By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY
The Heber Springs Panthers couldn’t overcome a slow start and lost to Ozark 57-28 in a 4-4A Conference basketball game at the Panther Den Friday.
It was the conference opener for the Hillbillies. The Panthers lost their conference opener at Subiaco Academy last week.
Ozark (1-0 in conference, 9-1 overall) built a 16-3 first-quarter lead and never trailed. The Panthers (0-2 in conference, 1-10 overall) picked up the pace during the second quarter. Ozark outscored Heber Springs 14-11 and led 30-14 at halftime.
The Hillbillies didn’t slow down during the second half and increased their lead to 43-22 going into the fourth quarter.
Garrett Schaffer scored a game-high 30 points for Ozark. Jaxson Harris had 12 points. Conner Riddle led the Panthers with 11 points.
Heber Springs will not play again until at Sheridan on Dec. 30. Home games scheduled this week with Newport and Cedar Ridge were canceled.
The next scheduled home game will be against Rose Bud on Jan. 2.
Ozark 16 14 13 14–57
Heber Springs 3 11 8 7–29
Ozark scoring — Garrett Schaffer 30, Jaxson Harris 12, Cooper Watson 4, Vanden Bush 3, Sebastian Ross 3, Jace Richard 3, Kayden McAnally 2.
Heber Springs scoring — Conner Riddle 11, Ryan Crocker 5, Logan Monahan 3, Wyatt Winchester 3, Gus Hannah 2, Dakota Farmer 2, Dylan Screeton 2, Bauer Pruitt 1