Archive for Thursday, January 19, 2006

Girls beat Silver Lake

January 19, 2006

Last year the first day of March was the last day of the Eudora girls' basketball season as the Spring Hill Broncos bounced the Cardinals from the sub-state tournament.

The Cardinals got a measure of redemption Thursday as they returned to Spring Hill and came away with a resounding Frontier League win, 60-44.

"This win was huge," Eudora coach Ryan Luke said. "This is a team that the girls have been looking forward to playing. They ended the season last year and to come here and get a road win like this was big."

The Cardinals (5-3) sealed their third straight win by outscoring the Broncos 19-4 in the fourth quarter to break open an otherwise tight contest.

The game began with the Broncos echoing the winning formula of last year's match-up by going inside to Lacey Cunningham.

The 5-foot-10 senior scored 16 points in last year's sub-state win by bashing the Cardinals on the inside. Cunningham muscled her way down low for the Broncos' first four points and helped Spring Hill run out to a 6-1 lead early in the opening quarter.

Eudora managed to counter with some help from freshman Haley Epperson, who scored four of her eight points to cut the lead to one, 6-5.

The Cardinals continued to hang tough as they once again rebounded from a five-point deficit with a 7-2 run, which included two straight mid-range jumpers from junior Erin Kracl, to finish the quarter with a one-point deficit, 16-15.

After Spring Hill's Samantha Zarda hit a 3-pointer to open the second half, the Cardinals made the first real move to take control of the game.

With the Broncos leading 19-17, Eudora mounted an 11-0 run to take a 28-19 lead with less than three minutes to go in the half.

Senior Michelle Deluna scored seven of her 12 points in the quarter, including a 3-pointer to give the Cardinals their first lead of the game.

Spring Hill wasn't done yet, however. Cunningham and Dittmer combined to answer with a 13-2 run to finish the half. Dittmer scored nine of her 16 points in the quarter helping the Broncos to a 30-30 tie at halftime.

"They're two good players," Luke said. "You have to constantly be aware of where Dittmer is and Cunningham is just a force inside."

The teams continued to battle through the third quarter, changing leads four times before Eudora senior Carrie Lister hit a basket with time winding down to give the Cardinals a 41-40 lead going into the fourth.

The Cardinals then turned up the heat defensively as they shut down the Broncos' attack by forcing eight turnovers and forcing Spring Hill into taking bad shots. The Broncos went cold from the field, going 2-for-11, including 0-for-4 from beyond the arc.

Dittmer and Cunningham were each held to just two points in the period.

On offense, the Cardinals pounded the ball inside resulting in 15 trips to the free-throw line. Lister scored six of her eight fourth-quarter points on free throws, which helped the Cardinals finish the game on a 10-0 run.

"I think we made some good adjustments," Luke said. "The kids stepped up and made some shots and made some plays defensively."

Kracl was one of four Cardinals to score in double figures with 14, while Lister and sophomore Nikki Snider each had double-doubles.

Lister finished the night with 14 points, 11 rebounds, while Snider added 10 points, 10 rebounds.

The Cardinals return home on Friday to play Louisburg.

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