El Dorado Springs boys rally to win Class 3 District 13 title


By Stephen Buus (For OzarksSportsZone.com)

The El Dorado Springs boys completed a sweep of the Class 3 District 13 titles Saturday night. Unlike their female counterparts, who had an easy victory over Stockton, the Bulldogs had to fight tooth-and-nail to outlast the host Butler Bears 33-30. Each team had previously won once on their home floor during conference play, but this rubber match would determine who was truly the better squad.

With winter weather pushing the semifinals back from Thursday to Friday, both teams struggled offensively, especially in the second half. Butler led 15-5 early but El Do went on a 9-3 run to pull within 4 points at the end of the first quarter. The Bulldogs had numerous chances to tie or take the lead, but did not do so until the 3:56 mark of the third period when a steal and layup by sophomore Landon Murry put El Do up 27-26.

Meanwhile, Butler could not seem to buy a basket from anywhere, as the Bears were held scoreless for more than 10 minutes in the second half. Bulldog coach Nick Engleman said his team’s defense took over when the offense wasn’t producing.

“I think sometime adrenaline pushes you through on a night like tonight,” Engleman said. “If you play back-to-back during the regular season, there are some lulls in it a little bit but when you’re in a championship, the adrenaline’s going. I thought we played hard but we shot with tired legs too.

“The kids played so hard on defense. It didn’t matter how well we shot. We told them at halftime, if you will come out and defend and box out, the offense will come. Only 14 points were scored in the second half by both teams.

Murry led the Bulldogs with 9 points with freshman Joe Gordon adding 7 and junior Kaden Burley 6. Senior Jagur Eidson had 18 points in the first half for Butler, including 5 treys, but was shut out in the second half.

El Dorado advances to the state sectional round against Lafayette County (Higginsville) Wednesday at Lee’s Summit North.

“We’re going to have our work cut out for us but we’re going to go to work,” Engleman said. “As I told them when we played Skyline, I said sometimes somebody beats someone they’re not supposed to, so why not us?”

El Dorado 14 9 7 3—33
Butler 18 12 0 4—30

El Dorado: Landon Murry 9, Joe Gordon 7, Kaden Burley 6, Kade Fast 5, Kuliath Kephart 4.
Butler: Jagur Eidson 18, Bryce Triebel 7, Dylan Davidson 2, Matthew Zent 2, Carter Trumbore 1.

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