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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Rebels headed in right direction

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Photo/Sparks MOVIN' UP: The young Highland Rebels dropped a pair of games last week, but are continuing to put together the little things that will pay off as the season rolls along.
Still winless, but improving.

That could be the headline for the Highland Rebels for the next few weeks.

With two matches in the last week, Rebel Head Coach Chad Arnhart saw his team stay out of the big quarter that has hurt them early on and make enough shots to keep them in the game.

However, if they would have hit just half of the open layins they missed, the scores against conference foe Trumann, 65-57, on Dec. 8 at home and Lyon College Invitational first rounder Buffalo Island Central, 53-40, on Dec. 9, in Batesville might have been different.

"We're making some strides right now. We're learning how to play," said Arnhart. "I told the guys it's going to take a little while to learn how to play. After we learn how to play, we're going to have to learn how to win."

In Highland's conference clash with Trumann, Wildcat Richie Tharp started the game with three treys to get Trumann out to an 11-2 lead, but junior Donnie French hit a 3 of his own to help cut into that lead, 14-11, by the end of the first.

Senior Justin Bryant sank six points as five Highland players scored in the second to keep the Rebels close, 34-27, going into the half.

Even with the Wildcat's four 3-pointers in the second, it could have been closer, but the Rebs missed several easy layups.

"We've got to concentrate more. I think we've got to slow down in the post," explained Arnhart. "I've told them, once you get there, slow down and take your time, because you're going to get fouled or you're going to make the shot."

Highland outscored Trumann in the third, 16-14, behind the shooting of Brad Harris and Zac Hamilton with seven and five points, respectively.

Trumann went cold from the arc, making only one apiece in the third and fourth quarters.

Still, the Cats went into the final period with a 48-43 lead.

At the end of the game, Highland was forced to send the Wildcats to the line and they made half of their charity shots.

The Rebels were unable to score another point after Landon Strobbe's trey with just under three minutes to go in the game.

Harris led the team with 13 points, followed by Hamilton with 12. French added nine.

Buffalo Island Central, better known as BIC, isn't the state championship team it was a few years ago.

Coach Bill Taylor and his son, Brooks, have moved on, but basketball is still king in Monette/Leachville and the Mustangs were looking to make a mark in their first year at the Lyon College Invitational.

Although the Rebels stayed with BIC for the first quarter, 11-all, the Mustangs put together a 21-10 second period behind the 10 points of Ben Cole, a slightly-built sophomore point guard with a great shot.

Baskets by Harris, French and Josh Honey were all Highland could muster in the third, falling farther behind, 44-27.

However, Strobbe and Kenny Nicholson hit 3-pointers to begin the fourth trying to start a rally.

The Rebs outscored the Mustangs 13-9, but it was not enough to win.

"We didn't show a lot of quit. I told them when we get down by a lot, stop looking at the scoreboard. Just keep battling and learn from it," said Arnhart.

Highland was led by Honey 12 points. Hamilton and French contributed six, apiece.

The Lady Rebels improved to 3-1 in 3-4A conference play with a win over a much improved Osceola team, 56-41 on Dec. 9 at Cooper Gymnasium.

In past years, the Lady Seminoles of Osceola struggled to field a team, which made it hard to give Highland a quality game.

Not so this year.

This year they have a full squad with some height and quickness.

"They've got good athletes. They do some things that you are going to have to step up and counter," said Lady Rebel Head Coach Harlan Davis.

Faadiah Tramble's six points countered Lady Rebels' Kristina Langston's five to end the first knotted at 10-all.

Highland was unable to put some ground between them and Osceola in the second as four players scored two points each for a 18-17 lead.

The Lady Seminoles may have forced nine Lady Reb fouls, but they couldn't stop Alex Isaacs under the basket. Issacs put in 10 points to get Highland out to a 33-27 lead after three.

In the fourth, Highland continued to send Osceola to the line and Isaacs continued to master the turnaround jumper with another 10 points.

"We're consistently getting better at getting the basketball to our big girls," said Davis. "We're running a few things and getting some good angles to get them the basketball. Alex, the last two or three games, has done a really good job of squaring her shoulders."

Isaacs led the team with 23 points, followed by Kaitlin Scribner with 10.

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