Girls can’t hang in final pre-break game
The difference between the two halves was like night and day.
Despite an action-filled and aggressive first half, the Eudora girls basketball team received its first loss in league play after a tired second half. Eudora now sits at 1-1 in the Frontier League and 3-3 on the season after Monday's home loss to Gardner Edgerton, 46-30.
"We had some letdowns," Eudora coach Ryan Luke said. "We were just a little tired in the second half. In the first half, we ran a strong offense and posted hard -- you just didn't see that as much in the second half."
Luke said he was pleased with the team's performance in the first half. The Cardinals maintained the lead the majority of the half, out-rebounding and out-posting Gardner.
"We took a step in the right direction the first half," Luke said. "We played at the intensity level we needed to. Then we stepped down in the second half. I know the drive was there, but we just didn't show it."
Not quite 30 seconds into the game, Emily Ballock intercepted a pass, quickly ran the length of the court unguarded and shot for a clean lay-up, posting the first two points on the scoreboard for Eudora.
Luke said the team often depended on Ballock's speed because she was able to quickly grab the ball and escape from the defensive pack.
"That is a big part of our team -- her speed," Luke said. "She works hard offensively and defensively. Those are some things we need to take advantage of. She's a great leader on the team."
By the end of the first quarter, Eudora was up 8-5. That energy continued into the second quarter despite a Gardner eight-point run.
Halfway through the second quarter, Haley Epperson broke through two Gardner players with the ball and chucked it to Allison Braden. Without looking around, Braden shot the ball into the net, putting Eudora within arm's length of Gardner Edgerton.
Luke said the team did well playing together as a cohesive unit throughout the first two quarters.
"We can be really good when we are able to play together, so everyone can be a threat," Luke said. "Later on, we just missed some bunny shots."
Luke said Gardner was a difficult team. With the Trailblazers having played 5A and 6A schools already, Luke said he knew the game was not going to be easy, even though the Cardinals brought home a 51-42 victory last year against Gardner Edgerton.
The loss came just after a confidence-boosting win to Anderson County 39-17 last week.
After analyzing both games, Luke said he had a pretty good idea of what the team would be working on in the upcoming weeks while games were on hiatus because of the holiday break.
"We're definitely going to be working on our half-court executions," Luke said. "But we're pretty much going to be working on all aspects of the game. It's working on the little things that help us gain our confidence and skill."