Panther soccer teams win at Morrilton, improve to 3-0

Heber Springs’ Selena Childress goes up in an attempt to control the ball in action last week at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

March 9, 2020

The Heber Springs girls and boys soccer teams traveled to Morrilton on Monday, came away with victories in wet conditions and improved to 3-0 on the season.

The girls jumped out to a 5-nil lead and held on to win 5-2 despite two late penalty-kick goals by the Devil Dogs (3-3).

Abbi Dew, Taylor Hammons, McKenzie Becerra, Cristina Garcia and Ashley Spanel all scored goals for Heber Springs. Dew and Hammons assisted on two of those goals.

In senior boys play, the Panthers’ Jackson Harrod assisted on both goals as Heber Springs defeated Morrilton 2-nil. Luke Greenwald and Julio Rubio scored the goals for the Panthers. Morrilton fell to 1-2 on the season.

Both soccer teams host Conway St. Joseph beginning at 5 p.m. at Panther Stadium.

HEBER SPRINGS GIRLS SOCCER
COACH DREW LAWRENCE
OVERALL RECORD: 3-0
4A-NORTH CONFERENCE RECORD: 0-0
February 24  Heber Springs 5, Harding Academy 3 $
March 3      Heber Springs 4, Vilonia 1
March 5      Heber Springs 6, Southside Batesville 0
March 9      Heber Springs 5, Morrilton 2
March 10     Conway St. Joseph          7 p.m.
March 13     Greenbrier                 7 p.m.
March 19     at Cave City               7 p.m.
March 31     at Mountain View           7 p.m.
April 2      at Wynne *                 7 p.m.
April 6      Jonesboro Westside *       7 p.m.
April 9      at Brookland *             7 p.m.
April 13     Valley View *              7 p.m.
April 18     Southside Batesville Tournament
April 20     at Southside Batesville *  7 p.m.
April 23     at Lonoke *                7 p.m.
April 28     Batesville *               7 p.m.

(* - Denotes 4A-North conference contest.)
($ - Denotes Arkansas Activities Association Benefit Match. The match does not count on the official record.)
HEBER SPRINGS BOYS SOCCER
COACH JAY BISHOP
OVERALL RECORD: 3-0
4A-NORTH CONFERENCE RECORD: 0-0
February 24  Harding Academy 5, Heber Springs 1 $
March 3      Heber Springs 6, Vilonia 1
March 5      Heber Springs 2, Southside Batesville 0
March 9      Heber Springs 2, Morrilton 0
March 10     Conway St. Joseph          7 p.m.
March 13     Greenbrier                 7 p.m.
March 17     at Conway Christian        7 p.m.
March 19     at Cave City               7 p.m.
March 31     at Mountain View           7 p.m.
April 2      at Wynne *                 7 p.m.
April 4      Southside Batesville Tournament
April 6      Jonesboro Westside *       7 p.m.
April 9      at Brookland *             7 p.m.
April 13     Valley View *              7 p.m.
April 20     at Southside Batesville *  7 p.m.
April 23     at Lonoke *                7 p.m.
April 28     Batesville *               7 p.m.

(* - Denotes 4A-North conference contest.)
($ - Denotes Arkansas Activities Association benefit match. Does not count on official record.)

SOCCER PREVIEW: Strong nucleus returns for Lady Panthers

February 24, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

A special season may be in store for the Heber Springs Lady Panther soccer team.

The Lady Panthers, who return nine starters, will begin the new season with a preseason jamboree match against Harding Academy in Searcy at 5 p.m. Monday.

McKenzie Beccera and Jillian Herring were named to the Class 4A all-state team in 2019 and lead the list of returnees. Libby Stutts, Abbi Dew, Faith Cowherd, Natalia Durham, Stormi Bradshaw, Katia Rubio and Taylor Hammons round out the list.

“They were players who gave us a lot of good minutes last season,” Heber Springs coach Drew Lawrence said. “I expect them to do the same things this season.”

One of the team’s strengths, other than playing experience, is Cowherd at goalkeeper.

“Faith started every match and played well as a freshman,” Lawrence said. “I’m looking forward of having her back out there.”

Lawrence said experience helped to make practices go smooth.

“Experience makes everything in preseason practice go smoother,” he said. “If I happen to be watching one area of the field, the older players can help teammates in other areas of the field. We’ve been concentrating on passing and playing in small spaces and kick the ball quick toward the goal.”

Three basketball players will add depth to the squad — Ellie Riddle, Lili Chaney and Ashley Spanel. Selena Childress, who played last year, also will be a player to watch.

“I expect Ashley will be a plus with her athletic ability,” Lawrence said. “Four of the five starters in basketball will be playing soccer. We do have four freshmen, and we will see how they develop as players.”

Heber Springs has a challenging non-conference schedule — Vilonia, Morrilton, Conway St. Joseph, Greenbrier, Conway Christian, Cave Ciy and Mountain View. The Lady Panthers will compete against Southside Batesville, Lonoke, Batesville, Jonesboro Westside, Brookland, Valley View and Wynne in the Class 4A North Conference.

