Quarantine halts momentum for Rambo’s Highlanders

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

The Eureka Springs Highlanders got off to a nice start last week, avenging a loss to Arkansas Arts Academy on Monday, Jan. 25, and winning on the road at Alpena three days later.

But all it took to undo whatever momentum the Highlanders had gained with those two wins was a single phone call on Friday.

“We were about to play Friday night. We were supposed to start playing at 5 o’clock, and 3 o’clock on the nose my phone rang and one of my kids had tested positive for COVID so we all got sent home.”

Rambo said the Highlanders hope to be cleared to return to the court next week, but it’s hard to keep any momentum under this season’s unique circumstances.

“We were starting to play well and went over to Alpena on Thursday and really, really played well defensively and offensively,” he said. “And then here we are again. So you can’t get any rhythm. You know, it’s such a roller coaster ride this year.”

In the 63-54 win over Arkansas Arts Academy, the Highlanders erased a four-point deficit in the fourth quarter to get a little revenge just three days after Arkansas Arts beat Eureka Springs by four points three nights earlier on the Diamonds’ home court in Rogers.

In the rematch, the two teams were tied at 43 after the third quarter. Arkansas Arts took a four-point lead with a transition layup that made it 54-50 with 4:04 remaining. From there, however, Eureka Springs outscored the Diamonds 13-0 the rest of the way.

The Highlanders cut Arkansas Arts’ lead to one when Kegley Ertel converted a three-point play with 3:19 left after senior Weston Armer saved an errant pass from going out of bounds. Eureka Springs took the lead for good on a putback by sophomore Shane Holloway that made it 55-54 with 2:41 to play.

Holloway led Eureka Springs with 19 points. Junior Matthew Lester added 14 while junior Braden Gerth and Ertel scored 11 points apiece. Ertel scored all of his points in the second half.

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