Senior night surge
Girls turn back Baldwin on senior’s big night
With less than two minutes to go in the game, coach Cara Kimberlin told senior Kayla Moyer just what was at stake.
"I told her that this could be the last two-and-a-half minutes at home for her," Kimberlin said. "I told her that she needed to lead this team."
The Cardinals (8-11) nursed a 38-36 lead against league rival Baldwin as time wound down, and the senior responded.
Moyer hit a huge bucket with 90 seconds to go to give the Cardinals a big four-point lead.
"I didn't want to lose my last home game," Moyer said. "I knew that we just needed to play and not make stupid mistakes."
The leadership paid off as the Cardinals held on to beat the Bulldogs 42-39 on senior night at Eudora High School. It was the Cardinals third-straight win.
The beginning of the game was anything but dramatic for the Cardinals as they found themselves in a hole in the early going. Poor defense and shot selection helped Baldwin race out to a 24-10 halftime lead.
"We just weren't playing well," Kimberlin said. "They were taking advantage of our mistakes."
Then came the third quarter.
Eudora began the second half with a 12-0 run that got it right back into the game. The Cardinals outscored the Bulldogs 20-8 in the quarter. Baldwin was held scoreless in the quarter until well past the four-minute mark thanks to a stingy full-court press.
"That's the kind of thing that turned on us this year," Kimberlin said. "It's good to have it go our way for a change."
Eudora began the fourth quarter with four quick points to take its first lead of the game at 34-32. The Cardinals used an 8-0 run to start the quarter to gain their biggest lead of six points.
"During that stretch we had three or four steals," Kimberlin said. "We converted on every occasion. When you convert down the stretch, it gives you a much better chance of winning."
Baldwin's Amy Craig hit a free throw, pulling the Bulldogs to within one at 40-39. The visitors had one last shot but as the seconds ticked away Eudora junior Emily Gloshen grabbed the defensive rebound. She was fouled and hit both of her shots, sealing the game.
"Those were two huge free throws by Emily," Kimberlin said.
The comeback was a fitting finale for Moyer.
"We didn't get down on ourselves at halftime," Moyer said. "We knew we had to keep our intensity, and we did."
Four Cardinals, including Moyer, finished with six points, while sophomore Erin Kracl led Eudora with nine.
The Cardinals traveled to Osawatomie Friday where the outcome was never in doubt. The Cardinals raced out to 16-6 first-quarter lead and never looked back on their way to a 50-25 dismantling of the Trojans.
The Cardinals played some of their best ball of the season in the first half by attacking the Trojans slow transition game and avoiding fouls. The Cardinals committed only one foul in the first half.
"If I could bottle that kind of effort every night, we'd have no problems," Kimberlin said.
Eudora punished the Trojans in the second quarter to extend its lead to 34-12 at halftime.
The Cardinals came out in the second half with a ball control mentality and at times it got a little sloppy.
"When we get a big lead like that we like to use as much clock as possible," Kimberlin said. "I think we just relaxed a little too much with the lead."
Despite only outscoring Osawatomie 16-13 in the second half, Eudora was never threatened.
"It's amazing how well we can play when we want to play together," Kimberlin said.
Three Cardinals scored in double figures. Kracl and junior Michelle Deluna each scored 12 points.
Eudora (8-11) travel to Spring Hill (11-8) Tuesday for a 7 p.m. tip-off in the first round of the Class 4A sub-state tournament.