Highlanders break even with win at Cotter, home loss to Flippin
The Eureka Springs Highlanders split a pair of conference games last week, winning 35-24 at Cotter on Monday, Jan. 4, before losing to Flippin 60-41 on Friday at Highlander Arena.
Eureka Springs relied on its defense to secure the victory at Cotter. Coach Brian Rambo said Cotter’s strategy was to slow the game down to limit the Highlanders’ possessions.
“They would take a minute every time they had the basketball,” Rambo said. “They knew they couldn’t outscore us or score with us. And so they knew they needed to shorten the game by hold it. And they did.”
Eureka Springs was limited to 47 possessions for the entire game, Rambo said.
“But luckily defensively, I mean we were tremendous that night,” he said. “We did such a great job defensively. We did a great job boxing out. And, you know, we won a grind-it-out, kind of ugly game. But sometimes that’s the way basketball is. It’s ugly sometimes, but it’s good to win ugly.”
Sophomore Shane Holloway scored 14 points for the Highlanders and junior guard Braden Gerth added 13.
Against a talented Flippin team on Friday, Eureka Springs junior Matthew Lester set a school record with seven three-pointers and scored 23 first-half points to lead the Highlanders to a halftime lead before the Bobcats rallied in the second half for their eighth consecutive victory.
“They’re just so physical,” Rambo said. “I think they’re ranked number three in the state right now. They’re a tremendous basketball team. They have experience and they’re just a really well-coached high school basketball team. And I think their physicality against us in the second half wore us down. Late in the game, their physicality hurt us and we couldn’t stay with them. But man, I sure was proud of my kids.”
Lester finished with 26 points and Gerth added 10 for the Highlanders.
The Eureka Springs girls lost 62-29 at Cotter on Monday, Jan. 4. Olivia Cross led the Lady Highlanders with 17 points. Flippin beat Eureka Springs on Friday at Highlander Arena.
Eureka Springs will play a pair of road games this week, traveling to Yellville-Summit on Tuesday and to Alpena on Friday.