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The Eads Lady Eagles split over the weekend, but it was one of those times when they may have turned a corner, according to head coach Trey Eder. “I felt like we had a good weekend.  Offensively we started to click and get things rolling.  This is important as tournament time is right around the corner and this is the time we need our game to be great---both defensively and offensively.”  Eads was on the road to face #1 Kit Carson on Friday night and lost, 51-27; but bounced back with a key win over #6 Holly, 50-41, on Saturday night. 
Kit Carson’s Haley Johnson tries to knock the ball away from Eads’ Hadlie Rittgers in Hi-Plains basketball action on Friday night. (Photo credit: Holly Mitchek)
Facing the 2018 edition of the Kit Carson Lady Wildcats is a daunting undertaking as their #1 ranking is well deserved.  With a perfect 15-0 record the Lady Cats have used their superior size and basketball skills to defeat some pretty good teams.  The Eads girls fell behind early and really never recovered as the Cats didn’t do anything spectacular, scoring 16 points in each of the first three quarters.  However, Eads could not find the bucket as they struggled against the huge defense Kit Carson puts on the court.  Miranda Mitchek, Eads’ point guard, and wing Hadlie Rittgers put some effort into the first half.  Wilson finally hit Eads’ only three-ball in the second period.  Other than that, each quarter resulted in more of a deficit for the Lady Eagles until Coach Eder pulled his troops with just a minute gone from the final period.  Emily Gyurman, coming off the bench, made some noise scoring seven of the 9 points Eads scored in the final stanza. 

No one for Eads was in double figures, but Mitchek had 8 points and 4 rebounds, and post Mariah Smith scored 4 points and had 4 rebounds.  The only stat Eads won was their bench points with Gyurman leading the way with 7 counters.  KC’s Micayla Isenbart scored 17 points, while sister Reyna had 9, and Haley Johnson and Olivia Isenbart both pitched in 8 apiece.

The next night Eads bounced back from their tough loss against Carson and played a strong game against #6 Holly.  The Lady Wildcats had defeated some impressive teams until they met up with Eads.  Coach Eder indicated, “Being able to get a win against Holly was very good as they were the number 6 team in the state and that shows that we are right there with the top teams.  The girls all stepped up to their challenges on defense as Holly has two really good guards that shoot and handle the ball well.”
Eads senior post Mariah Smith pulls down a strong rebound against Holly on Saturday night.  Smith’s Eagles defeated the #6 ranked Wildcats, 50-41.  (Photo credit: www.WildcatPridePhoto.com)
The Eagle offense finally exploded in the third period for 18 points resulting in the difference in the game.  At halftime Eads led 17-14 behind solid play from Mitchek, Rittgers, and Smith.  The third period saw Kaylee Wilson find her range hitting for a couple of three balls, while Smith controlled the inside hitting three jumpers and going 4-for-4 from the charity line.  In fact, it was the free throw line that put the game away for Eads as the team was 17-for-23 from the line, or 74%. 

Smith led for Eads with 16 points and 10 rebounds for an impressive double-double performance.  Mitchek poured in 15 counters and had 3 assists.  Wilson had six points, while both Brenna Rouse and Rittgers each pulled down 5 boards in the win.  Holly junior Kallie Cathcart hit for 18 points and went a perfect 4-for-4 from the line. 

The Eads JV group played some pretty decent ball over the weekend.  They would be tied up, 23-23, with Kit Carson when Cat freshman Tieler Randel hit her only bucket of the game, a three-ball at the buzzer, to win it.  Cynthia Watson had 6 points, including two three-balls; while Morgyn Johnson chipped in six, as well.  The Eads JV then used an effective triangle between Ally Spady Kaycee Ellenberger, and Johnson to defeat Holly’s JV group, 28-17.  Ellenberger and Johnson each put in 11 points, while Spady hit for six.

Eads will get tested again this weekend as they host two powerhouses from the south including South-Baca on Thursday beginning at 4:00 pm, and then welcoming a highly-ranked #2 team, the Kim/Branson group (13-2) on Friday night with a 5:00 pm start.
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