Girls pull out big win in overtime
During the Eudora Cardinals' four-game win streak, things had been somewhat easy. The team had averaged a 23-point margin of victory over the stretch, but Tuesday's opening game of the Top Gun Tournament brought that streak at least, to an end.
Eudora's Michelle Deluna hit a 3-pointer with eight seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime, where the Cardinals held on for their fifth straight win over KC Piper, 68-62.
"We didn't play well early," Eudora coach Ryan Luke said. "I knew there would be a game like this where we would come out a little flat and have to fight. Fortunately a good player like Michelle stepped up and hit a big shot."
The game was tight from the get-go as each team tried to get the upper hand in the opening quarter. Piper's Allison Brown and Michelle Selbe did damage from the outside and under the basket to help the Pirates to an early 5-0 lead.
Eudora (7-3) bounced back as senior Carrie Lister went to the free-throw line six times in the first four minutes, converting five shots to get the Cardinals back in the game, 5-5.
Lister finished the quarter with seven of Eudora's 12 points, but the Pirates held the edge at the end of one, 13-12.
"We were trying to get her (Carrie) the ball all night," Luke said. "It was just a matter of how and when we could do that. Carrie played great tonight not only on offense, but on defense as well."
The tight trend continued throughout the second half as neither team could pull away. Piper scored the first four points of the quarter, courtesy of Selbe underneath, to regain a five-point lead, 17-12.
But Deluna hit the first of her two 3-pointers on the night to help give the Cardinals their first lead of the night, 18-17.
From that point, the game followed the first-quarter script with the teams trading baskets, but once again the Cardinals found themselves down by one as the second buzzer sounded, 29-28.
Piper's Selbe started the third quarter where she left off in the first half, by scoring the first six Pirate points to add to her halftime total of 10 and, helping Piper stay in front, 37-34.
Lister matched her point-for-point in the half with six of her own, including four-of-four from the line during the quarter. The effort kept the Cards within striking distance at the end of three, 42-40.
Things kept true to form throughout the final quarter as each team traded baskets to keep things tight.
Selbe, coupled with Marissa Smith, continued to beat the Cardinals down low, adding six more points to her team-high 28 to give the Pirates a three-point lead with less than a minute to go, 54-51.
But Piper missed an opportunity to seal the deal late as the usually reliable Selbe missed from underneath the basket, giving Eudora one final shot for overtime.
Deluna's long-distance bucket did just that as the Cardinals went into extra time with the streak still intact.
In overtime, the Cardinals finally took over as they took the ball down the lane, forcing
11 foul shots, of which the Cardinals hit 10 to seal the victory.
In the win Lister, finished with a game-high 29 points, while Deluna added 16. Sophomore Nikki Snider logged another double-digit effort with 12.
The win puts Eudora into the semi-finals of the tournament Thursday versus St. Mary's.