ES beats Haas Hall despite poor second half

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Eureka Springs Highlander basketball team got a convincing 69-57 victory on Monday night at Haas Hall to get to 5-0 on the season. The Highlanders outscored Haas Hall 19-2 in the second quarter, but it was the fourth quarter when the Mastiffs outscored Eureka Springs 30-16 that left coach Brian Rambo was scratching his head.

"It was a different game," Rambo said. "It was kind of a tale of two halves. We played extremely well in the first half and actually shot the ball well the entire game. Just for whatever reason, we lost focus, got complacent, got lackadaisical and started scoreboard watching. We started going through the motions and didn't get any stops for about the first five minutes in the fourth quarter. They went on a big run and it was disappointing to see, but luckily we were up enough to win."

Monday's game was the first of the season for Haas Hall. Therefore, Rambo said it was important to feel out who the best players were and what the Mastiffs were best at.

"We came out and matched them early," Rambo said. "Being a private school, they have kids who move in and move out so you never know what you are going to get from year to year. I thought we did a good job coming out early and getting a feel for who their best player was and getting our matchups right. The last two or three minutes of the first quarter we went on a big run to take an 18-10 lead and in the second quarter, once we settled in, we just guarded and shot the ball extremely well. We shot the ball 56 percent in that quarter and 57 percent for the half."

Garrett Cross had 17 points in the first half and Carter Drennon had 10. After the poor fourth-quarter performance, Rambo hopes the Highlanders are able to learn from their mistakes.

"We don't want to dwell on that and beat ourselves up over it, but we also want to address it and learn from it and move forward heading into a tough game with Deer next Tuesday," Rambo said.

Cross finished the game with 28 points, while Drennon had 23 and Brandon Ray had 15.

The Highlanders have an eight-day break between games, something Rambo is looking forward to.

"I think this is something we need," Rambo said. "We have played some quality opponents the first couple of weeks of the season. We had a couple of injuries in the game. It's good to rest, heal, get back in the gym and work on some things. We had two games on back-to-back nights on Friday and Monday. Lack of gym time kind of hurt us a little bit, so it will be good for us to get away from it, regroup and come back Tuesday and go on the road to play a high-quality team."

Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Deer.

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