Panthers break nonconference streak

Heber Springs’ Jackson West (23) and Kenan Sneed (15) bring down Dover quarterback Kaleb Williams Friday night at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


Heber Springs followed a formula of good execution with no turnovers and opened the door for success.

The Panthers doubled the total offense of the first two games and committed no turnovers in a 42-6 win against Dover at Panther Stadium on Friday and in the process ended an eight game, regular season nonconference losing streak.

Heber Springs (1-2) completed the nonconference schedule and will switch its focus to the 2-4A Conference opener at Lonoke next weekend.

“Good execution has been our goal every game,” Panther head coach Todd Wood said. “We can be a good team when putting things together. We wanted to play a complete game and answered the call. Sometimes when a team is 0-2, it will shut down, but we didn’t do that against Dover.”

Heber Springs gained 444 yards — 134 rushing and 310 passing — and converted 7-of-8 third-down plays.

“We have not done anything on first drives in the first two games and that was important to start this game,” Wood said. “It was a big relief for the team when we did that. We also learned what can happen when you hang onto the ball.”

Wood decided early last week to give senior Matthew Cook his first start at quarterback. Cook had been the backup for the first two games. He completed 16-of-22 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns against the Pirates.

Heber Springs senior quarterback Matthew Cook passed for 310 yards and three touchdowns in his first career start. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

“I challenged Matthew,” Wood said. “We put him in there and proud of his efforts. He gave our offense a different look.”

Cook admitted a case of the nerves in the beginning, but but he said it went away quickly.

“I never started at quarterback before, but I knew I was ready after a good week of practice,” Cook said. “All of the credit goes to my offensive line and the receivers.”

Six Heber Springs receivers caught passes (Hunter Kent 6-44, Nathan McKee 5-80, Diego Rubio 3-66, Isaac Smith 3-29, Easton Cusick 2-79 and Kenan Sneed 1-12).

“It was nice to spread the ball around and not just throw to one or two players,” Wood said. “We want to spread the joy around and be balanced. We wanted to make the defense defend the entire field.”

Cook said the short-range passing game helped him to be more comfortable and sent the offense in motion.

“Scoring on the first drive showed what we can do when we stick together,” he said. “I was looking to throw to all of my receivers.”

Wood also said he was pleased with the play of the defense.

“We played more aggressive on,” he said. “We started the game too flat, and I challenged them to become hitters and take it to Dover.”

Heber Springs sophomore Isaac King attempts to fight off the tackle attempt of Dover’s Tristen Reynolds. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs took the lead with an 11-play, 90-yard drive for its first touchdown. The Panthers overcame two holding penalties as Kent scored on a 14-yard run with 4:37 left in the first quarter.

A fourth-down stop set up another touchdown before the end of the quarter.  Isaac King caught a 10-yard scoring pass and Cook ran for a 2-point conversion, increasing the Panthers’ lead to 14-0 going into the second quarter.

Heber Springs struck again as Cook scored on a 2-yard carry with 6:27 left in the first half. Cook’s touchdown capped a 5-play, 80-yard drive. Chandler Webber kicked the conversion for a 21-0 lead.

The Panthers finished the second quarter with a 10-play, 78-yard touchdown drive. Diego Rubio caught a 36-yard scoring pass from Cook as Heber Springs led 27-0 at halftime.

“It was better atmosphere at halftime than the first two games,” Wood said. “I told them the game was not over. We didn’t want to be satisfied by playing only well only in the first half.”

Heber Springs sent the sportsmanship rule into motion by scoring on a 4-play, 64-yard drive following the second half kickoff. McKee caught a 17-yard touchdown pass with 10:46 remaining in the third quarter. Kent ran for a 2-point conversion.

Rubio’s 19-yard scoring run provided the Panthers’ fourth-quarter touchdown.

Dover avoided a shutout when Kenny Ketcherside scored on a 37-yard run with 3:41 to play.

Due to COVID restrictions, only 100 fans from Heber Springs will be allowed to attend. Those wanting to attend the game in Lonoke must pick up a voucher at the school and then pay at the gate in Lonoke.

