
Eudora struggled mightily to score inside against Silver Lakes' thick frontline rotation of 6 foot 4 inch Scott Haverkamp, 6-foot Austin Urban and 6-7 post Erik Ure.
Gabriel ended up with just eight points going three-for-seven from the field.
The Cardinal team attempted to pick up the slack by firing a season-high 22 three-point attempts. They made just five.
Three of those five came in the second quarter -- one from recent starter Aaron Westerhouse and a pair from upstart sophomore Luke Abel.
An 18-11 stretch put the Cards back on top at 24-21 late in the second. But the Eagles scored the final five points of the half and led by two at the break 26-24.
Eudora fought hard to stay in the game in the third quarter, returning to a transition game and shots in the paint.
The Cardinals attempted only one three-pointer in the third.
Eudora pulled to within six of Silver Lake by the end of the third quarter, 41-35. But that's as close as the Cards could get.
The Cards went 1-for-8 from downtown as Silver Lake cruised 21-9 in the fourth, running away from Eudora with an 18-point victory.
Jeremie Bryant, with 12 points off the bench, was the only Cardinal to reach double figures in scoring.
The bench turned out to be a valuable commodity on the night -- the Cardinal reserves matched the starters at 22 points apiece.
It was a far cry from the effort at home against Louisburg in which the starters themselves accounted for 43 points, one fewer than the team's total at Silver Lake.
Eudora orchestrated an inspired performance against Louisburg, scoring 60 points for just the third time this season. The Cardinals are a perfect 6-0 when scoring at least 45 points.
The night began with a presentation to coach Stein in honor of his 400th career victory.
"That was nice," he said. "I had no idea that was coming until the official said something about it. I appreciated it. It was a nice gesture."
The Stein ceremony didn't exactly light a fire under the Cards, though -- Louisburg surged to an early 9-2 advantage.
Eudora trailed 11-17 after one quarter of play.
The Cards answered with a 21-point second quarter outburst to even the halftime score at 32-32. Four of the Cardinals seven threes on the night aided the second quarter effort.
Gabriel brought Eudora's attack back to the paint in the third quarter. His eight points led the way as the Cards built a slim 45-42 lead entering the fourth quarter.
There were three ties and seven lead changes in the game's final quarter.
A clutch three from Abel and the strong play of Gabriel allowed the Cardinals to escape with a critical home victory 60-57.
"I really saw some good things out of the kids tonight," Stein said. "It was a real good win for us. Obviously we've been struggling since Christmas, and we've been on the road. It's good to be back home and get a win against a quality opponent."
Gabriel, who led the Cards with 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting, agreed.
"It meant a whole bunch," he said. "It helps build a little momentum, and shows we can play with good teams. We're ready to get the ball rolling again and get ready for sub-state so we can get a high seed."
Despite Gabriel's great game, another Cardinal stole the show -- Luke Abel. The inexperienced undersized sharpshooter provided the spark that put Eudora over the top. His two three-point baskets came at crucial moments.
"The sophomore stepped up and made some big buckets in the ballgame," Stein said. "(Abel) helped us immensely on the offensive end in the second half."