Valley Springs Tigers a fright on Halloween night
EUREKA SPRINGS -- The Highlanders had their hands full on Halloween night when the top-ranked Tigers of Valley Springs came to town.
After a tremendous first half that saw Eureka with a 21-20 halftime lead, the Tigers caught the Highlanders in a lapse in the third quarter and slowly pulled away to a 51-36 win.
Former Highlander and current Lady Tiger coach Kim Wilson Jenkins turned her squad loose and ran to a 51-25 win over the Lady Highlanders.
Eureka's JV girls did win a B game, 27-14, with Megan Edmondson scoring 8, Clare McCormick 6, and Callie Smith and Jane Soriano 4 each.
12-17, 21-20, 27-35, 36-51
A veteran Valley Springs squad that made it to the semifinals of state last year and returns four starters this season gave the Highlanders trouble in the first quarter until they adjusted to the high level of play.
Intense defense in the second quarter held Valley to just three points as T.J. Wilkinson battled Valley's inside ace, Hayes, disrupting the Tiger's offense.
At 2:13, Tyler McBride hit a three to give Eureka their first lead at 21-20, which is where the half ended.
"We played at a very high level the first half," Coach Daniel Cornelison said. "We made good decisions and guarded well. But in the third quarter we lost our composure, they got a couple of baskets and that was the game."
Eureka scored just six points while Valley put up 15 that quarter, with the Highlanders going cold in the fourth, even on free throws, where they were 10 of 19 for the game.
"We played so hard, it was a shame to lose the game," Coach Cornelison said.?"Now we have an idea of how we're going to have to play in our 3A league this season."
Scoring- ES- Parsons- 10, 3/4 Ft, 1 3s; Farber- 9, 2 3s, 3/3 Fts; 5's- Sanchez, McCormick; Wilkinson- 4; McBride- 3. VS- Sullins- 16, 2 3s; Hayes- 14; Cooper- 10; Anderson- 5; Choate- 3; Garette- 2.
10-14, 10-27, 13-39, 25-51
The Lady Highlanders were in the game the first quarter, then Valley's quickness and defensive pressure kept them scoreless until the half.
"We put the ball in the hole the first quarter with our post players, but they got two fouls each by the second quarter and had to come out and our guards didn't hit," Coach Aaron Hall said. "We executed poorly and Valley did a nice job defending."
Coach singled out Jane Soriano, who came in off the bench and "made things happen."
Scoring- ES- Dunham- 9, 3/4 Fts; Milligan- 4; 3's- Clarke, Sebby; 2's- McCormick, Hamilton; 1's- Wardlaw, Soriano. Team- 5/14 Fts. VS- MeElroy- 121; Jones- 10; James- 10; Eddings- 7.