Eudora beats THS boys
The Eudora High boys held off a late Tonganoxie rally, and defeated the Chieftains, 55-51, in the semifinals of the Cardinal Invitational Tuesday at Eudora.
Eudora led by 10 in the fourth quarter before Tonganoxie rallied late and cut the lead to two with one minute to play. But Justin Ballock hit two late free throws, and Eudora held on for the win.
THS coach Shawn Phillips said the matchup featured two solid defensive teams. It was the pressure of Eudora against the tough, half-court defense of Tonganoxie.
The Cardinals specialize in forcing their opponents to turn the ball over, while the Chieftains like to hold their foes to a low field-goal percentage.
Both teams accomplished what they set out to do with Eudora forcing 19 THS turnovers and THS holding the Cardinals to 36 percent shooting.
Phillips said the difference in the game was rebounding — EHS grabbed 16 offensive boards.
"They ended up shooting 19 more field-goal attempts than we did. On most nights if you hold a team to 36 percent from the floor you should win," the second-year Tonganoxie coach said. "We have to rebound and take care of the ball better."
Phillips said the early road test should help Tonganoxie later in the season.
"Eudora is a good team that is senior loaded. That game was a good experience for us," Phillips said. "Hopefully we can learn from it so next time we are on the road we can pull out the win."
Keaton Schaffer led THS with 23 points against Eudora. Sophomore center Dane Erickson was the only other Chieftain in double figures, scoring 14.
Erickson led the team with nine rebounds. Junior point guard Jeremy Carlisle had a team-high seven assists.
Dylan Scates and Austin Vickers scored six points apiece.
Eudora (3-0) will play Harmon in the championship game at 8 p.m. Thursday in Eudora. Tonganoxie (1-1) will play Piper in the third-place game at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Eudora.
The Cardinals will be looking to win the tournament championship for the first time since 2006.