The Eudora girls advance after blasting Basehor-Linwood, 58-40
For the first four minutes of Eudora's sub-state opener, there seemed to be another team on the court. The team which had so handily dispatched De Soto and Baldwin by a combined 45 points had been replaced by a nervous and turnover-prone bunch who allowed the sixth-seed Basehor-Linwood Bobcats to mount a quick 5-0 lead.
However, the Bobcats advantage turned into nothing more than an early spurt as Michelle Deluna connected from beyond the arc for the Cardinals' first points of the game.
The senior's 3-pointer at the four-minute mark of the first quarter banished the Eudora imposters and sent the real Cardinals on an 11-0 run, which propelled them to a 58-40 sub-state victory.
"We wanted to push it right away," senior Carrie Lister said. "And we pushed too much and things got a little out of control. We got our nerves under control, though, and we played better. Our nerves were a big part of it."
With the nerves settled, the old Cardinals went on to score 16 straight points on the Bobcats, who aided the run with a nearly 12-minute scoring drought. Eudora finished the half with a nine-point advantage, 20-11.
Eudora clamped down on the defensive end in the third quarter by forcing five Basehor turnovers and limiting the Bobcats to only five shots in the entire frame.
"We played really well defensively," Eudora coach Ryan Luke said. "That's the kind of game we really wanted. We wanted to be in their face and keep up the pressure and I think we did that."
Both teams turned up the scoring output in the fourth quarter by laying down 23 points on one another, but for the sixth-seeded Bobcats, it was not enough to overcome the earlier dry spells.
Deluna led all scorers with 16 points, including 3-for-5 from long distance, while Carrie Lister added 12.
The win sets up a rematch Thursday with the second-seeded KC Sumner Sabres at Sumner Academy. Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.
Sumner advanced on Monday with a 52-29 win over KC Ward to earn a spot in the sub-state semi-finals.
The match-up will be a chance at redemption for the Cardinals, who fell to Sumner earlier in the year 75-56. In that match-up, Sumner relied on a 30-point third quarter and the shooting of Alabama-Birmingham recruit Marissa Henderson, who finished the game with 26.
"They're a tough team and she (Henderson) is a good player," Luke said. "We're just going to try and slow her down and play our game. We know how we stack up with them and we're going to go out and give it our best."