Highlanders open season with fast start
EUREKA SPRINGS -- The Eureka Springs' basketball program got off to the start that they had been hoping for as the junior and senior high boys emerged victorious.
The junior high boys came out firing on all cylinders as they routed Oark 53-12, and the senior boys, who were originally told that Oark had forfeited the game, ended up victorious in a 65-20 opening-night win.
The senior girls weren't as lucky, though, as they struggled in the first half and were defeated 27-22.
The boys, however, came out fast from the opening tip.
Strong defense and unparalleled transition offense was the key for head coach Nolan Helder's boys' teams.
"We have a lot of players that have the ability to play well, and we're also pretty deep," he said.
Creating mismatches as well as forcing the necessary turnover allowed the teams to control th0eir respective games.
The junior high was led by the play of Dakota McKinney, who finished with 12 points.
Mathewt McClung, who was seen all over the court, finished with six points, but it was his defensive effort that impressed Helder.
"He did a great job defensively," he said.
Lucas Vasquez finished the game with eight points.
Utilizing the press for the junior and senior high was part of the game plan heading into Friday's action, according to Helder.
"We wanted to utilize the press and create some turnovers," he said.
The high school team was led by Roy McGehee. The junior finished with 22 points.
His performance was highlighted by his presence at the top of the zone, which allowed for many turnovers, which the Highlanders were able to convert into points.
The team jumped out to a 27-3 lead in the first quarter and got solid contributions throughout the roster: Nick Bower and Briar Sebby finished with 10 points each.
The senior girls' team was highlighted by Taylor Osterhout, who finished with nine points.
She was taken to the floor by two Oark defenders when her elbow was bent backwards in the first half.
"She's just tough," head coach Brian Rambo said.
He added that the team committed too many turnovers, which led to points for Oark.
Abbey Moore finished with 12 steals and 12 rebounds.
Rambo said that his team will have to get the ball inside more.