Eudora boys bring young squad to tourney
The Eudora Cardinals come into the Tonganoxie tournament at 2-3 overall and 0-1 in Frontier League. Coach Scott Stein brings back only one starter from last year's 11-11 squad, 5-foot 11-inch senior Jeremie Bryant.
"We're bringing back some good athletes this year," Stein said. "We don't have the size that we'd like though."
Last year, Eudora relied on 6-foot 3-inch senior Chris Gabriel for its inside presence. Senior Joe Kaup takes up the job as the man in the middle for the Cardinals. Kaup comes off two solid early season games, one in which he grabbed 16 rebounds and another in which he put in 16 points.
The Cardinals rely on quickness and floor management to make up for their lack of size. Juniors Mark and Luke Abel bring an outside shooting threat and focus to the perimeter, both shot 35 percent from behind the arc last year.
The Cardinals lost a heartbreaker in their first league game. After the opener against Paola was cancelled because of weather, Eudora lost to Anderson County in a back-and-forth game but showed toughness and persistence as the Cards had multiple chances to tie or win the game.
Free-throw shooting has been a problem lately; the Cardinals went 14-for-28 against Anderson County. It was a major factor in the loss.
The Cardinals are picked to finish 10th in the Frontier League. However, if the team can improve on last year's 45-percent field goal shooting, then they should be competitive throughout the league season.
This is Stein's fourth year as head coach of the Cardinals. He has compiled a 39-32 record during that time.