Bobcats pull away from Highlanders
The Berryville Bobcats’ timely shot-making and the inside dominance of senior center Weston Teague were too much for the Eureka Springs Highlanders to overcome.
Teague scored 24 points and neutralized Eureka Springs’ inside presence as the Bobcats pulled away to a 58-35 victory over the Highlanders on Tuesday, Dec. 14 at Bobcat Arena.
“Weston played really well,” Berryville coach Brent Compton said. “We did a nice job getting Weston the ball and he finished it off when he got it in there. Our kids shared the ball.”
“Obviously, they have a chance to be really good,” Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo said. “I think they’re one of the top two teams in their league.”
Rambo said Teague’s presence in the middle was a huge problem for the Highlanders.
“Weston Teague had a career night,” Rambo said. “When you can’t play inside out with our group and make them double the post and throw it back out to our shooters, we have a hard time scoring. They just played one on one in the post and did a good job of neutralizing us down there. That really, really changed the game. That really hampered us on the offensive end but I thought we played well for about three quarters.”
Berryville pulled away in the second half after leading 29-17 at halftime. Senior guard Matthew Lester was the only Eureka Springs player to score in the first half and finished with 29 of the Highlanders’ 35 points.
“Defensively, I thought we did really well except everyone but Matthew Lester,” Compton said. “But he’s a good player. He took a lot of shots. He made a bunch of shots but overall defensively I thought we did a nice job.”
Eureka Springs played without senior point guard Braden Gerth, and Rambo said that hurt the Highlanders.
“Defensively, Berryville does a good job of denying and just coming out and pressuring the basketball,” Rambo said. “With our guys really missing one guy who could take people off the bounce and really create for other guys, we were really limited in that regard. So that made it very, very hard for us to be able to score on the offensive end. We did a good job on the defensive end, but we just couldn’t score with them.”
Lester made three three-pointers in the first quarter, with the last one pulling the Highlanders even at 13-13 with 22 seconds left in the quarter.
Berryville’s Kade Davidson answered with a spinning jumper from inside the lane, however, to put the Bobcats ahead 15-13 and start a 12-0 run. Teague had six points during that run, including a basket from close range to put Berryville ahead 25-13 and force a timeout by the Highlanders.
Dylan Johnson’s three-pointer from the top of the key with 5:34 remaining in the third quarter cut Berryville’s lead to 31-20 and Lester rebounded his own miss and scored at the 2:14 mark to keep the Highlanders within 11 at 35-24.
Berryville took full control with a 10-0 run early in the fourth quarter. Junior guard Nate Allen started it with a three-pointer from the left win and junior D.J. Colbert ended it with another three. In between, Teague converted two free throws and scored another basket from close range as the Bobcats increased their advantage to 51-29.
Davidson finished with 12 points and Allen scored 11 for Berryville.