Boys drop two to Gardner, St. James
The Eudora boys made a game of it for three quarters against 5A powerhouse Gardner Friday at Eudora. But during the final 12 minutes of the game, Gardner showed why it is the best team in the league.
Eudora trailed by just three points with six minutes to play in the third quarter, but Gardner got scorching hot from the perimeter during the second half, and eventually topped the Cardinals, 79-48.
During the decisive third quarter, Gardner’s Conner Langrehr hit four three-pointers, and the biggest was his three that pushed Gardner’s lead to 40-34 with five minutes to play, and the Trailblazers outscored the Cardinals 39-14 the rest of the way.
“After a shooter hits a couple of them, you have to have a guy in his face and at least make him put it on the bounce,” coach Kyle Deterding said. “And he just caught it and shot it for several of them.”
While Gardner combined to hit 10 threes in the game, the pivotal play came just before halftime. At the end of the half, Eudora had the ball and was running down the clock to take the last shot of the half. But a turnover gave Gardner the ball back, and the Trailblazers scored at the buzzer and took a 35-28 lead into the locker room.
“That’s the worst thing you can do at the end of the quarter is turn it over,” Deterding said. “You’d be better off not even shooting that ball. But we turn it over, and instead of us getting a bucket, or at least running out the end of the clock, they get a bucket. And that changes the whole complexion.”
After trailing by 11 early in the second quarter, Eudora closed the gap with a 9-0 run on a three-pointer by Justin Ballock, two layups by Evan Cleveland and a layup by Brian Katzfey that cut the lead to two midway through the quarter. But Gardner answered with a 7-0 run, before Drew Noble and Coulter Vestal answered with layups of their own.
But the costly late turnover, and Gardner’s barrage of threes in the second half proved to be too much for the Cardinals to come back from.
“We had a chance to make it a game, and then they hit five threes,” Deterding said. “And we didn’t score on a couple trips. They’ve got a really nice team. They do a lot of things well.”
Vestal and Ballock led Eudora with 14 points apiece and Noble added eight.
Eudora then traveled to St. James Monday and lost 67-53 to the Thunder.
Eudora trailed by 23 early in the fourth quarter, but rallied with a 16-3 run and eventually cut the lead down to nine with three minutes to play in the game.
Ballock led Eudora with 18 points, Noble and Connor Scott scored 10 apiece.
Eudora (9-8) will play Metro Academy Friday in Eudora.