Huntsville holds off Highlanders
By Scott Loftis
Eureka Springs couldn’t quite pull off a game-winning rally Tuesday night against Huntsville, but the Highlanders showed enough fight to make coach Brian Rambo proud.
Huntsville held on to beat Eureka Springs 62-57 at Highlander Arena. The Eagles raced to a 22-8 lead by the end of the first quarter, then escaped with the victory after the Highlanders cut the deficit to one by halftime.
“We came out slow for whatever reason,” Rambo said. “We gave them like three run-out layups in the first quarter. Most of those points (in the first quarter) were easy layups.”
Rambo challenged his players during the break before the second quarter.
“I told them they could either just give up or they could fight and try to get back in the game,” Rambo said.
The Highlanders responded by outscoring Huntsville 20-7 in the second quarter to cut the Eagles’ lead to 29-28 at halftime.
“From that point on, it was a close game,” Rambo said. “We just never could quite catch them.”
Senior Jackson Cross scored 26 points to lead Eureka Springs (3-4). Sophomores Kegley Ertel and Matthew Lester added 13 and 10, respectively.
“I was proud of my guys,” Rambo said. “We’re getting better. Coming into the season, we didn’t really know what we were going to get from our sophomores. We’ve started three sophomores at times this season, and they really have grown.”
The game against Huntsville was the first of three against Class 4A opponents this week for the 2A Highlanders. Eureka Springs traveled to Pea Ridge on Thursday and hosts Berryville on Friday.
“We wanted to schedule some quality opponents coming into our conference season,” Rambo said. “Hopefully this will help us get better.”