Archive for Thursday, March 16, 2006

Girls basketball team proud of league finish

March 16, 2006

A decisive defeat in the sub-state tournament may have seemed like a bitter conclusion for the Eudora Cardinals' 2006 season.

First-year head coach Ryan Luke sees things a little differently.

Instead of a disappointing ending, he had the makings of a very promising beginning.

"The girls came a long way this season," Luke said. "I don't always look at records to sum up the season, but the girls really worked hard and did have a good record so it's a lot to look forward to going into next year."

The 2006 Cardinals enjoyed a season, which saw two lengthy win streaks, a nearly flawless Frontier League record and the coming together of a very balanced team. All of which culminated in an eight-game turnaround and a first-round sub-state win.

The makings of the 16-6 season were sown in December as the team was .500 after four games, which included a third round finish at the Paola Invitational Tournament.

Eudora dropped its first game of 2006 at home against eventual Frontier League champion Paola, before finding a rhythm and ripping off six-straight wins. Four of those wins were by double digits and against league opponents.

"They really worked hard and bought into the new system," Luke said. "In those games, we really took it those teams. Sometimes you get a little intimidated by teams you've lost to in the past, but that never happened with us."

The winning streak also saw the emergence of a foursome of Cardinals who would become the scoring backbone for the remainder of the season.

Junior Erin Kracl and sophomore Nikki Snider joined Seniors Carrie Lister and Michelle Deluna in scoring a combined 916 of the Cardinals 1,184 points this season.

Eudora enjoyed a stretch of seven-straight games where at least three of the four logged double figures in scoring.

Lister also led the team in rebounds with 158 and attempted a staggering 175 of the team's 414 free throw attempts, hitting 104.

Sophomore Emily Ballock, while not as prolific a scorer as her teammates, did contribute on offense by delivering 49 assists, while doing her part on defense by grabbing 57 steals.

The scoring foursome along with Ballock and a host of key role players helped the Cardinals grab a second-place finish for the second straight year in the Wellsville Top Gun tournament.

After a loss to Baldwin in the championship game at Wellsville, the Cardinals proceeded to go 2-1 over a three-game stretch. The only blemish was a foreshadowing loss to Marisah Henderson and KC Sumner at home.

That stretch was followed by a second six-game winning streak, where each win was by double digits. The Cardinals would go on to finish the league season with 11-straight wins in league play, which was good for a second-place finish in the league and a third seed in the sub-state tournament.

Eudora kept the momentum going into the sub-state tournament with a lopsided home win over Basehor, before falling for the second time to KC Sumner to end the season.

"Our goals at the beginning of the year were to have a winning record in the league and have a winning record overall," Luke said. "We exceeded those goals with a second place finish in league, but fell short in sub-state. Overall we had a pretty good season."

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