Boys played best games of the year against state’s best
The Eudora High boys 2009-2010 basketball team won 11 games, but ask coach Kyle Deterding, and he’ll tell you the season was filled up with ups downs. But the Cardinals showed at times that they were a state contender.
“We weren’t very consistent, which is always really frustrating because we could have been there,” Deterding said.
The Cardinals started the season with an 81-41 pasting of Anderson County, and began the season 3-0, notching wins over Bishop Ward and Tonganoxie as well. The Cardinals then went 3-4 in their next seven games, but three of those four losses were by nine points or less.
After blowing a fourth quarter lead to Tonganoxie in the Tonganoxie Invitational, the Cardinals bounced back and beat De Soto and then knocked off top-ranked Sumner Academy in late January.
The Cardinals, though, went 2-4 in their next six games. Eudora notched wins over Baldwin and Metro Academy. Two of those losses came to league foes Paola and Louisburg, both games were decided by three points or less.
Eudora closed out the regular season by losing to Ottawa and to Spring Hill at home on Senior Night. But the Cardinals showed the team many expected them to be against Piper and Basehor.
“It’s hard to be consistently that good, but I’m really proud of the way they played tonight and last Tuesday against Piper,” Deterding said after the team’s 42-37 sub-state semifinal loss to Basehor. “I’m really proud of how we played. And they finished the year really well and really hard. And that’s all we asked them all year is to compete.”
Like when they played Sumner, the Cardinals showed that same toughness, grit and determination against Basehor. And the Cardinals had a chance to win it at the end, but fell one shot short.
“They were a very good team,” said senior Coulter Vestal who scored three points in the game. “It just hurts right now. I thought we should have won. We played pretty well. It’s just kind of a heartbreaking thing.”
Despite the loss, Deterding was pleased with his team’s effort against the state’s best.
“We really competed,” Deterding said. “All we talked about all week was competing hard for 32 minutes mentally and physically. And I thought the kids really did that. We battled, and we talked about leaving it all on the court, and we did that.”
The Cardinals will lose eight seniors from this year’s squad, which will open some fierce competition for playing time when practice resumes in November.
“Hopefully it gets them excited because obviously there is an opportunity for some younger kids to step up,” Deterding said. “So we’ll see who wants to put the time in to get it done.”