Boys roll in Tongie tournament opener
After a week off because of poor weather, the Eudora boys basketball team returned with a vengeance having learned some valuable lessons.
The Cardinals dominated the Pleasant Ridge Rams Monday night 62-49 in the first round of the Tonganoxie Invitational tournament. The win improved Eudora's record to 5-4.
Senior Todd Roberts took things away in the first quarter, raking in six points, contributing to an 11-point Cardinal lead. He set the tone early in the game and his teammates followed, ending the first quarter ahead, 21-8.
Coach Kyle Deterding said Roberts contributed more than just points to the game.
"He scored some points for us and got us going," Deterding said. "Todd helped us early on in the offensive end and scored three buckets. He got us in a double-figure lead, which is where we ended it."
After a Roberts 3-pointer, Eudora had 28 points in the second quarter, twice that of Pleasant Ridge.
Deterding said the record and offensive game was not the only thing that improved this week. He said the defensive side of things got noticeably better from last week's fairly flat win against Central Heights.
"We had some defensive lapses where we're not communicating well, but it was a little bit better," Deterding said. "We've been working on that the whole year. But we have to be more decent in the defensive side of the game."
The second half of the game was much the same as the front half. Although the Rams chalked up some more points, the Cardinals never gave up their lead, remaining 14 points ahead by the conclusion of the third quarter.
One lesson from past weeks that wasn't learned too well was the importance of not getting sloppy and giving free throws to the other team. The second half saw its fair share of Pleasant Ridge free throws, which weren't really taken advantage of. Regardless, Deterding said giving up that many free throws in closer games could mean the difference between a win and a loss, which did not sit too well with him.
"We're committing way too many silly fouls," Deterding said. "We don't mind effort fouls, but we have to be smarter. We reached too much instead of moving our feet. We stand and reach and slap the ball away too often."
Finally, the fourth quarter started with the Cardinals widening the point gap. One right after the other, Boyer, Mike Ortega and Kent Swanson scored to quickly post six points on the scoreboard within 20 seconds.
Boyer managed to string two more baskets together one minute later, resulting in an assured Cardinal victory.
Deterding said growth needed to continue throughout the season. But considering the team's ability to learn from each game's mistakes, he was confident that would not be an issue.
"For the most part I'd like us to maintain our defensive game a little longer but that's something we're getting better and better at," Deterding said. "We're always getting better every game."
The Cardinals are scheduled to play Tonganoxie at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Tonganoxie High School.