“We will be tested,” Lawrence said. “Brookland and Valley View will be the teams to beat, but we plan to contend. We hope to take the next step and become a No. 1 or No. 2 seed for the conference tournament and make a run at the state tournament.”

Lawrence said communication among players on the field will be another key for success.

“We have been working on improving communication,” Lawrence said. “A team doesn’t score often and communication is a part of that.”

HEBER SPRINGS ROSTER
Abbi Dew, Alaina Endicot, Ellie Riddle, Faith Cowherd, Jillian Herring, Katia Rubio, Libby Stutts, Lili Chaney, McKenzie Beccera, Nadia Baureis, Natalia Durham, Sabrina McMullin, Selena Childress, Stormi Bradshaw, Taylor Hammons, Ashley Spanel.

Lady Panthers season ends at Dardanelle

February 19, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

DARDANELLE – The Heber Springs Lady Panthers went down to the final seconds against Ozark in the 4-4A Conference Basketball Tournament quarterfinals.

With 12 seconds left in the game, Heber Springs advanced into the frontcourt, setting up Jillian Herring for a 3-pointer, which came up short with three seconds left as the Lady Panthers’ season ended with a 42-39 loss to Ozark Wednesday.

Heber Springs swept Ozark during the regular season and was seeded third.

The Lady Panthers tied Clarksville for second place, but they split games. Clarksville received the second seed by scoring one more point in match-ups against Heber Springs.

“I told them after the game how proud I was of how they played and battled until the end,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “Ozark made a few shots and we missed a few shots in the fourth quarter. You have to put the ball in the basket at the end of a game. We had a great year with five seniors leading us.”

Libby Stutts led Heber Springs with 14 points. Herring had 10 points. Carter Crane scored 11 points for Ozark and Briley Burns finished with 10 points.

“We probably needed to call a timeout before the final shot, but we had time to set up the play,”  Riddle said. “I knew they would key on Libby and we ran a play that had been successful in the past. The players executed the play, but the shot didn’t go in the basket.”

Heber Springs finished the first quarter strong. The Lady Panthers led 6-5 before a basket by Ellie Riddle and Herring’s 3-pointer increased the lead to 11-5 going into the second quarter.

The lead was 16-9 midway through the second quarter. Ozark went on a 10-4 scoring run as Heber Springs held a 20-19 halftime lead.

“Jillian got in foul trouble and missed most of the second quarter,” Jamey Riddle said. “She was  trying to guard one of Ozark’s best players.”

The lead changed three times during the third quarter as the two teams were tied 30-30 going into the fourth quarter.

Ozark began the final quarter by making a 2-point basket and 3-pointer and never trailed again.

Heber Springs finished the season at 17-9. The 17 wins were the most by the Lady Panthers since going 19-5 during the 2013-14 season.

“It has been a while since we finished above .500,” Riddle said. “We will be losing five seniors, who played well all year. We also got good fan support. This was an easy group of players to coach. I wish the seniors all of the best and they will be successful during their lifetimes.”

FEBRUARY 19 BOXSCORE
4A-4 District Tournament at Dardanelle
Ozark          5 14 11 12 - 42
Heber Springs 11  9 10  9 - 39
OZARK SCORING (42): Carter Crane 11, Briley Burns 10, Summer Joy 7, Autumn Joy 5, Kelsee Barnett 5, Mary-Grace Ree 4.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (39): Libby Stutts 14, Jillian Herring 10, Ashley Spanel 7, Ellie Riddle 6, Claudia Newberry 2.  
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
FINAL RECORD: 17-9
FINAL 4A-4 RECORD: 8-4
November 12 - Heber Springs 55, Nemo Vista 31
November 19 - Heber Springs 70, South Side Bee Branch 45
November 21 - Heber Springs 67, Riverview 27
November 26 - Heber Springs 56, Clinton 54 (OT)
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 47, Heber Springs 44 #
December 5 - Heber Springs 53, South Side Bee Branch 34 #
December 7 - Heber Springs 44, Wonderview 43 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 56 ^
December 13 - Marshall 70, Heber Springs 52
December 16 - Heber Springs 51, White County Central 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 55, Ozark 42 ^
December 26 - Heber Springs 70, DeWitt 34 *
December 27 - Pea Ridge 49, Heber Springs 44 *
December 28 - Mayflower 58, Heber Springs 37 *
January 7 - Pottsville 49, Heber Springs 45 ^
January 9 - Heber Springs 70, Newport 51
January 14 - Heber Springs 47, Dardanelle 29 ^
January 17 - Clarksville 48, Heber Springs 41 ^
January 21 - Morrilton 52, Heber Springs 32 ^
January 24 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 53 ^
January 28 - Heber Springs 74, Pottsville 64 ^
January 31 - Heber Springs 43, Ozark 39 ^
February 4 - Heber Springs 52, Dardanelle 25 ^
February 11 - Morrilton 50, Heber Springs 45 ^
February 14 - Heber Springs 36, Clarksville 30 ^
February 19 - Ozark 42, Heber Springs 39 $

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest)
(* - Denotes Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Tournament at Heber Springs)
($ - Denotes 4A-4 District Tournament at Dardanelle) 

Pyrrhic victory for Lady Panthers in home finale

Heber Springs’ Claudia Newberry goes up for a shot against at Clarksville defender in action that Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

February 14, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The Heber Springs Lady Panthers walked off the court feeling like they lost, despite a 36-30 win against Clarksville in the regular season basketball finale Friday.

