Rousing finishes excite big crowd on Senior Night

Friday, February 7, 2003
Four Eureka Springs seniors and junior Cash Covington, center, wait for introductions at the start of the Highlanders' game with Decatur on Tuesday night. Getting the start in their next-to-last home game were, from left, Justin Peek, Russell Williams, Covington, Scott Kelley, and Jake McMorrow. The boys lost a heartbreaker, 65-60, but the senior girls won, 63-51. CCN/David McNeal

Two rousing finishes against the Decatur Bulldogs on Senior Night resulted in one big 1AA victory Tuesday night for the Eureka Springs senior high basketball teams, and this time it was the Lady Highlanders who pulled off an exciting ending.

Coach Aaron Hall's Lady Highlanders (5-19, 3-7) came from one down at the end of the fourth quarter to hold off the Lady Bulldogs in a 63-51 victory.

Coach Josh Hill's senior boys, directed by Hall in Hill's absence, couldn't overcome a 15-point third-quarter deficit and took a tough loss, 65-60, that left them 14-14, 5-5 in 1AA play.


Eureka Springs vs. Decatur

19-11, 23-26, 45-41, 63-51

The Lady Highlanders started strong the first quarter, then ran into a slump in the second and didn't score a point until just over three minutes remained until halftime.

Becca Wallis, who scored 9 of her 16 points in the first quarter, finally got a putback for two to end the drought, but the Lady Bulldogs got a cheap basket at the halftime buzzer to lead by three.

The teams swapped baskets in the third, but Jessica Parsons, Mandy Moore, and Jordan Lauer hit some big 3-pointers in the third and fourth to put Eureka ahead after trailing 48-49.

Spreading the floor with three minutes to go in the game, Coach Hall's team slipped behind the chasing Lady Bulldogs for layups, including two key baskets with 1:14 and 0:40 to play from Wallis and Kendra Pyatt.

Parsons (4 3's) and Wallis finished with 16 points each, with Moore scoring a hard-earned 15, 7 in the fourth. Ashley Burks battled inside all night and netted 7 points, and Lauer finished with 6, 2 of 2 from the line in the fourth. Pyatt added 2.

For Decatur, Melissa Arnold scored 31, hit two 3-pointers, and made 13 of 21 free throws, 4 of 9 in the fourth.


14-14, 24-26, 37-52, 60-65

Eureka battled a disciplined Bulldog team hard, but had trouble with Decatur's halfcourt press all night, which got them turnovers at key times.

Cash Covington scored 11 the first quarter, but the Bulldogs may have put the game out of reach in the third quarter when they hit five threes against a Eureka zone defense and led by 15 going into the fourth quarter.

Turnovers and poor team play hampered the Highlanders all night, with a three-minute cold spell, from 5:30 of the fourth until just 2:42 to play, not helping.

Chris Williams, who finished with 12 points, and Covington, who netted 32, 16 in the fourth, turned it on in the final three minutes, with Covington grabbing rebounds, then going coast-to-coast for layups.

Decatur held the ball and seemed safely up 61-52 with 1:01 to play, but Covington hit a long three, then scored twice in five seconds after stealing an inbounds pass, and it was 63-60 with 0:26 to play.

Decatur didn't wilt, made a free throw, and Eureka missed a last shot at the end.

Scoring- ES- Covington- 32; C. Williams- 12, 2 3's; Jake McMorrow- 7; 3's- Victor Smith, Russell Williams; Catlin Keck- 2; Jake Seymour- 1. DC- Kaufman- 23, 5/9 Fts., 4/7 4th; Crawford- 11; Tucker- 10. Team- 7/13 Fts. 4th.

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