The Lady Rebels were not able to play a game this week, because Pocahontas, Osceola and Buffalo Island Central all had to reschedule because of prior commitments.
Osceola's football team's playoff appearance caused the postponement of the Dec. 4 games that would have both boys and girls, junior and seniors, in action.
The Lady Rebels' game against Buffalo Island Central in the first round of the Lyon Tourney had to be moved to Dec. 8, because the Lady Mustangs had made the finals in their current tournament.
With 2.5 seconds left on the clock, the Rebels were up 52-50 and Mammoth Spring would have to go the length of the court.
Bear Head Coach Jeremy Cude called a timeout to work out the desperation shot.
When he saw what Highland planned to do, he called a second timeout to redo the plan.
"We really expected them to come out man on it. They didn't. They came out in an extended 1-3-1, so we changed what we had planned," explained Cude. "The first one would have had no chance and I thought the second one might give us a shot."
Caleb Brown was able to beat the clock, get the 3-pointer off, and win the game.
"Complete luck. I mean, that's supposed to occur, but when you make that shot, that's luck," said Cude. "They deserved to win the game. They outplayed us from tip to buzzer and we just got lucky."
Luck or odds?
"When you're up seven with less than a minute to go, odds are you're going to win the basketball game," said Rebel Head Coach Chad Arnhart. "And odds were against us."
With just over a minute to play, Highland was up 49-43 because of a Kenny Nicholson bucket. Landon Strobbe committed a foul on the Bears' next possession and was tagged with a technical for questioning the call.
Houston Cooper went to the free throw line first and hit one of two.
Brown toed the line next and sank both to cut the score to 49-46 and they had possession of the ball.
A foul by Wes Coffey gave Strobbe a chance to extend the Rebel lead, but he missed the front end of the one-and-one.
Bear sophomore Austin Hite's basket cut the deficit to one, but Josh Honey was sent to the line off the Mason Brown foul with 16 seconds remaining.
Only in the single bonus, Honey missed the first free throw attempt. Rebel Brad Harris snagged the rebound for the putback and drew the foul.
Harris' charity shot gave the Rebels a 52-48 lead with 14 seconds to go.
Cooper made a shot to keep Mammoth Spring's chances alive.
Chris Young fouled Nicholson and the Highland senior missed the free throw setting up the last second shot for the Bears.
"I don't think they ever stress out too much about stuff," said Cude. "As long as there is time on the clock these guys really think they have a chance to win the basketball game."
The Rebs found baskets early and often in the first quarter. Strobbe started the game with a trey followed by a Donnie French 3-pointer.
Harris put in a couple of short jumpers, as did Honey, to give Highland a 14-8 advantage.
Going six-of-nine from the free throw line was the difference in the second period with Mammoth Spring tying the score at 25-all going into halftime.
Coffey put in 11 second quarter points.
Honey had five points, and Harris and Jason Long each had four to give the Rebels a 38-35 lead at the end of three.
"We didn't play very well this week defensively. We've given up layups, uncontested 3s, offensive rebounds," said Cude. "We were just lackluster last night, lackluster today and extremely lucky both times."
Harris led the Rebels with 22 points. Honey put in 11.
Brown put 21 for the Bears, followed by Coffey with 15.
The Rebels had to play without injured Brad Harris, but for three quarters Newport and Highland were evenly matched.
In the first quarter, the Rebs spread the ball around with Nicholson, Long, Honey, French and Strobbe all scoring to an even 16-all tie.
Strobbe, Nicholson and Aaron Kahn each hit 3s for Highland's only scoring going into halftime tied at 25-all.
Ronnie Loftis hit two buckets at the end of the third quarter to give Highland a 37-32 third quarter lead.
Shooting went cold for the Rebs and the turnovers mounted in the fourth quarter. The Greyhounds retook the lead with six minutes left and never relinquished it.
"Four things happened against Newport. We turned it over too much. On the offensive end, we had poor shot selection. We didn't get defensive rebounds. And the fourth thing was number 15 (E.J. Rucker) posting up," explained Arnhart. "Negate one of those four and we win game."
Nicholson led the team with 13 points and Honey added 10.
In junior high action, the junior Lady Rebels were knocked out of the junior tournament by the host team, Melbourne, 28-23. The junior Rebels advanced in that tournament with a 41-36 win over Melbourne.