Kimberlin looking for four-quarter effort
The Eudora Cardinals girls basketball team traveled to Kansas City Sumner Friday night and played a tough game -- for three-quarters. Then something happened that coach Cara Kimberlin thought never would.
"They quit on me out there," she said.
Eudora fell quietly in the final minutes of the game Friday, giving up a late lead to fall 64-46.
The Cardinals (5-8) fought their way to a slim 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Sabres opened the game with a full-court press, which Eudora was able to exploit.
"We were able to break that press early," Kimberlin said. "Then when we broke it, we had high-percentage shots under the basket."
Sumner battled back in the second period, as it ratcheted up its defense, allowing Eudora only five points, as the home team grabbed the lead 23-19 at halftime.
The Cardinals weren't through.
Eudora found itself ahead by six points in the third quarter. The play of junior Michelle Deluna, who scored 10 of her 16 points in the first half, drove the Cardinals to a 30-24 lead with less than five minutes to go.
And then the bottom fell out.
The Sabres, behind the hot shooting of Marisah Henderson, and dominant rebounding of Shannon White, took control in the fourth on their way to the victory.
Henderson and White accounted for the bulk of Sumner's scoring. Henderson finished with 23, while White threw in 24.
"She (White) killed us on the boards," Kimberlin said. "She probably scored 16 of those points off of offensive rebounds."
Henderson cut through the Eudora defense in the fourth quarter, almost scoring at will.
"We just couldn't get anything going defensively," Kimberlin said. "Their offensive rebounding and our inability to grab defensive boards put the game out of reach."
The Sabres took back the lead 39-31 as the third quarter ended.
Turnovers were a major factor in the outcome as well. The Cardinals committed only seven turnovers in the first half and then became sloppy in the second as they gave the ball away 15 times.
"We got really careless in the second half," Kimberlin said.
In the fourth, the Sabres exploded behind White and Henderson to put the game out of reach with a 25-point barrage.
However, the most discouraging thing to the coach was her team's effort.
"I felt like they quit on me out there when the going got tough," Kimberlin said. "It's as if they stopped playing when the big city team started to pull away."
Senior Alissa Hamilton threw in eight points, while sophomore Erin Kracl had six.
Monday night saw the Cardinals fall at Prairie View 61-41. Eudora replayed its loss to Sumner three nights earlier with a strong first half only to see the effort go for nothing.
After trailing the first quarter 9-7, the Cardinals raced ahead in the second by outscoring the home team 19-13 to take a 26-22 lead. Kracl helped the cause on her way to a team-high 15 points.
The second half against the Buffalos played out almost identical to the Sumner game. Prairie View belted the Cardinals by outscoring them 21-8 in the third quarter to build a hefty 43-34 lead.
The home team added 18 more in the fourth to cruise to the 20-point victory.
Deluna continued to contribute to the Cardinal cause with her second-straight game with double figure scoring.