Pregame technical foul is harbinger for Highlanders

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

DECATUR -- The Eureka Springs Highlanders never held the lead in Friday's game against the Decatur Bulldogs.

As a matter of fact, the Highlanders were behind before the game ever tipped off.

Decatur took advantage of a technical foul during pregame warmups that led to two free throws for the Bulldogs, who went on to defeat the Highlanders 46-32.

"One of our leaders, Reggie Sanchez was hanging on the rim in pregame and that's a technical," Eureka Springs Coach Brian Rambo said. "That's just hard to swallow as a coach. It's a pride thing and not the way we want to represent our community."

The Highlanders were down 10-2 early in the first quarter and were never able to do anything offensively.

"That's just a testament to their physicality and their defensive pressure," Rambo said. "We couldn't handle it. I mean 32 points is our lowest point total by far this year."

With junior starting center Jacob Holloway unable to play because of a lingering knee injury, sophomore Lucas Vazquez played well against Hartford on Jan. 13. Against Decatur, however, the Highlanders struggled inside.

"That's where you miss having a big guy like Jacob (Holloway) in the game," Rambo said. "They are big and athletic. Our depth just hurt us Friday night."

Dalton Kesner was held scoreless Friday night and the Bulldogs never let Sanchez get in rhythm. While Trevor Lemme got into double figures, Rambo said he can't be the only person to carry the team.

"It has to be a total team effort," Rambo said. "We can't count on one person to carry us, or this will be the result."

The Highlanders (14-7, 6-1 2A-4) will travel to Johnson County Westside on Tuesday night. Rambo said this is a big game for Eureka Springs.

"This isn't a make-or-break game for us, but I want to see how we respond from the poor performance last Friday night," Rambo said. "I know I took the loss pretty bad and I think the kids did, too, but we will see."

The JV teams will get things started at 4 p.m. and senior high will follow.

GIRLS

Eureka Springs 57, Decatur 45

DECATUR -- The Lady Highlanders went into Friday night's game against Decatur looking for momentum to get their conference season rolling. They found it with the help of Azziah Brothers and Hayden Mayfield.

Brothers and Mayfield scored a combined 38 points.

"They were on fire from three tonight," Lady Highlanders Coach Adam Brothers said. "As a team we hit 11 of them."

Brothers said the Lady Highlanders moved the ball against the Lady Bulldogs, but what impressed him most was the defensive pressure his players showed.

"We worked hard on defense," Brothers said. "When you work hard on defense, that leads to getting good, open looks offensively."

The Lady Highlanders (8-17) will look to keep the momentum rolling against Johnson County Westside on Tuesday.

"This is a big game for us," Brothers said. "Now that we got a game under our belt, hopefully we can get things going."

Brothers led the Highlanders with 23 points and Mayfield had 15. Taylor Little had 10 points while Aurora Fields had three points and Rebecca Wright had two points.

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