Highlanders beat Berryville in wild, rowdy game

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

EUREKA SPRINGS -- Friday's game between Berryville and Eureka Springs had a little bit of everything. Officials got chewed out. Coaches got screamed at. Even a sportswriter got yelled at. After all the shouting stopped, Eureka Springs pulled off the home victory, 53-41.

"That was a tough, hard-fought win and I'm really proud of my guys," Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said.

A Garrett Cross three-pointer helped Eureka Springs get out to a 9-0 lead. Berryville didn't score a point until Kelby Howerton's basket with 1:08 remaining in the first quarter.

"We weren't mentally ready to play," Berryville coach Brent Compton said. "We relied too much on the three-point shot. All of those things add up to a loss."

Berryville's Cole Parton opened the second quarter by making three consecutive three-pointers, but other than those rare exceptions, Rambo was pleased with the way the Highlanders played defensively.

"I told them if we don't run them off the line and they make shots then they are going to beat us," Rambo said. "If we do a good job of running them off the line, then they can't score from other spots to beat us and that turned out to be true."

A three-pointer by Ty Allen gave the Bobcats a 17-11 lead with 3:18 remaining in the second quarter, but the Highlanders ended the half on a 10-5 run and trailed 22-21 at halftime.

"I told the kids to play possessions," Rambo said. "Not worrying about the score. Not worrying about getting ahead or behind. Just play possession by possession. Execute on offense and finish every defensive possession with a rebound."

Eureka Springs outscored the Bobcats 14-3 in the third quarter and had a 35-25 lead going into the fourth quarter. J.M. Gregg had six points in the quarter for Eureka Springs.

Compton hopes his team can learn from this road loss.

"It's a matter of kids paying attention to detail," Compton said. "I am looking for some leadership and I'm really not seeing any out there. If a road loss to your rival school doesn't get you motivated, I don't know what will."

A Kyler Kendrick three-pointer closed the gap to six with 1:20 remaining in the game, but that was as close as the Bobcats got in the fourth quarter.

Rambo hopes this win will give the Highlanders confidence as the team steps back down to Class 2A competition.

"It was electric in the locker room after the game," Rambo said. "Our guys, confidence-wise, feel like they can beat anybody. It's going to give us momentum heading into next week against Alpena and right now our guys are walking on air."

Parton finished the game with 15 points for the Bobcats, while Howerton had eight and Brady Smith had seven. Eureka Springs' Avery Walker finished the game with 16 points, while Gregg had 14 and Cross had nine.

On Tuesday, Eureka Springs travels to Alpena and Berryville hosts Gravette. Tipoff is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Berryville 79, Eureka Springs 18

The Berryville Lady Bobcats came out firing on all cylinders on Friday night against Eureka Springs and came away with an impressive victory, as everyone on the team scored a basket.

"It was nice to see some of the kids that put a lot of time in practice and work hard every day get some really nice minutes," Berryville coach Daniel Cornelison said. "We tried to get them as many minutes as possible tonight and they did a good job for us. Vicky (Villatoro) played a really nice game. I thought Alexis Steele did a really nice job out there. Hayley Rivett had some nice minutes out there. I was pleased with their effort off the bench."

Jeanessa Smith made two baskets and Aspen Smith made a three-pointer to give Berryville an early 7-0 lead. A basket by Lexy Anderson extended the Lady Bobcat lead to 15-0. Eureka Springs' Aurora Fields made a three-pointer as the quarter came to a close, but Berryville led 27-5 at the end of the first quarter.

Hannah Morrell scored six points to open the second quarter and eight second-quarter points from Kelcee Hopper helped give Berryville a 48-11 halftime lead. Villatoro had five points in the third quarter to give the Lady Bobcats a 72-14 lead going into the fourth quarter. Azziah Brothers finished the game with 10 points for Eureka Springs.

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