Eudora uses late run to pull away from Lady Cats
Louisburg junior Carson Buffington dives for a loose ball Friday during the Lady Cats’ home game against Eudora. Buffington finished with 10 points and 16 rebounds in the Lady Cats’ 41-34 loss.
The shots weren’t falling. Turnovers were piling up, as were the foul problems.
It wasn’t exactly the performance the Louisburg girls basketball team wanted to have following its big win over rival Paola earlier in the week. Then, in just a few minutes time, the Lady Cats had life again.
Louisburg rallied to tie Eudora late in the third quarter and it seemed to have all the momentum. Then in a matter of seconds – it was a gone again.
The Cardinals scored the next seven points and took that momentum into the final period for a 41-34 win over the Lady Cats in their homecoming game Friday.
“We just weren’t ready to play,” Louisburg coach Shawn Lowry said. “You always worry about a letdown after a good showing, then with homecoming added on to that, we just weren’t checked in at all to play and that is on me.”
It was a rough first half for the Lady Cats offensively. They managed just three points in the first quarter, and struggled at times in the second, but still managed to claw back to a 17-13 deficit at halftime.
Louisburg turned up its defensive pressure to start the third quarter and got back in the game. A 3-pointer from freshman Brooklyn Diederich cut it to 18-17 and a free throw from freshman Madilyn Melton tied it up with 3 minutes left in the third.
Eudora grabbed the lead right back with a basket, but another Louisburg freshman, Alyse Moore, drove to the basket and scored to knot it at 20-all.
From there, it was all Eudora.
The Cardinals forced Louisburg into eight turnovers in the third and turned several of those into transition points as they went on an 18-3 run that went into the fourth quarter and built a 15-point lead.
“Eudora just made some plays and some shots,” Lowry said. “To their credit, they worked harder than we did at getting 50-50 balls, which we take a lot of pride in and we didn’t this time. Eudora was ready to come in here and play.”
The Lady Cats (6-9) tried to get back into the game, as Moore scored three baskets in the final quarter and junior Carson Buffington hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead to six late in the game, but Louisburg couldn’t get any closer.
Eudora employed a zone defense for most of the night and the Lady Cats weren’t able to crack it as the Cardinals forced 24 turnovers.
“We weren’t very strong with the basketball,” Lowry said. “We weren’t very strong with our passes, we weren’t strong catching the ball and if you don’t do those two things first, then it doesn’t matter what happens after that. That kind of fed into everything and that kind of goes into the mental side of the game.
“I was concerned about it going into the game, and as a coach, you just kind of get that feeling that maybe not everyone was ready for the game. There is a lot of stuff going on, but that is no excuse. You have to be ready to play a basketball game and we weren’t.”
Buffington recorded another double-double to lead the Lady Cats’ offense with 10 points and team-high 16 rebounds. Moore was next on the team with nine points and Diederich added six in the loss. Melton was second on the team with eight rebounds.
Louisburg will try to bounce back Friday when it travels to Ottawa for another Frontier League matchup.
“This is one that we have to learn from,” Lowry said. “We have to pick ourselves back up and individually they have some things they have to think about and make sure that they are all in and then we go from there.”
LOU 3 10 10 11 – 34
EUD 9 8 12 12 – 41
LOUISBURG (6-9): Carson Buffington 10, Alyse Moore 9, Brooklyn Diederich 6, Bailey Belcher 2, Carlee Gassman 2, Haley Cain 2, Isabelle Holtzen 2, Madilyn Melton 1. Totals: 10-40 10-24 34. 3-point field goals: 4, (Buffington 2, Diederich 2)