Flu bug hits Eureka Springs hard
By Scott Loftis
The Eureka Springs Highlanders lost back-to-back games Monday and Tuesday, and the flu may deserve as much credit as the Highlanders’ opponents.
Eureka Springs lost 53-34 at St. Joe on Monday, then fell to Arkansas Arts Academy of Rogers 54-33 on Tuesday at Highlander Arena.
The Highlanders were already without senior guard Jackson Cross, who is likely lost for the season after having surgery Tuesday on a broken hand. His absence was compounded Tuesday as sophomore guard Matthew Lester, junior guard Isaac Wyatt and senior guard Jake Armer all sidelined by illness.
“We’ve been decimated with the flu,” said Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo, who missed a game with the virus last week. “When you take three starters off our team, it’s just so hard to adjust.”
The Highlanders (7-13, 4-2 2A-1) trailed throughout Monday’s game at St. Joe, but led Arkansas Arts Academy 19-14 after the first quarter on Tuesday. But Eureka Springs scored just 14 points over the final three quarters of that game.
“I thought we were much better in the first half against Arkansas Arts, but we’re just having a hard time getting adjusted right now,” Rambo said.
Sophomore Teagan Farriester made four three-pointers and scored a team-high 12 points in the loss to St. Joe. Sophomore Kegley Ertel had 13 points and Farriester added 11 against Arkansas Arts Academy.
With a key conference game looming Friday night at Flippin (20-7, 7-0), Rambo was optimistic.
“I think tomorrow we’ll be healthy,” he said. “Jackson’s probably out for the season, but I think everybody else should be as near 100 percent as they’ve been for a while. So we’ll see what happens. It’s a big game for us, for sure.”
Lester, a starter since the beginning of his freshman season and the Highlanders’ most reliable scoring threat, returned to school Thursday.
“Hopefully by tomorrow, he’ll back to his old self and that will give us a chance to go on the road and play well,” Rambo said. “If we win, we’ll sew up the third seed (for the district tournament) and can’t finish any worse than third. So that’s a big game for us, for sure.”
Eureka Springs 50,
Providence Academy 37
Four Lady Highlander seniors scored in double figures in Tuesday’s victory at Highlander Arena. Shelby Little and Gracie Lester each scored 12 points and Katelyn Ross and Megan Holloway added 10 points apiece for Eureka Springs (11-11, 5-1 2A-1).