Eureka boys escape with pivotal win at Union
The Eureka Springs Highlanders (21-7, 8-2) bounced back with a 56-44 win over Union Christian on Friday night.
"We won but we certainly didn't play our best game," head coach Nolan Helder said.
The Highlanders primarily attcked from the perimeter, as the interior was closed off by the Saints' defense.
"We really couldn't get anything going in the paint," Helder said. "That was part of their plan."
Eureka went into halftime nursing a four point lead, however, the defense really picked up in the fourth.
"We really didn't play good team defense in the first three quarters," Helder added. "We came out in the fourth and played much harder on the defensive end."
With the interior pretty much nonexistent, the Saints' defense gave the Highlanders anything they wanted from the perimeter, something Helder said he welcomes.
"They really gave us some open looks, which we were able to knock down," he said. "There were some uncontested shots."
Peyton Troillett connected for six of his 11 points from downtown and fellow senior Briar Sebby connected for nine of his 13 from beyond the line. He also went 4-for-4 from the stripe.
Nick Bower added 16 of his own in the team's conference win.
Everything is shaping up nicely for the Highlanders as they seek their first conference title in 10 years.
"Hopefully, we can keep this up and play better defense," Helder said. "We realize just how important it is. Our goal at the start of the season was to win the conference. It's a really big deal. We must come out with intensity, desire and effort in our last two games."
The Highlanders big test comes on Feb. 7 when they travel to Mountainburg, who defeated the Highlanders, 49-46, on Jan. 13.
The boys will then close out their season on Feb. 9, when they travel to Hackett.
In order to take the final two games, Helder is emphasizing the interior to his team.
"We must be able to go inside and execute," he added.