Overtime finally a treat for Eudora boys team
The Eudora boys basketball team knows how to play close games, and Tuesday they showed they may be learning how to win them.
After losing Friday to De Soto in two overtimes 65-62, the team squared off against Central Heights at home. Though the game also went into overtime, Eudora emerged with an entirely different result, pulling ahead in the extra four minutes for a 44-34 victory.
Junior point guard Matthew Abel said it was not easy playing extra periods, especially with so much riding on them.
"It's a killer on our bodies," Abel said. "They start to wear down at the end. Then, going into overtime, you just have to dig deep down for energy. It's just how badly you want to win. It's really tiring."
Regardless of going into overtime, the Central Heights game started off simple enough. Kelson Boyer made the first two points of the game with free throws, which were quickly followed by a Todd Roberts 3-pointer.
In the second quarter, the Cardinals put some space between them and the Vikings, mounting a 10-point run. The half ended 18-12.
However, coach Kyle Deterding said the Eudora defensive play seen in that half was not where it needed to be -- Eudora being greatly helped by Central Heights missing so many shots.
"They just missed a lot of shots," Deterding said. "The defense just gave them a lot of open looks that they did not make."
The second half began with Eudora brimming with leftover energy from the first half. Mike Ortega secured a rebound from a would-be Kent Swanson 3-point shot and tossed the ball up from under the backboard.
But that energy soon was depleted and Eudora found itself neck-and-neck with a newly determined Central Heights. With one minute to go, the Vikings outran and outplayed the Cardinals, acquiring the five points needed to warrant an extra period. The game was tied at 34.
Abel said the tie came as a result of Eudora just not playing at the same intensity level as Central Heights.
"We hit a couple of big shots then got complacent with ourselves and let things settle," Abel said. "We let them back in really easily."
Todd Roberts began the fifth period the right way by posting a quick two-pointer and then made a steal, regaining possession of the ball and pulling Eudora ahead. The rest of the points in that four-minute period would come from Boyer.
Although the Cardinals won, Deterding said he was not happy with his team's performance.
"They have a lot of good shooters, and they're patient offensively," Deterding said. "We didn't do a very good job defending them."
Eudora is set to host Spring Hill at 8 p.m. Friday, then travels to the Tonganoxie Invitational Tournament for a 7:30 p.m. Monday opening round game against Pleasant Ridge.
Deterding said Eudora had some work to do before the tournament.
"Atchison is in there, and they're pretty good," Deterding said. "We're just working on what we can do on both the defensive and offensive side of things."