One would not expect much excitement for a preseason senior boys basketball game, but that is exactly what occurred in the matchup between the Huntsville Eagles and the Siloam Springs Panthers last Thursday.
In a last couple of minutes that included a lead change and three ties, Kross Easterling wrapped up the game with a layup just before the buzzer to give the Eagles a 57-55 victory at Charles H. Berry Gymnasium in Huntsville.
Siloam Springs took charge with 5 minutes to go in the first half with a 13-0 run to make their lead 28-14. The Panthers led at the half by a 32-21 count.
Huntsville countered with an 11-4 streak in the third quarter to pull back within 4 points at 36-32.
Siloam remained in the lead at 41-36 heading into the final period.
After the Panthers led 48-41, the Eagles struck back with a 12-0 flurry midway through the fourth quarter on scoring by Hunter Davidson and Easterling for a 5-point advantage.
Evan Sauer hit a short jumper and Landon Ward nailed a three for Siloam Springs to even the game at 53-all.
After Matthew Sisk gave Huntsville the advantage back at 55-53, Ward came right back for the Panthers and scored on a pull up jumper to tie the game back with about 10 seconds remaining.
The Eagles inbounded the ball quickly and Davidson from half court saw Easterling cutting toward the basket from toward the right corner. The pass was true between the two juniors and Easterling laid it off the glass just before the final horn.
“I thought we played pretty well the first quarter,” said Huntsville Coach Grant Myrick.
“They jumped out on us early in the second quarter but I thought our guys kept fighting and found a way to get the win.”
Davidson led the Eagles in scoring with 21 points with Kent Mayes also reaching double figures with 10. Easterling and Chandan Villines finished with 6 points each, Kyle Garrison and Hayden Dotson with 5 apiece and Sisk with 4.
Joshua Stewart paced Siloam with 14 points followed by Sauer with 10.
The Eagles host the West Fork Tigers Friday and the Rogers Mounties Monday the 25th.
Huntsville will travel down the Pig Trail Tuesday the 26th to take on the Ozark Hillbillies.