Cardinals clip Cats
Ballock, Katzfey help knock off Louisburg
Perhaps Eudora boys coach Kyle Deterding wishes opposing fans would pick on his sophomore point guard more frequently. The reason the Louisburg student harassed sophomore Evan Cleveland wasn't clear, but the young guard responded in a big way.
Every time Cleveland touched the ball Friday night, the Wildcat students were on him, yelling his name and trying to provoke a mistake.
Cleveland didn't lead the team in steals, points or any other major category, but he led the Cardinals past Louisburg, 56-48, by playing hard and taking care of the ball. He did manage his highest scoring output of the season with 10.
"Evan had a really good game, knocking some shots down and just making good decisions throughout," Deterding said. "He kind of enjoys that stuff. He likes to compete and that was a really fun environment."
A trio of sophomores, including Cleveland, all scored in double-digits. Justin Ballock led with 18 while Brian Katzfey continued to get more minutes and made the most of them, scoring 13.
After one quarter of play, it seemed Eudora may be on the path to defeat as the team trailed 15-11 and had no way of stopping Louisburg Jordan Embers. The senior hit six three-pointers on the night - two in the first quarter - and finished the game with 26 points.
But Ballock came on strong in the second quarter, scoring 10 points, including a three-point play that brought the Cardinals to within two. Eudora went into the half trailing, 28-27, but showing signs that it could keep up with the Wildcats on a night when the gym was loud and booming with winter homecoming festivities.
Those festivities were soon ruined, though, as Eudora used a defining third quarter to stage the upset.
"When we saw the score at half, we started thinking, 'these guys are not what they're hyped up to be,'" junior Kyle Swanson said. "We thought, 'we can play with them, we can go get them.'
"We just attacked, got a little run and rode it for the rest of the game."
This time it was Katzfey who sparked the Cardinals. After collecting three steals in the second quarter, Katzfey added two rebounds and seven points to his stat-line.
"That's the things he can do every game for us - rebounds and steals," Deterding said. "Sometimes his shot is going to fall and sometimes it's not, but those are the things he can do for us day in and day out."
Eudora went on a 14-3 run and was up 41-31 with 45 seconds to play in the third when Louisburg responded by scoring six unanswered points, including an Embers three-pointer that banked in at the buzzer.
The Cardinals still maintained a 41-37 lead going into the final quarter.
With two minutes to play in the fourth, Louisburg was trailing by three and began fouling to stop the clock. Eudora - namely junior Cody Carlson - stepped up to the charity stripe and knocked down shot after shot.
Carlson lined up in Eudora's stall offense near the mid-court line, handling the ball and presenting a big target for his teammates to find. When he was fouled, he hit his free throws, going 6-for-8 from the line and getting his own rebound on one of those misses. As a team in the fourth quarter, Eudora was 9 of 12 from the line.
"He's a good passer and a good shooter," Deterding said. "Plus, when it's a big guy it creates a tough matchup for the opponent because they have to have a big guy come out and guard him."
The strategy worked and Carlson finished with eight points as Eudora coasted to the victory, moving the team to 8-7 on the year and giving it a three-game winning streak.
The Cardinals looked to keep the streak alive Tuesday against Atchison, but inclement weather prevented the Redmen from traveling to Eudora. That game was postponed to a later date.
The next chance for the Cardinals to continue their winning ways is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at their own winter homecoming, against Gardner Edgerton.