Heber Springs (8-4 in 4-4A, 16-8 overall) and Clarksville (8-4 in conference, 12-14 overall) finished in a tie for second place.

Clarksville earned the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament on a tiebreaker.

Jillian Herring made a free throw, giving Heber Springs a 36-28 lead and the points to earn the No. 2 seed with six seconds left in the game, but Clarksville’s Autumn Miller drove the length of the floor and scored with point sixths of a second left.

“We were trying to get back on defense to defend the final shot,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “She (Miller) got loose and we didn’t get in front of her.”

Heber Springs will play the Ozark-Dardanelle winner at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the quarterfinals at Dardanelle. Wednesday’s winner will a regional tournament berth.

“The girls felt that way, but they need to not do that,” said Riddle about falling short of the No. 2 seed. “A win is a win anytime. I’m proud how they fought and beat a good team. We are looking forward to the tournament.”

Herring led the Lady Panthers with 17 points. Claudia Newberry had 11 points. Miller scored 12 points for Clarksville.

“Our shots were not falling in the first half,” Riddle said. “We started to make shots in the second half. Jillian got good shots by driving to the basket. We rebounded and held them to 30 points, which is playing good defense.”

Each team led once by three points during the first quarter. Newberry scored eight points, but Clarksville stayed close and pulled to within 10-9 by the end of the opening quarter.

Ellie Riddle scored to start the second quarter, but Clarksville reclaimed the lead with five consecutive points.

Herring’s 3-pointer gave Heber Springs a 15-14 lead. Clarksville converted a three-point play and led 17-15 at halftime.

Clarksville led 19-15 early in the third quarter. The Lady responded with an 11-1 scoring run and built a 26-20 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Heber Springs maintained a five-to-seven lead throughout the fourth quarter.

“It is not the end of the season and we are still playing basketball,” Riddle said. “We beat both teams (Ozark and Dardanelle) during the regular season. It’s difficult sometimes to be a team for the third time. Regardless which team we play, we will come out and play hard.”

FEBRUARY 14 BOXSCORE 
Clarksville    9 8  5  8 - 30
Heber Springs 10 5 11 10 - 36
CLARKSVILLE SCORING (30): Autumn Miller 12, Emmaline Rieder 8, Morgan Douglas 5, Rebekah Guess 3, Parker Banning 2.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (36): Jillian Herring 17, Claudia Newberry 11, Ashley Spanel 3, Ellie Riddle 3, Mary Shearer 2. 

FEBRUARY 11 BOXSCORE
at Morrilton
Heber Springs  22  8   9   6 - 45
Morrilton      11 10  13  16 - 50
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (45): Libby Stutts 18, Claudia Newberry 16, Jillian Herring 6, Ellie Riddle 5 
MORRILTON SCORING (50): Cheyanne Kemp 17, Kennedy Reel 14, Ali Jo Dunlap 10, Grace Brown 4, A'mya Everette 3

Lady Panthers head to Morrilton, face Clarksville for regional spot Friday

February 11, 2020

The Heber Springs Lady Panthers head into the final week of the regular season riding high on a four-game winning streak, including three straight on the road.

Heber Springs will put its season-tying best win streak on the line when it travels to Morrilton (17-5, 10-1 in the 4A-4) tonight. It will be the final regular season road contest for the Lady Panthers as they look to avenge a 20-point setback last month at the Panther Den.

“We didn’t play well against Morrilton the last time when they were here,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “I think the girls have responded well … they know we didn’t play very good.”

Morrilton clinched the outright conference title Friday night with a 47-30 victory against Clarksville, but there is still plenty for Heber Springs to play for, but that will come on Friday — Senior Night for the Panthers and Lady Panthers.

Against the Devil Dogs, Heber Springs can get a measure of revenge and win a season-best fifth game in-a-row heading into Friday’s showdown with Clarksville.

In order to do that, the Lady Panthers will have to continue to play what Riddle described as “consistent” basketball.

“Right now we are playing that way,” he said. “We are consistently shooting the ball, rebounding fairly, not turning the ball over and not getting in a hurry.”

Riddle also said everyone is pitching in and doing their job.

“Libby’s (Stutts) is starting to shoot the ball well right now,” he said before continuing, “Jillian’s (Herring) is playing hard. We played well on the road. We had three tough road games so far, we’ll see if we can stay on that streak (tonight).”

Senior Claudia Newberry is one of those who is probably playing the best basketball of Lady Panther career finishing with 10 points in a victory at Dardanelle on Feb. 4 and 14 points at Ozark on Jan. 31.

