Eudora Eudora High boys basketball coach Scott Stein looked down at Spring Hill coach Rick O'Neil early in the second half and shouted "that was terrible."
Stein was talking about a blown call by an official but he could just as easily have been talking about Thursday's Cardinal Invitational championship game.
Spring Hill, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A, won 68-48 but it was more a victory of attrition rather than an outstanding hoops battle. Both teams combined for 48 fouls, 47 turnovers and just 53 percent free-throw shooting.
"Your darn right that was a bad call," Stein said jokingly of his team's early second-half turnover.
"I'm kidding, the refs called it pretty even, it was just flat sloppy."
Spring Hill (3-0), behind a huge height advantage, took control in the first quarter, jumping to a 15-8 lead. The Broncos extended their lead to 36-18 by halftime.
In the last 10 seconds of the half, Spring Hill scored five straight points, including a turnaround three-pointer by Clint Whitson five feet from the half-court line to gain huge momentum.
Neither team helped themselves as they struggled from the free-throw line, although they put each other there often committing a foul nearly every 30 seconds.
"Free throws," Stein said. "I told them at halftime maybe we should start shooting them left-handed.
"Or maybe we'll practice shooting them underhanded, that'll be a throwback."
The second half didn't get any prettier, free throws still clanked off the rim, the refs blew there whistles often and Eudora (2-1) still couldn't get into an offensive rhythm.
Meanwhile, Spring Hill's 6-foot-5 forward Paul Ray scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the second half and ignited a Bronco offense that managed to get easy buckets.
"We didn't play too good," said Eudora's Zac Tyler, one of three Cardinals who scored nine points or more. "They're a good team.
"Right now it's too early to know where we'll be by the end of the season, but I noticed improvements in the early game of this tournament.
"I can't wait to get another shot at them, we've had a pretty good rivalry over the past couple years."
KC Ward 65, Baldwin 47
Eric Brown, Andy Hannon and Hugh Murphy combined to score 36 of Baldwin's 47 points.
Spring Hill 68, Eudora 48
Spring Hill 15 21 13 19 68
Eudora 8 10 17 13 48
Spring Hill (3-0): Hannah 6, Ray 18, Mathew 6, Whitson 11, Knaebel 7, Miller 6, Barnett 4, Larsen 3, House 7. Totals 24 (3) 17-33 68.
Eudora (2-1): Bowling 9, Tyler 9, Hinman 10, Stein 3, Cleveland 6, Moyer 2, Burrous 5, Clark 4. Totals 16 (2) 14-26 48.
KC Ward 65, Baldwin 47
Baldwin 11 7 17 12 47
KC Ward 15 17 23 10 65
Baldwin (2-2): Black 2, Gipp 2, Lauridsen 2, Murphy 10, Hannon 14, Brown 12, Deel 2, Mason 3. Totals 16 15-21 47.
KC Ward: Glavi 16, Winn 4, Selectman 9, Byer 7, Leaper 5, Roche 11, Loffin 13. Totals 24 (6) 11-21 65.