Cardinals’ win ‘unsatisfying’
The Eudora High School girls basketball team ended its 18-day holiday hiatus Tuesday with a 52-38 victory at home over Louisburg.
But Eudora's 14-point win was as satisfying as a third slice of fruitcake.
The Cards (5-2) looked disjointed and uninspired. Even 6-foot senior standout Lauren Kracl's 26-point, 24-rebound performance seemed quiet.
"It was ugly because of the type of defense they play and the mentality of (Louisburg head coach Terry Tinich)," Eudora head coach Cara Kimberlin said. "He is coaching them to attack everywhere; it turns it into an ugly game.
"All I told them after the game was that it's a win. That's about all I can say about that one. It was ugly, it was sloppy, and I thought we were in better shape than we are. But a win's a win, I guess."
The two teams combined for 60 turnovers -- 27 for Eudora and 33 for Louisburg.
"We had some moments where we settled down and took care of the ball, but for the most part we were pretty much out of control," Kimberlin said.
The visitors set a frantic pace that Eudora spent much of the night trying to match to mixed results.
"We were playing at (Louisburg's) pace, and that messed us up," Lauren Kracl said. "We were trying to go too fast. We should have tried to slow things down."
Kracl's 26-24 night was subtly superb. Perhaps most impressive was her effort from the free-throw line. The 59 percent free throw shooter converted on 10-of-11 from the line on the night. She even threw in a buzzer-beating three-pointer, closing out the opening period.
The last-second trey stretched Eudora's lead to 11-2. Kracl was responsible for nine of the Cards' 11 first-quarter points.
Senior Jodi Wingebach started the second quarter with a baseline jumper, capping an early 12-0 run and pushing the score to 13-2.
Eudora opened a 23-6 lead with just more than three minutes to play in the second quarter.
Louisburg trailed 29-16 at the half.
Kracl nearly matched the entire Wildcat team with 15 points at the break.
The game tightened up a bit in the third quarter but not much. Each team continued to squander possessions and scoring opportunities.
A Kracl lay-up early in the fourth established Eudora's biggest lead of the game at 44-23 -- a deficit it matched again at 46-25 and 50-29.
An anti-climactic 9-2 Louisburg run ended the game, cutting the deficit to 52-38.
Neither team looked comfortable playing at the pace they were playing. The result was a mistake-laden entry into the new year.
"Maybe it was just first-game-back jitters," Kracl said. "We haven't played a team that's all over the ball like that, so that could be part of it too. It's a good game for the experience, and we're going to work on that in practice."
There is little doubt that will be a focus in future preparations.
"The biggest thing they've got to understand is that if you're playing a defense like that, somebody's going to be there when you catch the ball and turn," Kimberlin said. "Sometimes I think that they think if they play at a faster pace it will change."
That's really all they did for the most part -- go faster. Eudora was going too fast, and yet there were plenty of times they were just standing around.
"There's probably going to be a shuffle in our starting lineup," Kimberlin said. "We have a couple people starting that aren't producing the way they should. I mean we have a couple that look like they're in la-la land out there."
The starters accounted for 42 of the team's 52 points on the day.
Kracl's 26 points led all scorers. Junior Kayla Moyer followed with eight points, sophomore Michelle Deluna added six points and eight boards, and senior Rachel Abel tossed in a pair of free throws.
Freshman Erin Kracl, who entered the game as the team's third-leading scorer, was scoreless and failed to get a rebound in her worst game of the season.
Wingebach led the reserves with six points. Sophomore Carrie Lister and senior Ashley Moran added two points each.
Junior post-presence Alissa Hamilton didn't score points in the scorebook, but she scored points with her coach.
"I thought she played well defensively," Kimberlin said. "She grabbed some boards, she handled the ball, and she just didn't do anything to hurt us."
Eudora travels Friday to Anderson County.