Highlanders sweep Tigers for two
The Green Forest Tigers had a rough start to their season Tuesday night when Coach Mike Hampton's senior boys had to tackle the 6-1 Eureka Springs Highlanders in their gym.
A number of the Tigers who were coming out of football had just one practice before taking on Coach Josh Hill's towering Highlanders, which resulted in an expected win for the hosts, 70-47.
Coach Jim Goins' senior girls had one game under their young belts, a 38-23 loss at Pea Ridge, helping make this one exciting against Coach Aaron Hall's Lady Highlanders (3-4).
The two girls' teams battled point for point, with Eureka finally hitting 8 of 12 free throws in the fourth for a 51-45 victory.
Eureka vs Green Forest
10-12, 24-23, 35-35, 51-45
The teams battled point for point all the way until the final 3:24 of the game, with each team using its strengths against the others weaknesses.
The Lady Tigers' (0-2) height was used to good advantage, with Courtney McGehee scoring 15 points, and grabbing 8 rebounds while going 3 of 4 at the line.
Eureka countered with speed and quickness, with guard Mandy Moore netting 25 points, including three big 3-point shots.
"Courtney did a great job," Coach Goins said. "Terri Tidyman battled foul trouble, but our senior guards, Tidyman and Crystal Trask, played hard. We played better this week than at Pea Ridge, but little things hurt us.
"We shot just 50 percent in the lane. You have to make those. Summer Williamson had eight rebounds, Haley Roney four steals, and Phylicia Shelton four assists."
Coach Aaron Hall said, "It was a contrast in style. Both teams struggled offensively. Mandy kept us in the game early, but when she fouled out, the rest of the team stepped up.
"Becca Wallis scored her eight in the second half, and Hannah Cole hit a big three. Jessica Parsons was 4 of 6 at the line in the fourth on free throws."
Eureka's man defense and press bothered Green Forest, while the Lady Tiger zone forced long shots by the shorter Lady Highlanders, resulting in misses.
Eureka's Wallis got her fourth foul with 30 seconds to go in the third period, but survived til the end. Green Forest's Tidyman and Eureka's Moore fouled out in the fourth, and it came down to big plays at the end.
A three by Cole and two free throws by Wallis put Eureka up 46-41, but with 53 seconds left Lady Tiger LaRae Jones went backdoor for a layup to cut Eureka's lead to 46-43.
Parsons' two free throws were answered by field goal from Phylicia Shelton with just 18 seconds to play, and Eureka led 48-45.
Cole was fouled and stroked two smooth free throws in with 15 ticks left on the clock for a 50-45 lead, then Parsons hit one of two to finish out the scoring with six seconds left.
Scoring- ES- Moore- 25, 3 3s, 4/7 Fts; Parsons- 9, 7/11 Fts; Wallis- 8; Cole 7, 2/4; Brianna Freeman- 2, 2/4. Team- 17/33 Fts., 8/12 4th. GF- McGehee- 15, 3/4 Fts, 8R; Williamson- 11, 8R; Jones- 10, 2/4, 6R; 4's- Tidyman, Shelton; Trask- 1. Team- 9/20 Fts., 4/8 4th.
22-6, 36-15, 53-26, 70-47
Coach Hill's towering Highlanders didn't waste any time rudely welcoming the smaller Tigers into the new season as they raced out to a 17-4 lead with 2:48 to play in the first quarter.
The Tigers were playing hard, but couldn't overcome Eureka's 6-6 inside towers, Cash Covington and Victor Smith. Smith netted 18 points on the night, with Covington adding 12.
"Victor had his best game of the year," Coach Hall said.
With guards Chris Williams (6 pts.), Stephen Pendergraft (16 pts.), and Paul Sebby (4 pts.) directing the fast break and offense, it was too much for Tiger starters Caleb Ruff, Cody Demeyer, Adam Plagge, Billy Shaw, and Aaron Fitchue.
"Shaw was playing his first game ever, and did outstanding, really battled," Coach Hampton said. "Ruff is a senior and did a good job at the point. Brett Conner, Guy Joubert and Plagge just had one day of practice and did real well. Jordan Dudley had eight points and five rebounds. There was a little light in there."
Coach Josh Hill said, "Our first bunch played pretty well, but I'd like to see our kids off the bench play better than last night. They're better than that."
Both coaches subbed a lot during the contest, giving plenty of athletes a chance to get some of the action.
Scoring- ES- Smith- 18; Pendergraft- 16; Covington- 12; Williams- 6; Waylon Wolfinbarger- 6; 4's- Sebby, Joey Martin; 2's- Jon Kneiss, Tim Anderson. Team- 8/13 Fts. GF- Ruff- 17, 2 3s, 2S; Dudley- 8, 5S, 5R; Shaw- 6, 2S, 3R; Conner- 5, 4R; Demeyer- 4, 4R; 2's- Zack Sutton, Fitchue, Plagge, 2S, 2R; Joubert- 1. Team- 3/12 Fts.