Cards fall to Silver Lake again
When it comes to the Tonganoxie Invitational, the Eudora Cardinals haven't had much luck. A year ago the team limped out of the tournament in last place, a finish that came at the hands of the Silver Lake Eagles.
This time around, the Eagles didn't wait until the seventh-place game to deal the Cardinals a loss, knocking Eudora into the loser's bracket with a 50-43 defeat in the opening game of the tournament.
It was the third loss of the season for the Cardinals (6-3) and the second at the hands of Silver Lake.
"They have tough guards that drive to the basket," Eudora coach Kyle Deterding. "We just didn't do enough to stop them."
Those guards, juniors Austin Abbott and Marty Pfannenstiel, have combined for 53 points in the two games against the Cardinals.
The game started slowly as both teams had trouble converting shots from all over the floor.
Eudora senior Rodney Spillman, who finished the game with 13 points, managed the Cardinals' only points in the quarter as the team went 2-for-9 from the field.
Silver Lake was equally cold from the field, going 3-for-10 as the quarter ended with the Eagles holding a slim 6-4 lead.
The Cardinals dug themselves a hole to start the second quarter as the cold shooting continued with a 30-percent effort, which allowed Silver Lake to build a 15-7 lead.
"We were flat to start the game," Deterding said. "We couldn't get any shots to fall and fell behind."
The Eagles began to heat up with the help of senior Tyler Boxberger, who hit two 3-pointers in the quarter to help Silver Lake end the first half with a 20-12 advantage.
In the third, the Cardinals' shots began to fall as the team cut into the Eagles' lead with good perimeter shooting from senior Mark Abel and junior Todd Roberts. Each Cardinal buried key 3-pointers to help cut the Silver Lake lead to three with four minutes to go in the quarter, 28-25.
Silver Lake kept just ahead of Eudora for the remainder of the quarter and sophomore Marshall Wetta and Abbott combined for six straight points to extend the Eagle lead to 34-27.
The Cardinals finally put together a surge in the fourth quarter with a 10-2 run that produced the first Eudora lead, 37-36.
The run was fueled by a keyed-up effort on the defensive end that produced four Eagle turnovers.
"I think we played better in the second half on both ends," Deterding said. "I really think we played better defensively."
Eudora continued to nurse a one-point lead until Pfannenstiel hit a 3-pointer to give the Eagles a 43-41 advantage.
The Cardinals offered one last gasp as junior Mike Ortega banked home the tying basket with less than two minutes to go.
But it was Pfannenstiel who took over the game's final minute-and-a-half as he repeatedly drove the basket, drawing fouls on nearly every trip. Pfannenstiel went on to hit 5-of-6 from the free-throw line to finish off the Cardinals.
Guy Montgomery finished with eight points, while Matthew Abel added seven.
The loss sends the Cardinals to the fifth-place bracket to face (Atchison/ Lansing) at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
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