The Eisenhower girls have been slowly adjusting to a new mentality this season — they aren’t the underdog anymore.
“We’ve been taking the underdog role, and we like to have that because we’ve never, ever been a favorite,” Eisenhower coach Joe Blasi said. “It’s just refocusing and knowing, ‘OK, we should win a ballgame’ is a different focus of attacking, attacking.”
Eisenhower improved to 7-1 with a 36-33 win over visiting Maize South on Tuesday night. The Tigers have won three straight games, also beating Andover and Valley Center, by a combined nine points.
“Andover, Valley Center, (those wins) got our beliefs up,” said Eisenhower senior Kilah Hoenscheidt, who had 13 points, including four in the game’s final 2:13. “That’s what made us say we can win every game. We got this. We just got to believe.”
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Eisenhower built a 24-15 lead in the second quarter with a 15-7 run in which Hoenscheidt hit two threes.
The Tigers were up 28-21 heading into the fourth, but that lead dwindled away as Maize South went on an 8-1 run led by Mariah Suchan’s six points.
“We didn’t get the looks we wanted just because of the turnovers,” said Blasi, whose team committed 10 second-half turnovers.
Suchan, who finished with a game-high 14 points and 26 rebounds, scored on a putback with 2:25 to go, tying the score at 29-all. But Hoenscheidt answered with a baseline jumper.
Then Suchan scored on another putback and Hoenscheidt hit two free throws with 1:36 remaining. Suchan had a shot to tie in the final seconds, but it didn’t fall.
“One of our dilemmas is who to put on (Suchan),” Blasi said. “My best kid on the boards probably can’t stay with Mariah on the perimeter, so I have to put my better perimeter player on her. Better to give up rebounds than a lot of threes.”
MAIZE SOUTH: McLaurian 9, Brockel 4, Suchan 14, Bally 6.
EISENHOWER: Minor 6, King 8, Blasi 6, Hoenscheidt 13, Teufel 3.