Boys bounce back with win
In assessing his team's style of play before the season began, boys high school basketball coach Kyle Deterding said simply, "Scrappy -- hopefully scrappy."
Through the first two games of the season, the Cardinals have shown they are just that.
A win Tuesday night earned the Cardinals another game in the consolation bracket after they dropped their season opener Monday night to Piper.
"We played really hard both nights," Deterding said. "But it feels really good to get a win and now we get to have a day of practice before we play another game."
Eudora beat Wellsville 51-39 Tuesday night, and for the second straight night it was sophomore Justin Ballock leading the team in scoring with 17, scoring the first five points of the contest to give Eudora the lead out of the gate.
Junior Cody Carlson added 12 on the night.
Defense was the key Tuesday night, when the post players for Eudora held Wellsville's leading scorer, 6-foot-6-inch senior Colin Wright, to 10 points after he scored 22 the previous night against Turner. Wright's little brother, 6-foot-3-inch sophomore Zach Wright added 19 against Turner.
"If those two would have had 41 again tonight," Deterding said, "I knew we were in trouble."
Nine of Ballock's points came in the first quarter as Eudora built an insurmountable lead, ahead 17-9 at the end of the first quarter. The Cardinals extending their lead to 14 as they went into halftime leading 34-20.
Early in the third quarter the Cardinals' defense began to play stingy. Wellsville was unable to score until the 4:30 mark in the third quarter. Eudora denied the ball in the post on back-to-back possessions and Wellsville threw the ball around the perimeter for over 30 seconds, unable to get an open look or penetrate toward the basket.
"Our bigs really battled, played their tales off today and the guards did a good job helping them out," Deterding said. "Our defense, I was really proud of our effort."
For the players, the quick turnaround afforded by playing on back-to-back nights in a tournament helped them get the loss out of their minds.
"It was real good to play the next night," Ballock said. "You don't you think about the loss the rest of the week or until you play again so it was good to just get past it."
The previous night's loss came at the hands of Piper, 53-48.
For the first three quarters of the first game Eudora stayed close, maintained control and even held the lead through much of the time.
"The first three quarters we were playing well because we were looking into our bigs and they were doing some nice things," Deterding said. "Then in the fourth quarter we kind of settled for too many jump shots and our bigs weren't getting any looks."
But Deterding did say the lack of scoring output and the defense surrendering more points to Piper than in any of the previous quarters was not because of a lack of effort, but rather a lack of execution.
Ballock scored 15 points in the contest, while Carlson had 11.
Senior Morgan Abel drew two charging calls against Piper and sophomore Evan Cleveland had one. Each player hit the floor more times than that in attempts to get calls.
"From an effort standpoint we got knocked over five or six times trying to draw charges and we had guys diving on the floor," Deterding said, "so, I'm pretty proud of our effort."
Next up for Eudora is a 4 p.m. contest Thursday against Harmon, a chance to begin the season with a winning record in the home tournament.