Three quarters not enough for Eureka Springs

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Eureka Springs' Brandon Ray fights for a loose ball in a game earlier this season.
Charles Chappell /

The season has come to an end for the Eureka Springs Highlanders, as they suffered a 43-32 loss to Jacksonville Lighthouse in the first round of the 2A West/Central Regional Tournament on Thursday in Magazine.

"We knew going into the game that we were outmatched offensively," Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said. "We had to get stops against them and keep it in the 30s. In the first three quarters, we played probably as well as we have played all year. Especially defensively. We were just grinding on them. Doing things the absolute right way. We just couldn't get one done."

Eureka Springs led 26-25 going into the fourth quarter, but the Wolves outscored the Highlanders 18-6 in the fourth quarter and went on to get the 11-point victory.

"They have some great basketball players, including a Division I basketball player in Devonte Davis," Rambo said. "When he decided to take the basketball game over, he did. We just couldn't get any stops against him. We couldn't keep him out of the paint. Once he got it inside there, he was just so skilled around the rim, he had 10 points in the fourth quarter alone and that hurt."

Eureka Springs jumped out to a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Garrett Cross had seven points and Carter Drennon added seven. The Highlanders only mustered five points in the second quarter, but they still took an 18-17 lead into halftime.

"We understand that defensively, we are an elite-level team," Rambo said. "We just have to get better on the offensive end and that's what we are going to address in the offseason. Hopefully we can take this time between now and October to get more skilled and shoot the ball better. If we do, we have a chance to be pretty special next year."

This is the second year in a row the Highlanders have lost to Jacksonville Lighthouse. The major difference is that Eureka Springs trailed by 34 points going into the fourth quarter a year ago.

"We obviously knew what we were getting into," Rambo said. "We had a 40-point loss last year and we had a one-point game with them in the fourth quarter this year. We feel like we are growing from year to year. If we continue to grow over the next 12 months, then we have a chance to be pretty good."

Cross finished the game with 12 and Drennon had 11. Eureka Springs finished the year 17-13.

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