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MUSEUM MUSINGS: Goblins look into the eye of the tiger and blink

By David Holsted, published in the Harrison Daily Times, May 21, 2020

The Harrison Goblins took the court accompanied by the strains of “Hold That Tiger.” By the end of the evening, the team’s battle song could have been “Looks Like I’ve Got a Tiger By the Tail.”

On February 18, 1964, the Valley Springs Tigers continued their dominance over the Harrison Goblins by winning a 51-49 squeaker at the Harrison High School gymnasium. It was the third win of the 1963-64 season by Valley Springs over their Boone County rivals. The Tigers had defeated Harrison 66-57 in the finals of the Arkansas Tech tournament and 67-52 in an earlier game played at Valley Springs.

With the victory over Harrison, Valley Springs stretched its winning streak to 40 games.

The game attracted an estimated 2,500 fans, and “more outside and in the hallways wanting to get nearer the playing court.”

The difference in the game came from the free throw line. Valley Springs converted 17 of 22 free throws, compared to 11 of 18 for their hosts.

According to a newspaper account, the Goblins, inspired by the Harrison High band’s playing of “Hold That Tiger,” quickly took control of the game in the first quarter. Lendel Thomas scored eight points, as the visiting Tigers appeared uneasy.

Valley Springs rallied, though, and after “two quick swishers” by Jerry Greenhaw and Jerry Heard, the Tigers held a 22-13 advantage over the Goblins. Valley Springs was up 26-21 at the intermission.

The Goblins controlled the action in the beginning stages of the third quarter.

“The action got fast and furious from that point on,” the Harrison Daily Times reported, “with (Don) McEntire and Heard making free throws, but the Goblins’ (Robert) King and Thomas worked underneath for field goals and (Meredith) Miller dribbled around Heard twice to put Harrison out in front 31-28 with 4:36 left.”

The Tigers’ Greenhaw tied the score at 33 with “a baseline beauty.” Valley Springs went into a minute-long stall before baskets by McEntire and James Trammell gave the visitors a 38-36 lead going into the fourth quarter.

With 47 seconds left and the Tigers up 48-47, Greenhaw was fouled. He made both free throws, giving Valley Springs a 50-47 lead. A subsequent steal and coast-to-coast layup by Larry Morris put Harrison back within one. McEntire was fouled with 17 seconds left. He made one of two free throws. A last second desperation heave by the Goblins fell short.

McEntire was the leading scorer for Valley Springs with 16 points. Heard and Trammell each contributed 12 points.

Miller led the Goblins with 15 points. Thomas added 12 points.

With the loss, Harrison fell to 20-9.

In the “B” game, Harrison won its 15th consecutive game by defeating Valley Springs 42-36.