“Our post play as been a lot better,” Riddle said. “We’ve had different ones that we are able to go to now and get some things done.”

Heber Springs has wrapped up at least the three seed for next week’s 4A-4 District Tournament at Dardanelle. With a win tonight at Morrilton and a win on Friday against Clarksville, the Lady Panthers will be the No. 2 seed and earn a spot in the district tournament semifinals and an automatic to the regional tournament in two weeks at Berryville.

Heber Springs can still get the No. 2 seed with a loss against Morrilton tonight, but the Lady Panthers would have to beat Clarksville by eight or more points to earn the spot.

“It will be huge, still a lot there (to play for),” Riddle said. “We just need to go take care of business.”

February 4
HEBER SPRINGS AT DARDANELLE
Heber Springs 10 15 13  12 - 50
Dardanelle     2  7  6  11 - 26
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (50): Jillian Herring 18, Claudia Newberry 10, Ellie Riddle 8, Mary Shearer 8, LiLi Chaney 3, Brandy Meredith 2, Ashley Spanel 1
DARDANELLE SCORING (26): Doughtrey 10, Abby Apple 6, Anette Navarrette 5, Brooklyn Tidwell 3, Ellie Stokes 2

January 31
HEBER SPRINGS AT OZARK
Heber Springs 14   9  12  8 - 43
Ozark          9  10  13  7 - 39
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (43): Claudia Newberry 14, Jillian Herring 11, Ellie Riddle 7, Libby Stutts 6, Ashley Spanel 4, Mary Shearer 2
OZARK SCORING (39): Mary Grace Ree 15, Kelsee Barnett 10, Summer Joy 7, Autumn Joy 4, Tanner Richard 3
4A-4 STANDINGS
                 Conference Season
Morrilton           10-1     17-5 
Clarksville          8-3     12-12
Heber Springs        7-3     16-7
Pottsvile            5-5     11-9
Dover                5-5     14-9  
Ozark                1-9     13-11 
Dardanelle           0-10     2-22
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
RECORD: 16-7
4A-4 RECORD: 7-3
November 12 - Heber Springs 55, Nemo Vista 31
November 19 - Heber Springs 70, South Side Bee Branch 45
November 21 - Heber Springs 67, Riverview 27
November 26 - Heber Springs 56, Clinton 54 (OT)
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 47, Heber Springs 44 #
December 5 - Heber Springs 53, South Side Bee Branch 34 #
December 7 - Heber Springs 44, Wonderview 43 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 56 ^
December 13 - Marshall 70, Heber Springs 52
December 16 - Heber Springs 51, White County Central 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 55, Ozark 42 ^
December 26 - Heber Springs 70, DeWitt 34 *
December 27 - Pea Ridge 49, Heber Springs 44 *
December 28 - Mayflower 58, Heber Springs 37 *
January 7 - Pottsville 49, Heber Springs 45 ^
January 9 - Heber Springs 70, Newport 51
January 14 - Heber Springs 47, Dardanelle 29 ^
January 17 - Clarksville 48, Heber Springs 41 ^
January 21 - Morrilton 52, Heber Springs 32 ^
January 24 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 53 ^
January 28 - Heber Springs 74, Pottsville 64 ^
January 31 - Heber Springs 43, Ozark 39 ^
February 4 - Heber Springs 52, Dardanelle 25 ^
February 11 - at Morrilton ^
February 14 - Clarksville (Senior Night) ^
February 17 - 4A-4 District at Dardanelle

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest)
(* - Denotes Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Tournament at Heber Springs)
($ - Denotes 4A-4 District Tournament at Dardanelle) 

Lady Panthers claim big road

January 28, 2020

Jillian Herring and Claudia Newberry combined for 51 points as Heber Springs downed Pottsville, 74-64, in 4A-4 action Tuesday night.

Herring (4) and Stutts (3) combined for seven first-half 3-pointers as the Panthers led 37-32 at the break.

The Lady Panthers finished the night with 10 3-pointers while Dover had 9, including two in the third quarter as Heber Springs clung to a 55-49 advantage after the stanza.

Herring, who had six 3-pointers on the night, added one 3-pointer in the final quarter to go along with her 11 points in the period as the Lady Panthers held on for the win.

Stutts was also in double figures for Heber Springs (14-7) with 16 points.

The win by the Panthers over the Apaches even the season series but more importantly the 10-point win over Pottsville gave Heber Springs the conference-seeding tiebreaker if the two teams are tied at the end of the year. Pottsville had 49-45 on Jan. 7 at the Panther Den. Heber Springs also owns the tiebreaker over Dover.

Heber Springs travels to Ozark tonight hoping to win three in a row for the first time since mid-December.

DISTRICT TOURNAMENT: The 4A-4 district tournament will begin on February 17 at Dardanelle. The top two teams automatically get a bye into the semfinals and a sport at the regional tournament at Berryville. The No. 6 and No. 7 seeds will play on Monday with the winner advancing to face the No. 3 seed on Tuesday with the winner getting a spot in the semifinals and regional bid. The No. 4 and No. 5 seed will meet on Tuesday with the winner moving into Thursday’s semifinals.

