ES lacks energy against Alpena

Friday, February 2, 2018

Despite Tuesday night's loss at Omaha, Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo hoped his team had a renewed sense of energy. There wasn't much energy to be had in Friday night's 59-34 road loss at Alpena.

"We just didn't play with any energy," Rambo said. "That was our problem. I thought we came out early and played well. We were up 5-0 right off the bat. They started making jumpers on us and we got out of rhythm offensively. Kind of let the game turn quickly. From that point on, we just didn't play hard."

Alpena led 14-12 at the end of the first quarter, but the Highlanders didn't score a basket in the second quarter and Alpena led 31-15 going into halftime.

"It's hard when you are reeling like this to keep thinking, 'well, here we go again,' " Rambo said. "We talked about having some resolve and we didn't have much of it. We just kind of gave in. We have to find a way. We are on a little skid right here. We still have four games left in the season, so there is time to turn this thing around."

The Leopards scored 16 points in the third quarter and had a 47-28 lead going into the fourth quarter. Rambo said as the season begins to wind down, it's important to get back on the right track.

"We have to make sure we are all on the same page more than anything," Rambo said. "It's tough right now. We aren't used to this. We need to regroup and play well tomorrow night. And I think we will. Winning cures everything. Once we get a win back under our belt, I think we will get back on the right track."

Garrett Cross led the Highlanders with 16 points. Rambo knows what it will take for the Highlanders to turn things around moving forward.

"We are getting beat on the boards more than anything," Rambo said. "We aren't boxing out. We are getting outworked. We have to make sure we are focusing on the effort to get a rebound every possession and not give up so many second-chance points. We also have to start valuing the ball better. We turned it over a lot Friday night. Against good teams, you can't give them extra possessions by not rebounding and then just give them extra possessions by turning the ball over."

Rambo said this will be a busy week for the Highlanders. On Tuesday, Eureka Springs will play St. Paul. The following night, the Highlanders will play a makeup game at Decatur before playing Decatur again on Friday at Highlander Arena.

"We are going to practice on Monday and get back to who we are," Rambo said. "With playing three games in four days it's going to be a hectic week for our guys. And then you throw senior night into it on Friday. But we are just going to take it practice by practice and minute by minute."

Tuesday's tipoff with St. Paul is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

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