Late rally falls short for Eureka Springs

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Several times this season, the Eureka Springs Highlanders have faced opponents determined to slow the pace and limit the Highlanders’ possessions.

On Friday night, however, the Highlanders faced a different sort of challenge as Rogers’ Arkansas Arts Academy used its up-tempo attack to hold on for a 60-56 victory over visiting Eureka Springs.

“They’re just really athletic and they play at an extreme pace,” Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said. “They try to come out and pressure you to speed the game up and run at every opportunity. We kind of got caught up and got frantic a little bit, turned the ball over. We turned it over 18 times as a team, which is never good on the road.”

Arkansas Arts led by nine points at halftime and at the end of the third quarter before extending its lead to double digits in the fourth quarter.

Eureka Springs, which scored 29 points in the fourth quarter, cut Arkansas Arts’ lead to two points late in the game but could get no closer.

“We got work down with the pace and couldn’t box them out in the fourth quarter and gave up way too many second chances for them,” Rambo said. “We still made it a game. We had a one-possession game with six seconds to go and we had to foul to get the ball back and they did a good job of getting the ball to the right guy and making foul shots.”

Junior Braden Gerth scored 15 points for Eureka Springs while classmates Matthew Lester and Kegley Ertel added 14 points each.

“I was proud of my guys in terms of keeping up the fight, staying with the game plan and gutting it out to the end. But we got too far behind there in the third quarter,” Rambo said.

Eureka Springs hosted Arkansas Arts Academy in a rematch Monday night at Highlander Arena. The Highlanders will play at Alpena on Thursday and host Life Way Christian Academy on Friday. Tuesday night’s home game against Cotter has been postponed.

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