Highlanders hang on, extend winning streak

Thursday, November 11, 2021

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.

The Highlanders improved to 9-0 with a 53-18 victory over Thaden on Monday night in the first round of the Northwest Arkansas Classical Academy tournament in Bentonville. Senior forward Kegley Ertel made nine of 10 shots from the floor — including three of four from three-point range — and scored a game-high 21 points. Johnson added 17 points and eight rebounds while Lester scored 11.

The Highlanders will face Life Way Christian in the tournament semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Warriors scored 87 points in a first-round win.

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