HEBER SPRINGS AT POTTSVILLE
Heber Springs 20 17 18 19 - 74
Pottsville    19 13 17 15 - 64
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (74): Jillian Herring 30, Claudia Newberry 21, Libby Stutts 16, Ellie Riddle 3, Mary Shearer 2, Ashley Spanel 2
POTTSVILLE SCORING (64): Shannon Lasey 18, Abbie Cain 14, Julia Reynolds 14, Kimbra Rhodes 6, Rilee Underwood 6, Lindsey Aday 5, Tori Daniel 1
 4A-4 STANDINGS
                 Conference Season
Morrilton            7-1     14-5 
Clarksville          6-2     10-11
Heber Springs        5-3     14-7
Pottsvile            4-4     10-8
Dover                4-4     13-8  
Ozark                1-6     13-8 
Dardanelle           0-7      2-19
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
RECORD: 14-7
4A-4 RECORD: 5-3
November 12 - Heber Springs 55, Nemo Vista 31
November 19 - Heber Springs 70, South Side Bee Branch 45
November 21 - Heber Springs 67, Riverview 27
November 26 - Heber Springs 56, Clinton 54 (OT)
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 47, Heber Springs 44 #
December 5 - Heber Springs 53, South Side Bee Branch 34 #
December 7 - Heber Springs 44, Wonderview 43 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 56 ^
December 13 - Marshall 70, Heber Springs 52
December 16 - Heber Springs 51, White County Central 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 55, Ozark 42 ^
December 26 - Heber Springs 70, DeWitt 34 *
December 27 - Pea Ridge 49, Heber Springs 44 *
December 28 - Mayflower 58, Heber Springs 37 *
January 7 - Pottsville 49, Heber Springs 45 ^
January 9 - Heber Springs 70, Newport 51
January 14 - Heber Springs 47, Dardanelle 29 ^
January 17 - Clarksville 48, Heber Springs 41 ^
January 21 - Morrilton 52, Heber Springs 32 ^
January 24 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 53 ^
January 28 - Heber Springs 74, Pottsville 64 ^
January 31 - at Ozark ^
February 4 - at Dardanelle ^
February 11 - at Morrilton ^
February 14 - Clarksville (Senior Night) ^
February 17 - 4A-4 District at Dardanelle

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest)
(* - Denotes Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Tournament at Heber Springs) 

Lady Panthers hold Dover for key 4A-4 win

Heber Springs’ Ellie Riddle gets past Dover’s Avery Reichert in action Friday night at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

January 24, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The Heber Springs Lady Panthers benefited from adjusting adjusted their perimeter defense against Dover at the Panther Den Friday.

The Lady Panthers (4-3 in 4-4A Conference, 13-7 overall) limited Dover to five 3-pointers and completed a season sweep with a 59-53 victory.

Dover (3-4 in conference, 12-8 overall) made 11 3-pointers earlier this season against Heber Springs.

The win kept the Lady Panthers in a third-place tie with Pottsville and moved one game ahead of Dover in the conference standings. In case a tiebreaker is necessary for seeding at the conference tournament, the Lady Panthers will hold the advantage over Dover.

“The threes kept them in the game at Dover,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “We changed our defense by always having a player defending on the wing. We played mostly man-to-man in the second half to keep them from getting that big scoring run.”

Riddle said the players executed the defensive plan.

“We got lost on some of the threes Dover made because of transition” he said. “Dover found the open gaps. We played well, made free throws down the stretch and got rebounds.”

The Lady Panthers broke out of a recent offensive slump, led by Ellie Riddle, Libby Stutts and Jillian Herring, who scored 44 of the team’s 59 points.

Riddle led the offense with 18 points. Stutts scored 15 points and Herring had 11 points.

Avery Reichert scored 11 points for Dover, while Audrey Reichert finished with 10 points.

“We had one period of the game when we had shots and they would not fall,” Riddle said. “When Dover switched to a man defense, we took advantage of it with field goals in transition or by driving to the basket and drawing a foul.”

Stutts made a 3-pointer midway through the first quarter to break a 6-6 tie. Heber Springs never trailed again. Dover stayed close and pulled within one point twice and led 14-13 going into the second quarter.

Heber Springs increased its lead to eight points, but it never reached double digits. The Lady Panthers withstood Dover’s challenges and had a 34-25 halftime lead.

The Lady Panthers retained the momentum during the third quarter, but Dover didn’t make it easy. The Lady Pirates reduced Heber Springs’ lead to 44-39 going into the fourth quarter.

Dover trailed 46-44 early in the fourth quarter, but it never pulled closer.

“Ellie made shots in transition during the first half,” coach Riddle said. “Jillian and Libby did good jobs driving against Dover for shots in the second half. You need that in close games.”

Heber Springs hopes for a duplicate performance at Pottsville starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

“Every game will be big for the remainder of the season,” Riddle said. “Our focus will be on Pottsville. We should have defeated them earlier at home. We need to play with the same mentality as we did against Dover. We need another win.”

