Highlanders roll into rematch with Flippin
By Scott Loftis
The Eureka Springs Highlanders extended their winning streak to 10 games Monday night, riding a balanced offensive attack a stingy defense to a 56-20 nonconference victory over visiting St. Joe.
On Friday night, the Highlanders will try to get their 11th consecutive victory in what may be their biggest game of the regular season. Eureka Springs hosts Flippin in a game that could decide the 2A-1 conference title.
Flippin (19-10, 7-0 1A-1) handed Eureka Springs (24-5, 5-1) its only conference loss on Dec. 7 at Flippin. If the Highlanders can return the favor on Friday, they’ll be in a virtual tie for the conference lead. A Flippin victory, on the other hand, would all but eliminate Eureka Springs from the conference race.
“I told my guys in practice this week, really every game for us is an elimination game in terms of the conference,” Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said. “Obviously, it wouldn’t be the end of our season but it would take away one of our goals. It’s good for us. It puts a little pressure on us.”
The Highlanders dominated Monday’s game against St. Joe from the outset. The Wildcats (1-26) are struggling through a difficult season, but Rambo said it was important for the Highlanders to play to their own potential.
“We’re just trying to improve game by game,” he said. “We were able to get some stops. We didn’t shoot it very well.”
Senior guard Garrett Cross scored 14 points to lead six Highlanders with at least six points. Freshman guard Matthew Lester added 10 points while junior center Hayden Bullock scored eight and seniors Griffin Taylor, Slade Clark and Carter Drennon added six points each.
The Lady Highlanders picked up their 20th victory of the season by virtue of a forfeit. It was the fourth forfeit victory this season for Eureka Springs (20-11).