Highlanders win two straight and regain momentum
The Eureka Springs Highlanders had to regroup after last Friday's 25-point loss at Alpena. Coach Brian Rambo knew it wouldn't be easy, as the Highlanders have to play three games in five days this week, but a 75-28 home win over St. Paul on Tuesday put Eureka Springs back on track.
"My kids were starting to put their heads down a little bit and have a little doubt," Rambo said. "It was good to get back home and play a team that we could impose our will against, but most importantly was the way we played. We executed extremely well offensively in the half court. We shot it well. And then defensively, we really got after them."
The Highlanders jumped out to a 23-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Garrett Cross and Slade Clark each made two three-pointers. Rambo was glad to see the offense play so well.
"We created some turnovers with our defense and that made for some easy runouts," Rambo said. "When you see the ball go through the hole, your confidence level goes through the roof. It makes everything better. Offensively, it was really fun to watch."
The Highlanders led 43-17 at halftime and Cross had 21 first-half points. He finished the game with 35.
"Garrett had a career game," Rambo said. "He had 35 points, but he also had a ton of assists and he rebounded the ball well. He took care of the ball, got others involved. Just affected the game all around. His defense was amazing. I don't know how many basketballs he deflected last night and I don't know how many steals he got last night, but on the defensive end, he was a maniac."
Eureka Springs extended its lead to 64-22 as the third quarter came to a close. Dominic Baracosa, Hayden Bullock and Tyreq Walton all got to play in the fourth quarter.
"We put Jackson (Cross) at the point guard and he got a layup for Dominic Baracosa," Rambo said. "He got two layups for Hayden Bullock. He made tremendous passes and really showed his IQ."
To go along with Cross' 35 points, Carter Drennon scored 21.
Eureka Springs 40, Decatur 25
The Eureka Springs Highlanders continued their impressive play on Wednesday when they got a 15-point victory at Decatur. It was the first road win that Eureka Springs has had this semester.
"After Friday night we don't have anymore home games, so if we want to extend our season, we have to win some games on the road," Rambo said. "That was big for our confidence."
Despite only scoring 40 points, Rambo said he was proud of how well his offense played.
"We executed really well as far as running set plays and doing things the right way in the halfcourt ," Rambo said. "We just didn't make any jumpers, whereas the other night we were making jump shots and Garrett was getting going."
The Highlanders scored 10 points in the first quarter and led by nine going into halftime. Garrett Cross got into foul trouble early and never could get in a rhythm.
"I bet he played 14 or 15 minutes in the entire game," Rambo said. "He got his third foul early in the second quarter so he had to sit out pretty much the entire second quarter."
Eureka Springs led 31-19 going into the fourth quarter. Eureka Springs (15-10) will play Decatur for the second time in three days on Friday. Rambo expects Decatur to make some adjustments heading into Friday's game.
"The bad part about Wednesday was that we ran every set play we have at them," Rambo said. "They are going to come back today and watch film. They are going to work on it. We are going to have to be that much better tomorrow night in the half court execution wise because they will be prepared."
Friday night is senior night for the Highlanders and tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.