ES unable to dig out of early hole

Friday, December 15, 2017

Trailing by 20 points at home to the Omaha Eagles early in the second quarter, it would have been easy for the Eureka Springs Highlanders to give up and quit Friday night. The Highlanders fought back to get within two in the fourth quarter, but ultimately came up short, 48-37.

"I thought our effort was great," Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said. "I thought we guarded and did some good things after we got acclimated to the game. Energywise and effortwise, I thought we did a tremendous job, we just have to come out and play well early. That's on them. The seniors have to come out, motivate guys and for whatever reason it's not happening right now."

While Rambo was encouraged that his team never quit Friday night, he has a hard time figuring out how Omaha outscored the Highlanders 20-4 in the first quarter. Garrett Matlock scored 16 of those points.

"The thing that's more disappointing than anything is we understand who they are," Rambo said. "We understand that they are the number one team in Class 1A. We understand that nobody has played them close. They are beating everybody by double digits. How in the heck did we not come out and play in the first quarter? How do we come out against the number one team in the state and just lay down for eight minutes? That's really disappointing."

With the Highlanders trailing 24-4 early in the second quarter, Eureka Springs' Carter Drennon went on a 6-0 run and a three-point play from Dalton Arnold helped trim the lead to 13. Brandon Ray scored a basket as the half came to a close and Omaha led 28-18. Slade Clark made a three-pointer in the third quarter and Garrett Cross added a basket as well for Eureka Springs. Omaha led 34-30 going into the fourth quarter.

"For two quarters, we are the number one team in the state," Rambo said. "We outscored them 20-14."

Drennon made a basket to start the fourth quarter and trim the Eagle lead to two, but Omaha closed the game on a 14-5 run. Rambo said it's important that some guys step up and start scoring.

"Garrett (Cross) for whatever reason isn't shooting well," Rambo said. "Justin (Lemme) and Brandon (Ray) refuses to shoot it. Not only does Omaha have Garrett Matlock, they have weapons to go around him. They have shooters everywhere out there. You have a hard time guarding them because they are dangerous at so many spots and we don't have that."

On Friday, Eureka Springs (7-5) plays Kingston. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Girls

Omaha 61, Eureka Springs 29

Things went from bad to ugly for the Eureka Springs Lady Highlanders in Friday night's 32-point home loss to Omaha. A layup by Megan Holloway gave Eureka Springs an early 5-2 lead midway through the first quarter, but the Lady Eagles scored seven consecutive points to take a 9-5 lead going into the second quarter. Katelyn Ross and Emily Bird each made a three-pointer in the second quarter for the Lady Highlanders and Grayson Ertel added a basket, but Omaha led 25-15 at halftime. The Lady Eaglesí lead was extended to 39-23 going into the fourth quarter. Holloway scored six points in the third quarter and added five more in the fourth.

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