Defense wins game for Bobcats
Offense is what helped get Berryville out to a 2-0 start on the season, but it was defense that won the game Friday night, as Berryville defeated Eureka Springs, 46-28 at Bobcat Arena.
"I was very proud of the way we played defensively," Berryville coach Brent Compton said. "It was the best we have played defensively all season. Coming into the season, defense was the one aspect of this team I was concerned about, but Friday night they took a step forward, defended and played extremely well."
Berryville's Ty Allen made three consecutive three-pointers to give the Bobcats a 9-0 lead midway through the first quarter. Four points by Zack Webb extended that lead to 13-4, but the Highlanders closed the quarter on a 6-0 run and kept the game close throughout the night.
"Nobody can question our toughness on the defensive end," Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said. "We pride ourselves on getting after you. There is no secrets about Berryville. They have to make shots to beat you. They are going to make shots, so you have to put an emphasis on guarding. Allen came out and made three threes right off the bat and I just couldn't understand how we could allow that. We give up those threes early and get buried a little bit, but we settled down a little bit and played with them after that. It was good to see our kids keep battling."
Jarrett Ray scored six points for Berryville in the second quarter and Eureka Springs' Slade Clark made a three-pointer as the Bobcats took a 21-18 lead into halftime.
"We came out really fast with Ty hitting those three straight threes, and our offense did struggle for the most part after that," Compton said. "But I think a lot of that had to do with Eureka Springs' defense. I thought they played extremely well on defense. Without question, they are the best team defensively we have faced this year. We had played two Class 4A schools prior to them and Eureka just did a nice job defensively. I think the difference in the game was our depth."
Berryville extended its lead to 30-24 going into the fourth quarter. The Bobcats went on to start the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run before getting the 18-point victory.
"We are only at about seven guys right now and they can bring in 10, 11 or 12 guys," Rambo said. "They came after us with the full court press the entire night. The depth just got to us. We played pretty good for three quarters and then got outscored 16-4 in the fourth quarter. That was it in a nutshell. The depth killed us."
Jarrett Ray finished with 13 points for Berryville, while Webb had 12 and Allen had 11. Eureka Springs' Carter Drennon scored 14 and Brandon Ray had six.
The Bobcats had a home game with Kingston on Monday night and travel to Cassville, Mo., on Tuesday. Compton knows both games will be difficult.
"Kingston has a good basketball team," Compton said. "That's why we put them on the schedule. I know they are a smaller school, but it's a school that has tradition. Playing basketball is all they do. And they are having a good year. It's going to take a good effort from us. Going on the road to Cassville will give us a challenge as well. Being on the road, you never know what you are going to get into. Especially going to another state. We have our work cut our for us, but that is what we wanted this year."
Berryville 64, Eureka Springs 20
The Berryville Lady Bobcats made things look easy in Friday night's home win over Eureka Springs. The Lady Bobcats led 8-0 two minutes into the game and had a 19-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. Berryville coach Daniel Cornelison was glad to see that his team came ready to play from the opening tipoff.
"Something we try to focus on is not taking anybody for granted," Cornelison said. "Not to overlook anybody. To stay focused and stay in the moment. I thought we started the game focused and ready to do what we had to do."
Baylea Smith made three three-pointers for Berryville in the first quarter and finished with 17 points in the first half as the Lady Bobcats built a 39-8 halftime lead.
"It was nice to see Baylea come out and have that breakout game," Cornelison said. "She made five threes. She is a nice shooter. I don't know how many shots she has missed in the first four games by an inch. Hit the front of the rim, back of the rim. It was nice to see those go in because she puts a ton of time in."
The Lady Bobcats are taking the rest of this week off before playing Kingston in the Omaha Border Classic on Monday at 7 p.m.
"We are going to take this time to focus on us," Cornelison said. "Individual work and improving the little things that we have to do both offensively and defensively."
Smith finished the game with 19 points, while Lexy Anderson had 15 and Jordan Estepp scored eight.