ES falls to Rattlers for 1st loss of season
EUREKA SPRINGS -- The Eureka Springs Highlanders suffered their first loss of the season on Tuesday, falling to the Magazine Rattlers, 65-52.
"With our bunch, it's hard to score 75 or 80 points a game, so if you get behind, it's hard to get caught back up," Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said. "We will use this as a teaching tool. Hopefully get better on Friday and go after it again."
The Highlanders stayed close with Magazine early. The game was tied at 10 at the end of the first quarter and the Rattlers led 23-19 at halftime. Eureka Springs' J.M. Gregg made three three-pointers in the second quarter alone, but Magazine ended the half on a 7-0 run.
"When you get behind a little bit, your character starts showing," Rambo said. "We have guys who don't handle adversity real well. When they get behind, instead of playing hard, they make excuses. The guys have to learn to be able to handle that. Things aren't always going to go your way. You aren't always going to be on the winning side of things, so how you handle that speaks a lot about who you are and who you are as a team."
Magazine's lead was extended to 39-30 at the end of the third quarter and the Rattlers were up by as much as 16 in the fourth before Garrett Cross attempted to lead a comeback for the Highlanders. He scored 13 points in the final quarter.
"He definitely played well in that fourth quarter," Rambo said. "He made some big threes, got to the foul line and really gave us some energy."
Cross helped cut the Rattlers' lead to 11 at one time, but the Highlanders didn't get any closer than that.
"If you are playing a five-point ballgame and make a run, you are ahead, but if you allow yourself to get that far behind, it takes so much energy out of you," Rambo said. "It is hard to sustain that. I was proud of the guys for making it a basketball game at the end and making a run at them."
Rambo said Magazine was Eureka Springs' first true test of the year. Therefore, he looks forward to sitting down with his team in the film room and pointing out areas that need improvement.
"We talk about getting 1 percent better every day," Rambo said. "If we come out and play well on Friday, all is forgotten."
Originally, the Highlanders were supposed to host Hackett on Friday, but because Hackett is still in the football playoffs, that game has been rescheduled for Thursday, Dec. 17. Therefore, on Friday, Eureka Springs will travel to Gentry. Tipoff is scheduled for 4 p.m.