Highlanders dominate Thaden in home opener

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Eureka Springs coach Brian Rambo was in a little better mood Tuesday afternoon than he was on Monday morning.

The reason behind Rambo’s improved outlook was the Highlanders’ impressive showing in Monday night’s home opener, a 57-29 victory over Thaden — just three days after Eureka Springs struggled in a 43-42 win at Jasper.

“We actually played maybe our best first half of the season,” Rambo said of Monday’s win. “Now, we’re just four games into the season. But I thought for the first 16 minutes of the game, we played probably as well as we could play.”

Dylan Johnson

Junior forward Dylan Johnson, who made the game-winning three-pointer with four seconds left in Friday’s victory over Jasper, scored 23 points against Thaden.

“He’s been tremendous for us,” Rambo said. “He’s such a physical young man that if you put a big on him, he shoots it so well and he can take you off the bounce, but if you put a small guy on him, he can just post you. He really is a mismatch nightmare. He’s been so good for us.”

Junior point guard Braden Gerth added 15 points for Eureka Springs while senior guard Matthew Lester had nine points and eight assists.

In the win at Jasper, the Highlanders were plagued by foul trouble but rallied in the fourth quarter to pull out the victory.

Johnson scored 17 points, including two three-pointers in the final minute, and senior forward Kegley Ertel had a team-high 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting from the floor with seven rebounds and two steals. Ertel played all 32 minutes.

“His presence in the game allowed us to hang around and that was huge for us,” Rambo said.

On Thursday, Oct. 21, Ertel scored 21 points while Johnson added 17 and Lester scored 11 in a 67-33 road win over Fayetteville Christian.

Friday night is Homecoming at Highlander Arena as Eureka Springs hosts Haas Hall Academy.

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