Airedale Classic fun, but competition was tough

Wednesday, January 7, 2004

The first two days of the Bancorp South Airedale Classic in Alma didn't turn out like the Eureka Springs and Berryville basketball teams expected.

Oh sure, Coach Aaron Hall and the Lady Highlanders knew they were in for it when they drew the defending Class AAA state champion Farmington Lady Cardinals for their first game on Monday. And sure enough, they lost 70-24.

They also took a 55-44 loss to Lamar on Tuesday, sending them into a consolation game on New Year's Eve at 9:30 a.m. with Hot Springs Lakeside.

The Berryville Lady Bobcats didn't know what they were getting with Hot Springs Lakeside in their first game, but they put together their best offensive effort of the year and won, 66-31, on Monday.

On Tuesday, they faced host Alma and lost, 39-62, putting them in a consolation game against Lavaca at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

On Monday, the Eureka Springs boys took on Farmington from the 1AAA conference and gave up 42 points by halftime and lost, 70-67, moving them into the loser's bracket.

The Berryville Bobcats followed suit, falling 52-41 to a very tall Hot Springs Lakeside team, which put them against Eureka Springs on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

That's right. The two teams, just 10 minutes or so apart in Carroll County, meet Tuesday morning in Alma, with the Highlanders winning a close one, 51-47.

That sent Eureka to a 2 p.m. game on New Year's Eve against Elkins and coach Beau Thompson, while Berryville faced Lamar at 11 a.m. that morning and won, 68-52.

Coaches spoke highly of the hospitality at the tournament, with players getting t-shirts and good food, as did the coaches. There was also a lot of good quality competition, which should help the teams when regular season play begins next week on Jan. 5.

Wednesday games will be reported in next week's paper.

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