Eureka girls hoping to gain momentum

Friday, January 10, 2020

By Scott Loftis

The Eureka Springs Lady Highlanders seemed to come out of nowhere last season.

After winning just nine games total over the previous three seasons, Eureka Springs went 23-14 and won the 2A-1 conference title under first-year coach Ryan Sanchez. And they did it without a single senior on their roster.

Fast-forward nearly a year, however, and the Lady Highlanders have experienced a few bumps along the way. This year’s team lost 10 of 15 games before the Christmas break — albeit many of those losses came to Class 3A and 4A teams.

So Sanchez was glad to see the Lady Highlanders open the second half of their season with a 47-40 victory on Friday in a nonconference game at Mountainburg.

Eureka Springs had just two days of practice before the game, and Sanchez said it took a while for the Lady Highlanders to get going.

“Both teams were kind of sluggish to start,” he said.

Eventually, though, Eureka Springs started to click. Senior Shelby Little led the way with 22 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore Olivia Cross made four three-pointers and scored 12 points.

Eureka Springs (6-10, 1-1 2A-1) will be back to conference play on Tuesday night, traveling to Decatur.

Sanchez said he’s told his players that last season means nothing in this year’s conference race.

“Every season has its own identity,” he said. “We just need to take care of business.”

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