The question on the minds of many Eads fans after this past weekend is, “What is going on?” Perhaps it was the aftermath of the severe flu that spread like wildfire through the team over the past week. Whatever it was, this certainly wasn’t the same group that had started 2018 on a tear as they went 4-0 through the first part of January and absolutely demolished every opponent. But on Friday night in Eads, the Lady Eagles played questionable ball resulting in a 34-26 key conference loss to the visitors from Cheyenne Wells. Then on Saturday night in Granada; again, a key matchup, the Eads girls struggled to beat a down Bobcats team, 43-32. One can only hope that the energy for Eads will return as they enter a difficult part of the season.
Coach Eder agreed saying, “The Cheyenne Wells game was a tough night for us for sure. Things didn’t go our way, we made a lot of mistakes at key times, and we dug ourselves into a hole by halftime. One positive was that we still had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter but poor shooting prevented us from doing that.”
In the early part of Cheyenne Wells game on Friday night in Eads, it looked like the favored Eads girls would handle conference foes Cheyenne Wells as they led 10-8 after one period. However, a dismal second quarter and a pretty bad third quarter did Eads in as they allowed the full court man Tiger defense to control them offensively. The Lady Eagles would only score one dismal point in the second period as only Lauren Spady managed to get 1-of-2 free throws. No field goals were made by Eads; and, the big stat was the poor performance at the charity line where Eads went 1-10 in that quarter. For their part, the Lady Tigers used a three ball by Kendra Noe and a couple of field goals by their bench to score 9 points and go into the locker room at half time leading 17-11 in a very low scoring event.
Unfortunately for head coach Trey Eder, his girls did not seem to improve coming out of the break as only point guard Miranda Mitchek managed to hit a couple of buckets while Cheyenne Wells, again, outscored their opponent. The Eads group would pick it up as Eder’s frustration was on display and outscore the Lady Tigers 11-10 in the final stanza. At one point, early in the fourth period, Eads was down by 12 points, but behind Mitchek, who again hit the only field goals in the fourth period, made a comeback. They were within four points when a key turnover gave the Tigers the charm and the harm moving them to a 7-point lead. After that huge mistake, Eads had to foul to stop the clock and the Tigers, especially Madie Weed who hit two field goals and went 4-for-5 from the charity line down the stretch, stepped up to the challenge and finished the game.
Eads Lady Eagle Miranda Mitchek (20) dribbles in towards the basket against Meaghan Greenwall (14) of Cheyenne Wells in the game played Friday, January 19th at Eads. (Photo Credit - Bob Schecter)
Weed led all scorers with 9 points. Brenna Rouse had 8 points, including a three-ball, and 6 assists. Mitchek struggled again with foul trouble, but boosted Eads in the second half scoring 8 points and had 3 steals. Emily Gyurman and Mariah Smith pulled down 5 boards apiece, while Spady and Hadlie Rittgers had 4 rebounds apiece.
The main reason for this loss was Eads’ performance on the free throw line where, as a team, they shot a bleak 9-for-28 (32%). They also were only 1-for-9 from three-point land for a 11% performance. Obviously, those stats won’t win many games.
On Saturday night, Eads grabbed the conference win over Granada, but it still wasn’t very pretty. Eder summed it up, “The next night the shooting struggles continued, but the girls fought through it and stayed more patient on offense to get a few easier buckets.”
Eads jumped out early in the Granada game getting a 13-3 lead after one as their only senior Taryn Kemp found a little room to hit one long ball in the first eight minutes. Eads had five players get in the scoring column right away, including Mitchek with a three-ball. However, the Eads girls seemed to struggle for most of the game as Granada really played them even after the devastating first quarter start. The Lady Eagles finally put a little production together by the fourth period scoring 17 points.
Overall, Eads was led by Mitchek who had a solid game hitting for 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Both Rouse and Kaylee Wilson scored 8 points apiece. Spady served as chairman of the boards pulling down 10 while Smith added 9 more.
Eads Lady Eagle Mariah Smith (25) brings down a rebound despite pressure from Cheyenne Wells players Madie Weed (10) and Kendra Noe (4) in the game played Friday, January 19th at Eads. (Photo Credit - Bob Schecter)
Eder was philosophical about the tough weekend, “For the team right now—we are getting good looks on offense but just not able to capitalize and put the ball in the hoop. Our defense has to continue to keep us in games and give us a chance to win until we get the shooting turned around.”
The Lady Eagles will just one game next week and it will be played on a rare Thursday. They travel to Wiley where they will need to be ready for a hot Wiley group who defeated Cheyenne Wells on Saturday night. Eads and Wiley have met already this season in the consolation side of the Lamar HBT tournament bracket. Game time is 4:00 pm.