"We've improved a lot from the first game to the second game. They go hard, and they don't stop playing until the buzzer goes off," said Eoff. "If they do something wrong, it's a teaching moment. They're improving."
Highland got a chance to start the season against experienced competition. After defeating Highland on Monday, the Mountain View Lady Yellowjackets beat last year's state runner-up EPC, 68-53, on Tuesday. The Izard County Lady Cougars were playing in their 10th game this season.
The Lady Cougars got up 5-3 early in the first, but Highland held them scoreless the rest of the way to take a 12-5 lead.
The Lady Rebs got a quick bucket from Shaina Manning to extend the lead, but didn't hit another bucket until under four minutes left in the half. ICC got buckets from Kelsey Fry, Hannah Doty, and Jordan Sherrell to tie the game at 14-all. Sophomore Emma Johnson hit two shots at the end of the half to keep Highland out front 18-17.
Fry's three-pointer midway through the third gave the Lady Cougars the lead at 24-21, but a put back by Hope Isaacs, and a shot by Megan Burton retook the lead for the Lady Rebels. Another trey by Fry and a two free throws from Makala Gross gave ICC a 29-27 third quarter advantage.
The Lady Cougars shot 13 of 18 from the charity stripe, including eight of 10 from Fry to keep Highland at bay.
ICC was lead by Fry with 19 points. Doty added 12, and Gross 10. Isaacs had 11 points to lead Highland (0-2). Cassidy Berton and Britney Bair each contributed seven.
The boys team did not participate in the Highland Classic, and may not hit the hardwood until after football season ends.