Highlanders win final game of conference season

Friday, February 12, 2016

Most teams are satisfied with 20-point road victories. The Eureka Springs Highlanders weren't pleased with a 53-33 road win over the Decatur Bulldogs on Tuesday night, though.

"It was our last conference road game," Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said. "We didn't play as well as we wanted to, but it's a win."

The Highlanders got out to an 18-11 first quarter lead. They extended that lead to 31-19 at halftime. Reggie Sanchez and J.M. Gregg each had 13 first-half points.

"We must clean things up offensively and value the ball more," Rambo said. "Rebounding is the other area we must improve on. That was our Achilles heel last year."

The Highlanders maintained a 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter. Rambo liked what he saw defensively on Tuesday, especially in the second half.

"Defensively we played well, especially in the second half," Rambo said. "We are where we need to be defensively, we just need to execute better on offense."

The Highlanders (26-7, 12-2 2A-4) have locked up second place in the conference and an automatic berth into the regional tournament. However, if Decatur beats Magazine on Friday, the Highlanders would be conference champions.

"We put ourselves in this position," Rambo said. "We don't control our own destiny right now. All we can do is hope."

Eureka Springs will have a full week off and this is something that concerns Rambo.

"We leave this Friday open in case it snows, we have a reschedule date," Rambo said. "It has helped us in the last few years, but not this year so it's kind of scary having a full week off. You want to stay healthy, but you might get some rust on you, too. We have been in this position before."

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