Tigers lose last 2 of regular season


By Sam Jack

The Eisenhower Tigers boys basketball team lost their last two games of the regular season, falling at Andover Central, 54-30, on Tuesday, Feb. 22, then losing at home to Andover, 65-42, on Friday.
As has occurred in several losses this season, the Tigers stayed close to Andover Central in the first quarter, then fell behind as their opponent made some offensive runs they couldn’t answer.
“We were playing really well, and then we just went cold,” Tigers head coach Steve Blue said. “It’s been the story of our season: We miss a few shots, the other team makes a few, and then a five- or six-point game turns into a 10- or 12-point game. We just struggled down the stretch finishing shots.”
Being without senior Jason McCarty did not help. A Northwestern Oklahoma State commit for baseball, McCarty suffered an ACL tear during the final seconds of the Goddard game on Feb. 15 and is missing the rest of the basketball season as well as the upcoming baseball season.
“He’s been a two-year starter at point guard for us, and it’s tough to replace his leadership,” Blue said. “He’s been shooting the ball so well lately. Against Valley Center, he made five threes, and he’s been such a leader for us all year.”
Carson Roy had a block, a deflection, a steal and took two charges during the game. Owen Rush led the offense with 10 points on 4 for 7 shooting from the field.
Eisenhower: Owen Rush 10, Logan Libel 5, Caleb Conyers 4, Nate Purkey 3, Trey Omli 3, James Rackley 2, Carson Roy 2.

Against the 16-4 Andover Trojans, the Tigers again came out hot; they led 18-15 at the end of the first quarter. Then the Trojans held Eisenhower scoreless, 8-0 in the second quarter.
“Even with going scoreless, we were only down 5 at halftime to one of the top teams in the state,” Blue noted. “We played two ranked teams this week, and we definitely hung with them for a half or a first quarter.”
Andover’s shooting got hot in the second half, with the Trojans making nine three-point shots.
Cade Friend led the Tigers’ offense with 18 points. Owen Rush had 15 rebounds to go with 8 points.
With the loss, Eisenhower finished the season 6-14.
“The story of our season is, it’s like there’s just a lid on the basket for us,” Blue said. “It’s not like we’re taking bad shots; we’re missing open layups and stuff like that. When a team goes on a run like Andover did, we’ve got to be able to answer back.
“But tremendous effort and heart by the kids. This team will go down as one of the hardest working teams I’ve had at Eisenhower,” Blue added.
The 14th-seeded Tigers played No. 3 Topeka West on Tuesday in the opening round of substate. The winner of that game will move on and play either Andover or Bishop Carroll on Friday.
Eisenhower: Cade Friend 18, Owen Rush 8, Trey Omli 5, James Rackley 4, Caleb Conyers 3, Carson Roy 2, Logan Libel 2.