Turnovers cost Highlanders in double-OT loss
EUREKA SPRINGS- To turn the ball over 20 times isn't good. To do it four times in the last minute of regulation is bad. To do it five times in double overtime to lose 60-59.
"We were better than them athletically, but we gave the game away because we didn't take care of the ball," Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said.
The game looked all but over, as Eureka Springs led by eight with a minute left. This is when the defensive pressure of Haas Hall stepped up. It was led by Caleb Maddock and Lee Reber, who both had four steals in the game. The Highlanders were unable to handle the Haas Hall pressure after a Reber steal cut the lead to six. After forcing another steal and a quick three-pointer, the lead was cut to three with under 20 seconds remaining. Eureka Springs had trouble getting the ball inbound so they were forced to call a timeout. After an ill-advised cross court pass by the Highlanders, the Mastiffs, without a timeout, heaved a three-pointer from the wing as the buzzer sounded and it went in to tie the game at 45 and send the game to overtime.
"We weren't in foul trouble or anything," Rambo said. "All of our starters were in good shape. We just didn't take care of the ball."
In the first overtime, the Highlanders were able to recover, as took better care of the ball and traded baskets with Haas Hall throughout, but not letting them get ahead. The Highlanders were only up three however with 20 seconds to go and the Mastiffs had the ball. The Mastiffs drew a play for Ian Tolbert and he banked in another three-pointer with only a few seconds left to take the game into a second overtime.
The second overtime started off great for the Highlanders, as they made a three-pointer on their first possession, but after that, they turned the ball over five straight possessions. Haas Hall scored seven points off those turnovers, all transition points, and the Highlanders were only able to score a late three-point play with seconds remaining to make the final score 60-59. Rambo wasn't pleased with the team's performance Tuesday night and he showed it Wednesday morning.
"We ran until we couldn't see straight," Rambo said. "We ran for a solid hour. I am hoping to get the point across that you have to take care of the basketball."
Reggie Sanchez had 16 points to go along with five steals and three assists. Trevor Lemme had 18 points to go along with two steals. Dalton Kesner had nine points. Jacob Holloway and Mathew McClung both had six points. Eureka Springs is now 6-3. They will travel to Cotter Friday night. The game starts at 5 p.m.