Highlanders work overtime to beat Cotter
By Scott Loftis
Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo didn’t find the Highlanders’ performance against Cotter on Friday, Jan. 17, to be particularly pleasing from an aesthetic point of view.
The final result, though, was pleasant enough for Rambo and the Highlanders.
Eureka Springs erased an eight-point halftime deficit and beat Cotter 39-36 in double overtime at Highlander Arena.
Sophomore Kegley Ertel made four three-pointers and scored 14 points to lead Eureka Springs (6-10, 3-2 2A-1), which won its third consecutive game.
Rambo said the Highlanders struggled early as Cotter geared its defense to stop sophomore guard Matthew Lester and senior guard Jackson Cross.
Cotter led 16-8 at halftime before Eureka Springs cut the lead to four by the end of the third quarter. The score was tied 28-28 at the end of regulation.
“They were face-guarding Matthew and Jackson, and the other guys were trying to do too much,” Rambo said. “After we settled down and got a little more patient, we got it going.”
After the first overtime ended with the teams tied at 32, Cross hit a three-pointer for a 37-36 Eureka Springs lead with less than 30 seconds remaining in the second overtime, then came up with a steal and sank both ends of a one and one for the game’s final points.
Eureka Springs lost its first two conference games to first-place Flippin and second-place Yellville-Summit but the current three-game winning streak has the Highlanders in third place in the league standings.
Two of Eureka Springs’ next three conference games are at home, including a rematch with Yellville-Summit on Feb. 4.
“The schedule’s kind of getting to our advantage,” Rambo said. “With us learning and getting more confidence, I think we’ll be OK.”
Eureka Springs 55, Cotter 42
The Lady Highlanders took control early and won their fourth consecutive game.
Senior forward Shelby Little scored 13 points to lead a balanced offensive attack for Eureka Springs (9-10, 4-1 2A-1), which outscored Cotter 17-8 in the first quarter and 30-16 in the first half.
Senior forward Megan Holloway added 12 points for Eureka Springs, the defending conference champion, with senior guards Gracie Lester and Katelyn Ross scoring nine points apiece and sophomore Olivia Cross adding eight.