Boys come up red hot, thump Paola at home
The temperature outside hovered around freezing Tuesday night, but inside Eudora High School the boys basketball team burned the house down with searing 90-percent shooting in the first quarter to down the Paola Panthers, 61-40.
Eudora went 9-for-10 in the first frame including a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc to race out to a 22-9 lead from which it never looked back.
"It really helps when you knock down your shots," Eudora coach Kyle Deterding said. "Paola's a good team, and we came out and got after it."
Adding to the Cardinal intensity was the return of two Cardinal seniors to the line up. Luke Abel and Nolan Smith saw their first action of the season after recovering from injuries suffered during the football season.
Abel came off the bench during the first quarter onslaught to throw in five of his 11 points, including a 3-pointer that brought the crowd to its feet.
"Those seniors are a tight-knit group," Deterding said. "It's really nice when we have all six of them out there and ready to go."
As the Cardinals were red-hot from the field during most of the game, the same could not be said for the visitors.
The Panthers shot a dismal 14-for-43 for the game, while shooting just 21 percent on 3-point attempts.
Eudora also played havoc with the Panther interior game by shutting down senior Jordan Karr and junior Corey Walker.
Walker was held scoreless in the second period, while Karr drew blanks in the third.
"Those guys are their two studs," Deterding said. "They score most of their (Paola's) points, so we knew that we had our work cut out for us. We just had to make sure that we didn't let them catch the ball inside or we were going to be in trouble."
The only lull for the Cardinals came in the second quarter, as the shots that fell all too easily in the first quarter could only draw iron in the second.
Eudora went 3-for-13 in the period, but were once again aided by the poor shooting of Paola, who never cut the lead to less than 10.
The Cardinals regained their touch in the third by hitting eight of their 13 shots to build their biggest lead at 52-27 at the end of the quarter.
Senior Rodney Spillman led the Cardinals with 12 points from the inside to add to a balanced Cardinal attack.
Senior Mark Abel and junior Todd Roberts found the outside range in helping the Cardinals shoot 70 percent from long distance for the game. Mark Abel went 2-for-3, while Roberts cashed in six of his nine points from outside.
Smith managed only one point, but hauled in four rebounds in limited minutes.
The head coach will monitor both Smith's and Luke Abel's return to the line up in an effort to get them back to full strength.
"Their minutes will be a game-to-game decision," Deterding said. "We'll just take it from there."
The win boosted the Cardinals' record to 4-1 on the season and gave them a leg up in the league standings.
Eudora travels to Anderson County Friday for another league match-up.