ES improving during the offseason

Tuesday, June 5, 2018
Eureka Springs' Carter Drennon makes a move to the basket in a game against St. Paul earlier this year.
Charles Chappell /

Brandon Ray, Justin Lemme and Dalton Arnold all graduated from last year’s Eureka Springs Highlander basketball team. They all played a significant role on last year’s team, therefore coach Brian Rambo is taking this summer to develop chemistry without them.

"All teams are about the same right now," Rambo said. "We are trying to figure out what we have and what parts go where. We are putting guys in different positions and at different spots to see which lineups work best."

The Highlanders have already began going to summer camps to get ready for next year.

"Berryville's league started on Tuesday, so we went down there and played," Rambo said. "That's part of the plan. Just getting on the court as much as we can. Getting them to play games and get better. We are going to do that on Tuesday and again next week. And then we are going to bring them in a couple times a week to the weight room to continue with our weight regimen. Just stay in the gym. Keep getting stronger, try to stay in shape as much as we can and stay sharp because the season will be here before we know it."

On Tuesday, Eureka Springs played the likes of Bergman and Washburn, Mo. Rambo did a variety of things to see how hist team would respond in different situations.

"We used three different lineups to see who is great where and who we need to move to make us successful," Rambo said. "That's what it's about right now. We don't care about wins and losses. We want to go out, grow and find a good lineup so that when we go down to Valley Springs in October, we will have a chance to win."

Last year, Carter Drennon and Garrett Cross became leaders as juniors. Rambo hopes to see an extension of that leadership this year.

"We are pretty blessed that we had two juniors who did a great job leading our basketball team and both of those guys are back," Rambo said. "They do a great job of directing those young guys, but it's a great opportunity for those guys to get in the gym, get in game-like situations, battle and have an opportunity to lead those guys and get better. I expect them to do a great job and for us to make some leaps and bounds this summer."

Rambo is expecting some big things from some of his younger players this year as well.

"It was our first day and so we were missing a few kids," Rambo said. "But I'm going to move my soon to be ninth-grader Matthew Lester up to the varsity level. I have never done that. That will be something new for me, having a freshman on the varsity team. I put him in there yesterday to get with those guys and he fits right in. He guards the basketball really well. He still fights shot selection. What's a good shot and what's a bad shot and when to shoot. That's an important part of our offense. Him knowing shot selection, taking good shots and playing with other guys. He had a good game yesterday, though."

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