Girls’ rally falls short in 48-40 loss to Tonganoxie
The effort was there for the Eudora girls basketball team, especially in the second half. Hannah Kouri, Evan Folks, Jennifer Bowser and Shea Lounsbury were diving for every loose ball they could.
But while their hustle drew praise form the EHS fans, teammates and coaches, the Cardinals fell, 48-40, to Tonganoxie Tuesday in the first round of the Tonganoxie Invitational.
Tonganoxie held a slim 12-10 lead at the end of the first quarter, then started the second quarter on a 9-0 run.
“You know what the first thing we talked about was?” said EHS coach Todd Cossman. “Start the quarter well. And we didn’t.”
Eudora found itself down 28-14 late in the second quarter before free throws by Kouri and Folks cut the lead to 28-18 at the half.
Tonganoxie, though, increased that lead to 34-22 with five minutes to play in the third quarter before Bowser picked off her first pass of the second half and streaked down the court for a layup. Molly Brunton then grabbed an offensive rebound and scored inside to cut the lead to eight.
To start the fourth quarter, Bowser hit her second shot of the half to cut the lead to seven. Then Tonganoxie sharpshooter Lauren Hall swished a three from the right wing and then a three from the left wing that pushed Tonganoxie’s lead to 42-39 with 6:56 to play.
“Hall really hurt us,” Cossman said. “She’s a good shooter and we knew that coming into the game. We made a mental lapse, and that’s my fault. I’ve got to do a better job of explaining it to them. But we knew Hall was their best outside shooter, and we didn’t do a good job covering her.”
But then the Cardinals put up another rally. Evan Folks answered Hall’s second three with a triple from the top of the key and Sydney Schmille’s field goal inside cut the lead to eight again at 42-34 with 3:20 to play. Folks later added two free throws and Bowser scored inside again to cut the lead to 43-38 with 1:14 to play. But Tonganoxie hit five of six free throws late to secure the victory.
“We play well in spurts,” Cossman said. “We play really well in spurts. The way they played at the end of the game, if we can play like that the whole game, we’re going to be successful. But we don’t play like that the whole game. And that’s been our problem all year putting a full game together.”
As the Cardinals rallied back, Schmille thought the Cardinals would complete the comeback.
“I was hoping we could fight back, but in the fourth quarter we couldn’t get the lead,” Schmille said.
Eudora had a season low 15 turnovers in the game and forced Tonganoxie into 22 turnovers. But Tonganoxie shot 19-of-38 from the floor, and Eudora hit on just 15-of-48 shots.
Eudora (3-6) will play Atchison at 6 p.m. Thursday.