Highlanders hang on, stay unbeaten

Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Eureka Springs boys basketball coach Brian Rambo said Friday's game was a close one at the end. “If they’d have made a bucket, we would have been in trouble,” Rambo said Monday.
Robert Cox / Carroll County News

The Eureka Springs Highlanders extended their season-opening winning streak to eight games last Friday night, but not without a few anxious moments down the stretch.

The Highlanders hung on for a 51-49 victory at Lead Hill after watching a 12-point lead all but evaporate in the fourth quarter.

“They have a good player who made a couple of big shots on us and the game got tight,” Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said Monday. “It was their homecoming and the crowd was wild. We hadn’t played in an atmosphere like that.”

The Highlanders missed several free throws down the stretch, Rambo said, to help Lead Hill stay in striking distance.

“I think we got three or four straight stops at the end,” Rambo said. “If they’d have made a bucket, we would have been in trouble.”

Senior guard Matthew Lester scored 20 points to lead a balanced scoring attack for Eureka Springs. Four other players each scored at least six points for the Highlanders.

On Thursday, Nov. 4, Eureka Springs went on the road and defeated St. Paul 64-30 as senior Teagan Farriester scored 17 points. Lester added 16 and junior forward Dylan Johnson had 13.

Eureka Springs’ girls picked up two road wins as well, defeating St. Paul 38-29 in overtime on Thursday and Lead Hill 36-22 on Friday.

Coach Kyle Farrar said the Lady Highlanders were fortunate to win at St. Paul.

“We played as silly as you can play on Thursday,” Farrar said. “If you look up in any book how to lose a basketball game, we did it.”

Still, the Lady Highlanders found a way to get the victory, outscoring St. Paul 9-0 in the extra period.

“It really shouldn’t have gone to overtime,” Farrar said, pointing out that Eureka Springs made just two of nine free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter.

Junior forward Katie Farrar led the Lady Highlanders with 14 points, including six in the fourth quarter and two more in overtime. Senior Mackenzie Loudermilk was Eureka Springs’ second-leading scorer with seven points.

Against Lead Hill, the Lady Highlanders led 18-12 at the end of the first half and 30-20 after three quarters before holding Lead Hill to two points in the fourth quarter.

Katie Farrar had 12 points, while Alura Lamar added nine and Brandessa Armer scored eight.

“We are getting better,” Kyle Farrar said. “We’re not shooting the ball very well, but everything else is getting there. It’s a long process.”

Both Eureka Springs teams were in action against Thaden on Monday night in the Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy Tournament in Bentonville.

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