Highlanders fall to Western Grove

Friday, January 19, 2018
Eureka Springs' Brandon Ray goes up for a shot in a game against Alpena earlier this year.
Charles Chappell / www.PhotoShelter.com/CCImages

Playing on the road is never easy, especially when you have the officials playing against you as well. Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo suggested that’s what happened Friday night when the Eureka Springs Highlanders lost 55-48 at Western Grove.

"It was just home cooking," Rambo said. "Once they got ahead, they made sure to even it out, but it was bad."

Eureka Springs got out to a strong start, leading 20-12 at the end of the first quarter. Rambo said the Highlanders needed to keep that lead and extend it.

"You have got to be 10 points better on the road," Rambo said. "We got off to a big start. Slade (Clark) got us off to a good start again. Garrett (Cross) got off to a good start in the first quarter and then the officiating took over and we couldn't overcome it."

A Western Grove player made a three-pointer at the end of the second quarter to trim the Highlanders’ lead to 34-28. While Rambo was disappointed with the officiating, he was even more disappointed the Highlanders lost their composure.

"When things aren't going well, and the crowd is involved, that is part of the maturation process of a basketball team," Rambo said. "You have to be able to go on the road and remove yourself from those things. Slow the pace of the game down, play with some pace and poise. And we didn't."

Trailing by six at halftime, the Warriors outscored Eureka Springs 11-3 in the third quarter to take a 39-37 lead into the fourth quarter.

"It went back and forth in the fourth quarter," Rambo said. "They got the lead with about four and a half minutes to go in the basketball game and their coach holds the basketball against us. At that point you have to come out and foul them. They made foul shots. We responded by making shots, but in the end, they made more foul shots than we could make shots."

Rambo said it's important for Eureka Springs to get over Friday's loss.

"This was a non-conference game," Rambo said. "It doesn't affect our standings in the conference. It doesn't change our goals in what we are trying to accomplish in the season. We need to make sure we understand what happened and learn from it."

The Highlanders are scheduled to play at Decatur on Tuesday as long as school is in session. Otherwise, they will make the game up on Wednesday.

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