HOT SPRINGS - El Dorado's varsity boys basketball team concluded a stretch of three games in three days Saturday with an 82-63 win over Episcopal at the ESPN 96.3 Classic. The Wildcats, who beat Camden Fairview on Thursday, fell to Little Rock Central 66-59 on Friday.
El Dorado evened its record at 3-3 on the season.
Coach Gary Simmons said playing tough competition on three consecutive days, which included back-to-back bus rides to Hot Springs, was physically taxing. But, it could be beneficial down the road.
"Physically, I think we figured out who we were," he said. "We had to make some decisions we had never really had to make when we were tired. I thought the kids did well. We went to a matchup and I was impressed. They were still able to think and make decisions."
El Dorado took an 18-6 first quarter lead against Episcopal and was up 33-23 at the half. The Wildcats outscored their opponents 27-17 in the third.
Joderrio Ramey led El Dorado with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists. Brendan Johnson scored 20 with eight rebounds and four steals. Brenden Simmons contributed 10 points and six boards. Alex Boone scored eight with five rebounds and Jarmel Love scored eight points.
Che Smith pumped in 27 points for Episcopal.
"It's good to get the win," said Coach Simmons. "The Central game, back-to-back after Camden, really took a lot out of us physically. They were physical and a little bigger than we were. But, I thought the Central game was some of the best defense I've seen us play."
The Wildcats led Central 17-7 after one quarter and had a 13-point lead at one point. The Tigers, who improved to 4-0 on the season, trailed 35-24 at the half. Central rallied, scoring 27 points in the fourth quarter, including 10 at the line.
"We did a pretty good job of rebounding early. They went to a bigger lineup in the fourth quarter and we didn't match up well with it," said Simmons.
El Dorado made just 3-of-11 free throw attempts in the game.
Ramey led the Wildcats with 23 points and five assists. Johnson scored 14 with four assists. Simmons double-doubled with 14 points and 11 boards. Love chipped in with eight points and five rebounds.
Rajhon McIntosh led Central with 23 points.