JANUARY 24 BOXSCORE
Dover at Heber Springs
Dover         13  12  14  14 - 53
Heber Springs 14  20  10  15 - 59
DOVER SCORING (53): Avery Reichert 11, Amelia Besterfeldt 10, Audrey Reichert 9, Kaylee Singleton 8, Faith Bowden 5, Gracie Bowden 5, Jacqueline Fields 3, Haley Villareal 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (59): Ellie Riddle 18, Libby Stutts 15, Jillian Herring 11, Claudia Newberry 8, Mary Shearer 4, Ashley Spanel 3

JANUARY 17 BOXSCORE
Heber Springs at Clarksville
Clarksville    14 13  4 17 - 48
Heber Springs   5 11 10 15 - 41
CLARKSVILLE SCORING (48): Autumn Miller 13, Abby Domerese 11, Emmaline Rieder 10, Kenleigh Rieder 9, Myra Smith 5
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (41): Jillian Herring 14, Libby Stutts 13, Claudia Newberry 12, Ashley Spanel 2
 4A-4 STANDINGS
                 Conference Season
Clarksville          6-1     10-10
Morrilton            6-1     13-5
Heber Springs        4-3     13-7
Pottsvile            4-3     10-7
Dover                3-4     12-8  
Ozark                1-6     13-7 
Dardanelle           0-6      2-18
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
RECORD: 13-7
4A-4 RECORD: 4-3
November 12 - Heber Springs 55, Nemo Vista 31
November 19 - Heber Springs 70, South Side Bee Branch 45
November 21 - Heber Springs 67, Riverview 27
November 26 - Heber Springs 56, Clinton 54 (OT)
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 47, Heber Springs 44 #
December 5 - Heber Springs 53, South Side Bee Branch 34 #
December 7 - Heber Springs 44, Wonderview 43 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 56 ^
December 13 - Marshall 70, Heber Springs 52
December 16 - Heber Springs 51, White County Central 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 55, Ozark 42 ^
December 26 - Heber Springs 70, DeWitt 34 *
December 27 - Pea Ridge 49, Heber Springs 44 *
December 28 - Mayflower 58, Heber Springs 37 *
January 7 - Pottsville 49, Heber Springs 45 ^
January 9 - Heber Springs 70, Newport 51
January 14 - Heber Springs 47, Dardanelle 29 ^
January 17 - Clarksville 48, Heber Springs 41 ^
January 21 - Morrilton 52, Heber Springs 32 ^
January 24 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 53 ^
January 28 - at Pottsville ^
January 31 - at Ozark ^
February 4 - at Dardanelle ^
February 11 - at Morrilton ^
February 14 - Clarksville (Senior Night) ^
February 17 - 4A-4 District at Dardanelle

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest)
(* - Denotes Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Tournament at Heber Springs) 

Lady Panthers topple Dardanelle

Heber Springs’ Ellie Riddle (left) drives past a Dardanelle defender during Tuesday action at the Panther Den. MICHELLE McCARTY PHOTO

January 14, 2020

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

It didn’t take long for the Heber Springs Lady Panthers to establish control against Dardanelle at the Panther Den Tuesday.

Libby Stutts and Ashley Spanel each made 3-pointers during the opening two minutes as the Lady Panthers coasted past Dardanelle 47-29 in a 4-4A Conference basketball game.

Heber Springs (3-1 in conference, 12-5 overall) built a 15-0 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Dardanelle (0-4 in conference, 2-16 overall) didn’t score until 5:21 remaining in the first half.

The Lady Panthers led 29-8 at halftime and took a 38-14 lead into the fourth quarter.

Stutts paced a balanced Heber Springs attack with 13 points. Jillian Herring scored nine points and Spanel had eight points.

Abby Apple led Dardanelle with eight points.

“Dardanelle is not having a good year, but it can play and make the game ugly,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “I’m glad we played with a lot of intensity to start the game. The players knew Dardenelle’s record, but they didn’t play that way against them. We made more shots than our last game. We did a good job of running our offenses.”

Riddle said the team improved in two areas from previous games.

“We did a better job of rebounding and played good defense by holding them scoreless in the first quarter and eight points for the first half,” he said. “We used different presses to speed the game up. We wanted to keep the ball from getting inside.”

Riddle said Spanel’s shooting was a pleasant surprise.

“We don’t rely on Ashley to score a lot of points, but she is capable of making shots,” he said. “It was good to see her do that.”

Heber Springs will face one of its toughest challenges this season by playing conference leader Clarksville (5-0 in conference, 9-9 overall) on the road at 6 p.m. Friday.

“We welcome the opportunity to  upset a team at the top  of the conference standings,” Riddle said. “We can do that if we will play with the same intensity against Dardanelle.”

