Highlanders beat Decatur to wrap up league title

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Eureka Springs' Brandon Ray fights for a loose ball in a game earlier this season.
Charles Chappell / www.PhotoShelter.com/CCImages

The Eureka Springs Highlanders won yet another conference championship on Friday by winning at Decatur, 56-38.

"When you only have two guys coming back from a team that won 30 games last year, you don't know what to expect expectation-wise," Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said. "We knew we were going to have some young guys that were going to have to play some big minutes for us. Everybody kind of picked us around the middle of the pack and for us to come out, play well late says a lot about our kids. It's exciting."

Avery Walker, J.M. Gregg and Garrett Cross each made a three-pointer in the first quarter. Eureka Springs (20-8) led 16-6 at the end of the quarter.

"We came out early and played well," Rambo said. "J.M. made a three right off the bat and got us going. Avery Walker played well."

Keeton Lofgren and Carter Drennon each made a basket in the second quarter as the Highlanders led 29-20 at halftime. Rambo was proud of their effort.

"We really played well with our big guys," Rambo said. "Carter had 10 points and Keeton had eight. Those 18 points from the post players are by far the most this year. And we knew we were going to have to do that because we were getting so one-dimensional with our guards. We talked about that in practice. How we can stretch the defense by playing inside out, getting those other guys involved. We did a great job of that."

Walker scored seven points in the third quarter and the Highlander lead was stretched to 42-28 going into the fourth quarter.

On Tuesday, Eureka Springs hosts Mountainburg for senior night.

"This is a big game for seeding purposes," Rambo said. "We have our seeding meeting on Wednesday and we feel like we are playing the best out of anyone in the conference. For us to go into that meeting and say we deserve this spot, or that spot, then we need to make sure we take care of business. If we slip up and lose, it's hard to say we are No. 1 or No. 2."

Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Decatur 69, Eureka Springs 21

It was another tough night for the Eureka Springs Lady Highlanders. Decatur opened the game on a 29-0 run before Hayley Milwaski made a three-pointer. The Lady Bulldogs led 33-5 at the end of the first quarter. Aurora Fields made two three-pointers in the second quarter and Decatur led 55-13 at halftime. Raschelle Edmondson and Fields each made a three-pointer in the second half.

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