Eureka Springs coaches emphasize defense
The Eureka Springs boys basketball team is looking to build off last year's success.
The Highlanders lost three seniors from last year's conference championship team, but three starters return.
Junior Reggie Sanchez will be the Highlanders' main scoring threat.
"He is not a real big guy," Eureka Springs Coach Brian Rambo said. "But he is strong and athletic and has worked a lot on his outside shot."
Dalton Kesner was all-conference as a sophomore last year, and Rambo expects him to have another good year.
"He is one of the best shooters in high school basketball," Rambo said. "He can light it up. I expect him to make a ton of shots in our offense this year."
The girls team struggled last year, winning seven games, but first-year coach Adam Brothers is setting high expectations this season.
"I think we are going to surprise a lot of people," Brothers said. "We got a lot of athletic guards and as long as we use that athletic ability and don't give up I think we will be fine."
Those guards that must step up include Hayden Mayfield and Taylor Little.
"Hayden is a great scorer and a great shooter," Brothers said. "Taylor, she's a senior and she can drive the ball hard to the basket and is very athletic."
One thing both coaches are concerned about is defense. Rambo said last year's team could outscore its opponents, but the games would be close because the Highlanders couldn't stop anyone.
"We gotta defend better," Rambo said. "The key to our season is to take pride in defense and get some turnovers."
Brothers said the Lady Highlanders can shoot the ball well, but that the team has never bought into a defensive philosophy. He said if he can get his girls to do that, they will have a successful season.
"When they buy into playing good, solid defense, good things will happen," Brothers said.
Both Eureka Springs teams will open the season on the road at Omaha on Tuesday, Oct. 21.