Girls just short against Tongie
The 2007 Panther Invitational didn't quite end like the girls basketball team wanted, but coach Ryan Luke was still proud after his girls were defeated 47-43 at the hands of Tonganoxie, the team that defeated the Cardinals by a wider margin (12 points) at sub-state a year ago.
"I think the girls understand that we've improved a lot since last year," Luke said. "They still believe they can beat a good team like Tonganoxie, and I think we'll improve as the season goes on."
The biggest problem for Eudora in this contest was foul trouble. Post players Nikki Snider and Haley Epperson each received three fouls in the first half and had to sit out most of the second quarter.
Then within two minutes of the start of the second half, they'd each picked up their fourth and had to sit out the remainder of the third quarter.
Snider still finished with 10 points to lead the team and collected 11 rebounds.
Senior Elaina Kouri and junior Bailey Scott each added 8 points.
"We were really spread out with our scoring," Luke said. "That's a great thing about our team -- we're very balanced."
The Cardinals trailed by three at halftime, then saw Tongie expand its lead to nine with 4:30 in the third quarter. Eudora did not fold though, and cut the lead back down to three with a six-point run that lasted until the 2:40 mark in the third.
The three-point lead would remain intact until Eudora fouled Tongie senior Elizabeth Baska with 25 seconds remaining in the game.
Baska thrived at the charity stripe with the game on the line, sinking both free throws and icing the game. Eudora would add one free throw to cut the lead back down to four before the final buzzer.
Epperson and senior Emily Ballock were named to the all-tournament team.
"They were disappointed, but I'm really enthused about our effort," Luke said. "We practiced on Monday and the girls were still very enthusiastic so I think they're ready to move on and play again."
The Cardinals would have faced Silver Lake on Tuesday night but weather conditions caused the game to be rescheduled for Jan. 8, 2008.
Luke said he didn't mind the off day Tuesday, saying it gives himself and the team more time to prepare for a match-up at Prairie View Friday.
"I really don't know too much yet about Prairie View," he said. "I spent a lot of time on Silver Lake, so now I'll go back and watch the Prairie View film and take a look at them."
Luke and the Cardinals will have until 6:30 Friday evening to prepare themselves for an opponent that lost its opener to Louisburg 73-25, and its second game to Jayhawk Linn 51-24.