HEBER SPRINGS 47, DARDANELLE 29
Dardanelle     0  8 6 15 - 29
Heber Springs 15 14 9  9 - 47
DARDANELLE SCORING (29): Abby Apple 8, Grace Eidson 5, Anette Navarrete 4, Elizabeth Flores 4, Brooklyn Tidwell 3, Whitley Catlett 3, Ellie Stokes 1.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (47) Libby Stutts 13, Jillian Herring 9, Ashley Spanel 8, Mary Shearer 6, Ellie Riddle 4, Claudia Newberry 5, Lili Chaney 1, Brandy Meredith 1.

JANUARY 9 BOXSCORE
HEBER SPRINGS 70, NEWPORT 51
Heber Springs 25 12 15 18 - 70
Newport       11 12 16 12 - 51
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (70): Jillian Herring 16, Libby Stutts 13, Ashley Spanel 10, Claudia Newberry 9, Ellie Riddle 8, Mary Sherear 6, Kylie Carr 4, Olivia Norton 4
NEWPORT SCORING (51): Jerikah Balentine 10, Kianna Fite 9, Maci Cagle 8, Alicia Neal 7, Hilda Price 5, Taniya Keener 4, Jakayla Dixon 2, Lindsey Marlar 2, Lucy Hernandez 2, Jiniekqua Rackley 2 
4A-4 STANDINGS
                 Conference Season
Clarksville          5-0      9-9
Morrilton            4-1     11-5
Heber Springs        3-1     12-5
Pottsvile            2-2      8-6
Dover                1-3     10-7  
Dardanelle           0-4      2-16
Ozark                0-4     12-5
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
RECORD: 12-5
4A-4 RECORD: 3-1
November 12 - Heber Springs 55, Nemo Vista 31
November 19 - Heber Springs 70, South Side Bee Branch 45
November 21 - Heber Springs 67, Riverview 27
November 26 - Heber Springs 56, Clinton 54 (OT)
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 47, Heber Springs 44 #
December 5 - Heber Springs 53, South Side Bee Branch 34 #
December 7 - Heber Springs 44, Wonderview 43 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 56 ^
December 13 - Marshall 70, Heber Springs 52
December 16 - Heber Springs 51, White County Central 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 55, Ozark 42 ^
December 26 - Heber Springs 70, DeWitt 34 *
December 27 - Pea Ridge 49, Heber Springs 44 *
December 28 - Mayflower 58, Heber Springs 37 *
January 7 - Pottsville 49, Heber Springs 45 ^
January 9 - Heber Springs 70, Newport 51
January 14 - Heber Springs 47, Dardanelle 29 ^
January 17 - at Clarksville ^
January 21 - Morrilton ^
January 24 - Dover ^
January 28 - at Pottsville ^
January 31 - at Ozark ^
February 4 - at Dardanelle ^
February 11 - at Morrilton ^
February 14 - Clarksville (Senior Night) ^
February 17 - 4A-4 District at Dardanelle

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest)
(* - Denotes Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Tournament at Heber Springs) 

Heber Springs senior girls fall to Apaches

Heber Springs’ Claudia Newberry dribbles downcourt against Pottsville during Tuesday’s game at the Panther Den. MICHELLE McCARTY PHOTO

January 7, 2020

BY LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Pottsville’s attempt for a higher-tempo game changed the momentum in the third quarter of Tuesday’s 4-4A Conference basketball game at the Panther Den.

The Heber Springs Lady Panthers built a 19-14 halftime lead, but Pottsville’s 14-4 scoring run during the third quarter proved too much to overcome in the 49-45 loss to the Lady Apaches.

The Lady Panthers, who trailed by eight points midway through the fourth quarter, reduced Pottsville’s lead to 44-42 on LibbyStutts’ 3-pointer with 31 seconds remaining.

The Lady Apaches answered by making 3-of-4 free throws before Heber Springs scored at the buzzer.

“We had good defensive intensity in the first half,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “Pottsville turned up the defensive pressure in the second half. They would score and then we would go to the other end of the floor and missed. Pottsville wanted to speed up the game and not let us get into our offense.”

Claudia Newberry led the Lady Panthers with 18 points. Jillian Herring scored 12 points and Ashley Spanel had 10 points. Lindsey Aday scored 12 points for Pottsville, while Abbie Cain contributed 10 points.

“We went cold in the fourth quarter,” Riddle said. “We got good shots. I was not worried trailing by three points going into the fourth quarter. \Ashley got in foul trouble and Ellie (Riddle) struggled shooting, but we kept working for good shots.”

Spanel’s 3-pointer broke a 4-4 tie ¬†midway through the first quarter. Herring’s field goal increased it, but Pottsville didn’t go away and trailed 11-10 going into the second quarter.

Heber Springs built a three-point lead and maintained it throughout the second quarter. Newberry scored in the final seconds and gave the Lady Panthers a 19-14 halftime lead.

pulled even at 21-21 with a 7-2 scoring run to start the third quarter. The Lady Apaches increased their lead to five points before Newberry scored as Heber Springs trailed 32-29 going into the fourth quarter.

“We needed a turnover after reducing Pottsville’s lead to two points with 31 seconds left,” Riddle said. “We need to put this game behind us, be a little mad about losing and play like we did in the first half against Pottsville in our next game.”

