Snow allows sour Louisburg loss to linger
Chances for a Frontier League title may have slipped away from the Eudora girls basketball team Jan. 31, but that doesn't mean the Cardinals are ready to give up on their goals.
After a tough first quarter against Louisburg, they managed to cut the deficit to two in the third quarter but eventually lost 51-40.
"We never recovered from getting down early," Eudora coach Ryan Luke said. "It was kind of a mental thing, and we kind of got down on ourselves a little bit."
The loss leaves Eudora's record at 12-3 overall and 3-1 in the league, good enough for a second-place tie with Spring Hill, which sports an 8-7 record overall. Louisburg sits atop the league standings at 5-0.
Mother Nature ruined any chance for the girls to redeem themselves Tuesday by dropping several inches of snow on northeast Kansas and preventing the Atchison Redmen from traveling to Eudora.
Junior Haley Epperson led Eudora in scoring last Thursday against the Wildcats with 14, and Bailey Scott contributed 11.
After one half of play Eudora trailed by 10, but then came out in the second half and narrowed the score to 34-32 with about two minutes to play in the third. The Cardinals were dealt a critical blow when senior Nikki Snider went down with a sprained ankle.
Luke said the sprain was severe and expected Snider to be out for at least another week.
"We've got tons of talent, so we could have played with them after that happened," Luke said. "But that was another mental thing for our team - losing her- and we never quite recovered."
Another factor in the game was free throw shooting. Eudora hit just 5-of-14 free throw attempts, while Louisburg was 10-17. Scott managed to shoot the ball well from the outside, connecting three times from beyond the three-point line.
Despite the loss, Luke remained upbeat about the progress of his team.
"We'll recover. We still have a lot of great things ahead of us," Luke said. "We could potentially win league, but we've been looking to sub-state the whole year. Getting to the state tournament is our number one goal."
Eudora has five games before the sub-state tournament, which will be played Feb. 25 through March 1 at Spring Hill.
Those games are against Atchison (a makeup date has not yet been set), Gardner, De Soto, Ottawa and Spring Hill.
"We want to win and get some momentum going into sub-state," Luke said. "We've been putting some new stuff in to try and prepare for that. We need to take a step forward every game."
In the first of those final five games, Eudora will play host to Gardner Friday at its winter homecoming date.
"Gardner will be good, tough," Luke said. "They like to get up and down the court just like us and they have a really good post player and a good guard, so it should be a good game."
That is the exact style of game that Eudora enjoys and excels at. While Luke said Gardner usually plays about eight members deep, the Cardinals are capable of using 10 players, which is a good advantage to hold in what should be a fast-paced game.