By Sam Jack
The Eisenhower Tigers boys basketball team could not hold onto a late lead at Derby on Friday, Dec. 17, losing 57-52 after leading by 11 points with four minutes left to play.
“We kind of let some things get away from us,” Tigers head coach Steve Blue said. “One of their players got hot, and we started playing not to lose instead of attacking. We had some turnovers, missed some easy shots we could’ve had to maintain the lead. But for 28 minutes, we played really well.”
The Tigers were always in the lead until that 28-minute mark.
“I think as a team, we shot the ball really well. We had several guys step up,” Blue said. “We took five charges as a team. We’re doing a lot of little things right; just got to finish.”
Eisenhower: Owen Rush 13, Logan Libel 11, Caleb Conyers 8, James Rackley 8, Trey Omli 6, Cade Friend 6.
Last Tuesday at Andover, the Tigers lost 69-36. As with Derby, the Lions kept pace with the Trojans for a portion of the game before falling off the pace, according to Blue.
“For 16 minutes, we were right there with them,” he said. “We had the lead early, down 5 at halftime, playing very well. Then in the second half, they got hot, and we really struggled. They’re a really long team, so we had quite a few turnovers in that second half and struggled to score.”
James Rackley came off the bench and scored 11 points, leading the Tigers.
“He’s had two really good games this past week,” Blue said. “We have some stuff we can build off of as a team. Our post players are starting to score more for us, and rebounding really well.”
The Tigers return to action on Friday, Jan. 7, when they host Arkansas City. On Tuesday, Jan. 11, they will be in the gym of the crosstown rival Goddard Lions.
Eisenhower: James Rackley 11, Owen Rush 6, Cade Friend 6, Trey Omli 4, Pierce Blue 4, Jason McCarty 3, Nate Purkey 2.