Heber Springs (2-1 in confernce, 10-5 overall) will host Dardanelle in a conference game Tuesday.

POTTSVILLE 49, HEBER SPRINGS 45  
Pottsville    10 4 18 17 - 49  
Heber Springs 11 8 10 16 - 45  
POTTSVILLE SCORING (49): Lindsey Aday 12, Abbie Cain 10, Rilee Underwood 7, Tori Daniel 6, Julie Reynolds 5, Shannon Lasey 5, Kimbra Rhodes 4.    
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (45): Claudia Newberry 18, Jillian Herring 12, Ashley Spanel 10, Libby Stutts 3, Ellie Riddle 2.   
4A-4 STANDINGS
                 Conference Season
Clarksville          3-0      7-9
Morrilton            3-0     10-4
Heber Springs        2-1     10-5
Pottsvile            1-1      7-5
Dardanelle           0-2      2-14
Ozark                0-2     12-3
Dover                0-3      9-7 
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
RECORD: 10-5
4A-4 RECORD: 2-1
November 12 - Heber Springs 55, Nemo Vista 31
November 19 - Heber Springs 70, South Side Bee Branch 45
November 21 - Heber Springs 67, Riverview 27
November 26 - Heber Springs 56, Clinton 54 (OT)
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 47, Heber Springs 44 #
December 5 - Heber Springs 53, South Side Bee Branch 34 #
December 7 - Heber Springs 44, Wonderview 43 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 56 ^
December 13 - Marshall 70, Heber Springs 52
December 16 - Heber Springs 51, White County Central 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 55, Ozark 42 ^
December 26 - Heber Springs 70, DeWitt 34 *
December 27 - Pea Ridge 49, Heber Springs 44 *
December 28 - Mayflower 58, Heber Springs 37 *
January 7 - Pottsville 49, Heber Springs 45 ^
January 14 - Dardanelle ^
January 17 - at Clarksville ^
January 21 - Morrilton ^
January 24 - Dover ^
January 28 - at Pottsville ^
January 31 - at Ozark ^
February 4 - at Dardanelle ^
February 11 - at Morrilton ^
February 14 - Clarksville (Senior Night) ^
February 17 - 4A-4 District at Dardanelle

(# - Denotes Conway St. Joseph Tournament)
(^ - Denotes 4A-4 conference contest)
(* - Denotes Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Tournament at Heber Springs) 

Heber Springs falls to Pea Ridge in semifinals

Heber Springs junior Ellie Riddle looks to get past Pea Ridge’s Blakelee Winn during semifinal action of the Cowboy Chevrolet Heber Springs Holiday Classic. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

December 27, 2019

BY LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The Heber Springs Lady Panthers appeared on path through three quarters for a berth in the Steve Landers Cowboy Chevrolet-Heber Springs Holiday Basketball Classic championship game.

But Pea Ridge regained its shooting eye and held the Lady Panthers without a field goal until two minutes remaining in the game and advanced to the finals with a 49-44 win at the Panther Den Friday.

The Lady Blackhawks (12-2) will play Southside Batesville for the tournament championship at 6:30 p.m. today. Heber Springs (10-3) will meet Mayflower in the third-place game at 4 p.m.

HUSTLE AWARD FOR PEA RIDGE/HEBER SPRINGS GAME: Heber Springs’ Jillian Herring

“Two good teams were playing and we came up one scoring run short,” Heber Springs head coach Jamey Riddle said. “We would make a scoring run, and then Pea Ridge would have a scoring run. We couldn’t get that scoring run in the fourth quarter and Pea Ridge did. We took good shots, but they would not go in.”

Libby Stutts and Jillian Herring each scored 16 points for the Lady Panthers. Blakelee Winn led Pea Ridge with 13 points. Aidan Dayberry scored 11 points and Allisa Short had 10 points.

Claudia Newberry and Stutts started the game with field goals. Herring made a 3-pointer as Pea Ridge, which trailed 7-0, took a timeout early in the first quarter. Heber Springs maintained the lead and took an 11-8 advantage into the second quarter.

The lead changed three times during the second quarter. A three-point play late in the quarter gave Pea Ridge the lead 21-20 at halftime.

Heber Springs dominated the third quarter. The Lady Panthers went on a 20-8 scoring run and led 40-29 going into the fourth quarter.

“We didn’t want to go ice cold late in the game,” Riddle said. “Ellie, Jillian and Ashley (Spanel) took good shots. We didn’t do a good job of rebounding the misses. I don’t believe we had a single offensive rebound in the fourth quarter. You can’t rely on one shot.”

Riddle anticipates a tough game against Mayflower.

“Mayflower didn’t play well against Southside (Batesville) in the semifinals,” he said. “I expect them to be ready for us. It should be a good game. I’m hoping we will come out and play with a lot of energy. We need to have a great game.”

Hailey Bresnahan, who is one of the first players off the bench, didn’t play because of an injured knee. Bresnahan will be examined again next week to determine when she may return.

“We held Hailey out because it’s important to her ready for the conference games,” Riddle said. “Hopefully, she will get healed by then.”