Eudora Eudora High senior Lear Bowling has had his good nights this season, but on Tuesday night the 6-foot-1 guard found himself in a groove in the first half of the Cardinals' 80-70 boys basketball victory over Oskaloosa.
"To say Lear Bowling was hot in the first half would be an understatement," EHS coach Scott Stein said. "Oskaloosa made runs at us and we handled the runs against a good team."
Bowling scored 20 of his career-high 25 points in the first half. He contributed to almost every play for the Cardinals (11-8, 4-4 Frontier League) in the first quarter.
"I was feeling everything," Bowling said. "Everything I threw up went in."
Oskaloosa senior Kyle Kelsay matched Bowling's offensive production in the first quarter as the Bears trailed by five points, 20-15.
Eudora completed an 11-0 run toward the end of the second quarter with some help from its reserves.
In the second half, Oskaloosa senior Blake Reed, who scored 16 of his 25 points in the second half, and Eudora senior Wes Hinman stole the show from Bowling and Kelsay, who were both guarded closely.
Hinman scored several points down the stretch as he faked out Oskaloosa senior center Matt Browning. Reed and seniors Nate Yarnell and Kyle Newell kept hopes of a comeback alive for the Bears. A pair of Reed free throws pulled Oskie within five.
But Eudora junior Kaleb Niedens knocked down a key three-pointer for the second straight game.
This time, Niedens' shot from behind the arc gave Eudora a nine-point lead with three minutes left.
Stein said he was impressed with the Cards, who clinched the No. 3 seed in their 4A sub-state.
"We played a good solid game defensively, although they had too much dribble penetration in the first half," Stein said. "I think we're getting better every game."
OHS coach Rod Stottlemire said playing Monday at West Platte, Mo., left his team tired against the Cards.
"I thought we didn't defend well in the first half," Stottlemire said. "Eudora is a good, solid 4A team, and that's the type of team we'll have to beat if we are going to go anywhere."
Eudora will travel to 5A Gardner-Edgerton (14-6) on Friday for the season finale. Oskaloosa will play host to Shawnee Maranatha on Friday.
Eudora girls 69,
EHS sophomore Lauren Kracl scored a career-high 41 points.
"This is really uplifting because it was the seniors' last game and we wanted to do it for them," Kracl said. "I just hope I play as well as I can. I hope we can put it together."
Eudora (6-13) built a 16-2 first-quarter lead against Oskaloosa (4-16) and held a 32-16 halftime advantage.
"I worried because every game we have a slow spot and sometimes we don't come out of it," EHS coach Gretchen Schreiner said. "We struggled a lot this year. It feels good to come out with a big win."
Oskaloosa junior Ashlee Richter led the Bears with 14 points, including three three-pointers.
Eudora will complete its regular season at Gardner-Edgerton (9-10) on Friday.
Eudora boys 80, Oskaloosa 70
Eudora 23 19 17 21 Â 80
Oskaloosa 15 17 18 20 Â 70
Eudora (11-8) Â Lear Bowling 25, Tyler Cleveland 9, Wes Hinman 10, Kaleb Niedens 14, Zac Tyler 10, Jason Burrous 10, Tommy Stein 2.
Oskaloosa (12-7) Â Matt Browning 6, Kyle Kelsay 14, Kyle Newell 6, Travis Newell 7, Blake Reed 25, Luke Hattemer 2, Geremy Norman 2, Nate Yarnell 8
Eudora girls 69, Oskaloosa 43
Eudora 18 14 15 22 Â 69
Oskaloosa 6 10 14 13 Â 43
Eudora (6-13) Â Brandi Abel 10, Mallorie Cleveland 4, Sarah Katzfey 2, Lauren Kracl 41, Jill Woodward 6, Rachel Abel 2, Jenny Durkin 2, Tina Lauber 2.
Oskaloosa (4-16) Â Erika Houk 7, Julie Norman 6, Molly Pruitt 8, Ashlee Richter 14, Courtney Abbott 3, Krystal Robbins 5.