Highlanders top lowlanders in 1AA play
The Eureka Springs senior high basketball teams took the high road while keeping the Cedarville teams on the low road when the teams met in Highlander gym on Tuesday.
Coach Josh Hill's senior boys (15-9, 3-1) earned a huge 57-39 win over the Pirates, who had been unbeaten in 1AA play. Now all four top teams, Eureka, Cedarville, Pea Ridge, and Mountainburg, have one loss in league play.
Coach Aaron Hall's senior girls (7-13, 2-2) put together one of their best efforts of the season to win, 41-36, with the team hitting 6 of 8 free throws in the fourth quarter.
Tuesday, Jan. 13
Eureka Springs vs. Cedarville
6-12, 19-25, 34-31, 57-39
The Highlanders started out timidly, with Cedarville's 6-7 Taylor Workman showing his shooting skills. But 6-6 Cash Covington and guard Stephen Pendergraft got their shots going, both hitting threes to come from 6-17 to 16-25 near the end of the half.
Covington put an exclamation point on the comeback when a set play popped him open and he drained a three to beat the halftime buzzer.
The second half was all Eureka, as Coach Hill used his bench to wear out the visitors with intense defense, while Covington matched up with Workman and repeatedly slapped his shot back in his face.
Covington duplicated his halftime three and swished another one at the third quarter buzzer to break a 30-30 tie, then Chris Williams started the final quarter off with a three of his own for a 42-36 edge.
Pendergraft absolutely flew through the air on several rebounds, including one block when he skyed up and yanked the ball out of the hands of a Pirate attempting a layup, and Paul Sebby turned up the defense and attacked on offense.
"We were a little impatient on offense, but that was our best defense in a while," Coach Hill said. "We blocked 10 shots. Stephen had five, and Cash blocked Workman and kept him back on his heels. Our depth hurt them. Victor Smith had two big baskets in the fourth quarter, Chris Williams gave us good energy, and Paul Sebby played his defense of the year. It was good to get a win."
Scoring- ES- Covington- 23, 5 3's, 2/2 Fts; Williams- 10, 2 3s; 8's- Pendergraft, 3/4 Fts., and Sebby, 4/4 Fts. 4th; Smith- 6, 4 in 4th; Catlin Keck- 2, 2/2 Fts. Team- 11/12 Fts., all 2nd half, 7/8 in 4th. CV- Workman- 18, 3 3s; Garringer- 10. Team- 4/10 Fts.
4-10, 10-18, 23-23, 41-36
Junior Becca Wallis showed her determination in this game underneath for rebounds while also scoring 14 points, 7 in the fourth quarter.
In spite of too many turnovers by both teams, the Lady Highlanders got a three from Hannah Cole to end the third quarter and tie the game, then she scored a deuce to start the fourth with a lead.
Wallis outjumped everybody for a rebound in traffic with 2:55 to play, and Eureka scored to keep the lead. Mandy Moore hit 6 of 6 free throws, including two with 20 seconds to play, with Jessica Parsons adding the final free throw with five seconds to go.
"Mandy was sick, but gave a tremendous effort," Coach Hall said. "Everyone left it all on the floor. Becca had some big rebounds, and Jessica Smith played her best game of the year. Free throws have been an uphill battle, but we've worked on it."
Scoring- ES- Wallis- 14, 2/3 Fts; Smith- 7; Cole- 7; Moore- 6, 6/8 Fts; Parsons- 3; 2's- Jordan Lauer, Brianna Freeman. Team- 10/15 Fts., 6/8 4th. CV- Wells- 16; Myers- 7. Team- 9/17 Fts.