Seniors look to lead
Guard play, height could be advantage
The fate of the 2008-09 Eudora boys basketball season may rest on the shoulders of its senior class.
This group of seniors hopes to erase some memories of a disappointing 10-11 season that ended in the first round of sub-state last year.
“Our seniors have done a nice job so far in practice,” Eudora coach Kyle Deterding said. “Out of the group Cody Carlson and Kyle Swanson have the most minutes returning from last year, but they’re all working hard and trying to be good leaders for those underclassmen.”
The Cardinals have lost three out of their top four big guys from last year but could get significant contributions down low from Carlson, fellow seniors Michael Bricker and Joel Lauer and junior Drew Noble. Eudora could enjoy a slight height advantage against some teams as Carlson, Noble and Lauer are all about 6-foot-2 or greater, and Bricker stands 6-foot-6. Deterding said they all had been tough to handle down low in practice.
Morgan Abel, Dylan Rust and D.J. Fritzel were lost to graduation, but Deterding said he hoped to replace their production with a combination of his returning post players and improved guard play.
“We’re hoping the guys we have stepping in at the big guy spots pick up the slack where those guys left off,” Deterding said. “And we’re hoping our guards improve a little bit.”
Eudora returns four guards who played significant minutes last year, including Swanson and junior Evan Cleveland. Both players spent time running Eudora’s offense last week at practice, and Swanson said the Cardinals could be much improved this year.
“We’re going to be tough against anybody in the league,” he said. “So we’re going to have a shot.”
The Cardinals will open their season against Anderson County Dec. 5 at home. Deterding said the Cardinals weren’t too concerned about their opponents just yet because they were working to improve themselves first.
“We’re not even worried about them (Anderson County),” Deterding said. “We’re pretty much worried about ourselves for quite a while — most of the season. We’re just worrying about what we do and we’re trying to get better each and every week and see where we’re at by the end of the year.”
After the home opener with Anderson County, Eudora will travel to Paola to play in the Paola Invitational. The Cardinals will then return home to face Silver Lake and Prairie View before winter break. Swanson said he was looking forward to playing in front of the home crowd Friday night.
“It’s always nice to play at home and get a lot of fan support,” Swanson said. “ A lot of people come out and watch the games, so there is such thing as home-court advantage. And we hope to take advantage of that so we can get more wins this year than last year.”
After winter break, Eudora plays at Baldwin, at De Soto and then the Tonganoxie Invitational. Eudora will finish its regular season schedule with five game at home and three on the road.
Deterding said the team had showed steady improvement since practice began and if the squad continued to progress like it had, the boys could make a deep run come tournament time.
“They’re getting better,” Deterding said. “If they keep working this hard all year, we’ll have a fun year.”