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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Vacation over for Lady Rebels

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Photo/Sparks IN FRONT: Landon Strobbe goes in for a layup in Highland's win over Trumann.
Highland went two weeks without playing a real game and when the Lady Rebels returned to the court it was at the Lyon College Tournament.

The Lady Rebs started slow against Buffalo Island Central, but came away with a 50-46 overtime win over the Lady Mustangs on Dec. 8.

Unfortunately, they couldn't rebound from an 18-7 Heber Springs second quarter and exited the Batesville tourney early with a 55-47 loss on Dec. 10.

The gentlemen Rebels travelled to Trumann and came away with their first conference win against the Wildcats, 53-48, on Dec. 8.

Coming off a championship win in Bradford on Dec. 5, a game that caused the postponement of the first round Lyon College Tournament game versus Highland, Buffalo Island Central jumped out to a huge 21-8 advantage behind Brittany Fowler's 10 points.

"Initially we tried to trap and double team, but we didn't have a lot of success with that because they were able to find the open man," explained Lady Rebel Head Coach Harlan Davis. "They continued to play keep-away from us and when we would get too far out on the floor they'd try to attack and score."

It took the rest of the game for the Lady Rebels to rebound.

Highland took the second quarter, just 7-6, but won the third and fourth quarters 13-9 and 15-7 to send the game into overtime.

"The biggest difference in us getting back in it was when we went to just a straight man and didn't try to double team," said Davis. "They didn't get quite as many open looks to just find that one person that was out on the floor wide open."

Bobi Jo Cooper scored four of her 12 points in overtime to secure the win.

Alex Isaacs led the team with 16 points, but Davis points to Brooke Messer as one of the keys to the comeback.

"I thought Brooke came in and did a nice job giving us a really big spark defensively. She was able to match up with the little guard," said Davis. "She did a nice job of guarding her -- caused her to turn it over once or twice."

The last time they met, Heber Springs was knocking Highland out of last year's regional tournament. The Lady Panthers returned most of that state-qualifying team this season.

The Lady Rebs led 13-10 after one, but Heber, who only had four players score in the entire game, put together a 18-7 second quarter run. Highland was three-of-eight from the free throw line in the second period.

"We got off to a good start -- got up on them a little bit. I thought we got really, really complacent in the second quarter," said Davis. "Offensively, they pressured us a little bit and I didn't think we working near as hard as what we needed to."

Lady Panther Taylor Dixon scored 12 of her 19 points in the third, but Heber Springs was only able to outscore Highland 16-14. Highland won the fourth quarter 13-11, but it wasn't enough.

"We needed to do a better job defensively. We would get within four or five points and we come down and someone would be a little slow getting out to the shooter. They'd shoot one and get it back up," explained Davis.

Isaacs had 23 points for Highland (5-1, 2-0), followed by Scribner with 10.

Playing for the first time in Trumann's new gymnasium at the west end of the brand-new school, Highland overcame a 21-10 Trumann first quarter that saw the Wildcats hit five 3-pointers, including three by Ritchie Tharp.

After that, Trumann had three long stretches where it couldn't score.

It took four and a half minutes before the Wildcats made a bucket in the second, giving the Rebels a chance to cut into their lead.

Kenny Nicholson scored seven and Donnie French added six of his 11 points in the second period.

"That's just what kept us in the game. We were struggling on offense. Our defense kept giving us chances. Kept giving us possessions where they didn't score and we had a chance to go score," said Rebel Head Coach Chad Arnhart. "Guys really stepped up tonight and played good defense. For the most part we only gave them one shot."

In the third, the Wildcats made two quick buckets for five points, but didn't score again till about the one minute mark.

The Rebel defense had two steals and allowed only five Trumann shots.

Wildcat sharpshooter Tharp didn't hit another basket after the initial period.

Rebel Brad Harris put in 12 of his game-leading 25 points in the fourth quarter. Trumann started the quarter going six-of-eight from the free throw line and didn't score again until Steven Williams hit a trey with 30 seconds left in the game.

One of the biggest keys to Highland's win was ball protection. The Rebels only had eight turnovers in the game.

"We talked about how they were going to try to trap us and we wanted to stay under control, limit our turnovers and just make really good decisions," explained Arnhart. "I thought we did that for the most part."

The Rebels are 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the 3-4A conference.

Down 46-39 with a few minutes left at the Melbourne Tournament, Junior Rebel Head Coach Stan Maag pulled his team off the court after a Mountain View player collapsed on the court.

The player was taken to the hospital and was reported to be in good health.

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