By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY
Conference 4-4A basketball leader Morrilton scored early and often during the first half and defeated the Heber Springs Panthers 70-44 at the Panther Den on Tuesday.
Joseph Pinion led the Devil Dogs with 17 points. Devin Foster scored 14 points and Nate Zachary had 12 points.
Heber Springs sophomore Conner Riddle fired in a game-high 24 points. Riddle scored 11 of the Panthers’ 14 points during the first half. He made two 3-pointers, seven 2-point field goals and 2-of-2 free throws.
Morrilton took a 4-0 lead early during the first quarter. Heber Springs junior Gus Hannah hit a 3-pointer to the Devil Dogs’ lead to one point. Morrilton responded with a 15-2 scoring run and led 19-5 going into the second quarter.
The Devil Dogs returned to the court and went on a 9-0 scoring run and increased their lead to 28-5 lead by the midway point of the second quarter.
Riddle hit an outside jumper, but Morrilton maintained control. The Devil Dogs finished on a 14-7 scoring run for a 38-14 halftime lead.
Riddle continued his offensive assault by scoring 10 of Heber Springs’ 16 points during the third quarter. But Morrilton increased its lead to 61-30 going into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers showed more fight during the final quarter, outscoring Morrilton, 14-9
Wyatt Winchester came off the bench and made a 2-point field goal and a 3-pointer. Ryan Crocker had a field goal and two free throws. Riddle hit a 3-pointer and Bent McClain scored.
Heber Springs (0-8 in conference, 1-18 overall) will host Subiaco Academy at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The junior boys game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.
Morrilton 19 19 23 9–70
Heber Springs 5 9 16 14–44
Morrilton scorers — Joseph Pinion 17, Devin Foster 14, Nate Zachary 12, Brock Hendrix 8, Henry Cowles 6, Nevin Williams 5, Byron Hardiman 4, Keevon Moore 4.
Heber Springs scorers — Conner Riddle 24, Ryan Crocker 7, Wyatt Winchester 5, Gus Hannah 3, Logan Monahan 3, Bent McClain 2.