Heber Springs senior Hunter Kent attempts to outrun a pair of Dover defenders, Jon Greathouse (14) and Dawson Branch (1), Friday night at Panther Stadium. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


Dover (0-4)           0   0  0  6 -  6
Heber Springs (1-2)  14  13  8  7 - 42
Heber Springs, Hunter Kent 14-yard run (pass failed), 4:37
Heber Springs, Matthew Cook to Isaac King 10-yard pass (Cook run), 7.4 
Heber Springs, Cook 2-yard run (Chandler Webber kick), 6:27
Heber Springs, Cook to Diego Rubio 36-yard pass (kick blocked), 50.9
Heber Springs - Cook to Nathan McKee 17-yard pass (Kent run), 10:46
Heber Springs, Diego Rubio 19-yard run (Webber kick), 11:40
Dover, Kenny Ketcherside 37-yard run (run failed), 3:45

First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 6, Dover 5 
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 10, Dover 0 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 0, Dover 0
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 16, Dover 5 
Third-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 7/8, Dover 4/8
Fourth-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 1/1, Dover 0/1
Red-Zone Conversions: Heber Springs 5/5, Dover 0/0 
Time of Possession: Heber Springs 23:57, Dover 24:03 
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Dover 1/0 
Turnovers: Heber Springs 0, Dover 0      
Points Off Turnovers: Heber Springs 0, Dover 0  
Penalties: Heber Springs 7/70, Dover 5/55  
Plays/Total Offense/YPP: Heber Springs 44/444/10.1, Dover 29/110/3.8
Rushing: Heber Springs 22/134/6.1, Dover 25/113/4.5
Passing: Heber Springs 16/22-310-3/0, Dover 2/4-(-3)-0/0
Sacks/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Dover 0/0 
Punts: Heber Springs 0/0, Dover 4/171/42.8 
Inside 20: Heber Springs 0, Dover 2

RUSHING: Heber Springs, Diego Rubio 9/42/4.7, Hunter Kent 3/32/10.7,  Matthew Cook 5/23, Nathan McKee 2/19, Jackson West 2/15, Isaac King 1/3. Dover, Kaleb Williams 15/55/3.7, Kenny Ketcherside 5/45/9, Dawson Branch 5/13.  
RUSHING RUNS OF 30+: Dover, Kenny Ketcherside (1)
RUSHING RUNS OF 20+: Dover, Kaleb Williams (1)
RUSHING RUNS OF 10+: Heber Springs, Hunter Kent (2), Diego Rubio (1) 
PASSING: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 16/22-310-3/0. Dover, Kaleb Williams 2/4-(-3)-0/0
RECEIVING: Heber Springs, Nathan McKee 5/80, Diego Rubio 3/66, Isaac King 3/29, Easton Cusick 2/79, Hunter Kent 2/44, Kenan Sneed 1/12. Dover, Dawson Branch 2/(-3)  
TOTAL OFFENSE: Heber Springs, Matthew Cook 333, Diego Rubio 42, Hunter Kent 32, Nathan McKee 19, Jackson West 15, Isaac King 3. Dover, Kaleb Williams 52, Kenny Ketcherside 45, Dawson Branch 10.
PUNT RETURNS: Heber Springs, Hunter Kent 2/35.   
KICK RETURNS: Heber Springs, Hunter Kent 1/40, Easton Cusick 1/0. Dover, Jon Greathouse 4/27, Brantley Craig 1/12, Jeremiah Mercer 1/7, Kaleb Williams 1/7  
ALL-PURPOSE YARDS: Heber Springs, Hunter Kent 151, Diego Rubio 108, Nathan McKee 99, Easton Cusick 79, Isaac King 32, Matthew Cook 23, Jackson West 15, Kenan Sneed 12. Dover, Kaleb Williams 62, Kenny Ketcherside 45, Jon Greathouse 27, Brantley Craig 12, Dawson Branch 10, Jeremiah Mercer 7.  
SCORING: Heber Springs, Diego Rubio 12, Matthew Cook 8, Hunter Kent 8, Nathan McKee 6, Isaac King 6, Chandler Webber 2 (2/3 XP/XPA). Dover, Kenny Ketcherside 6
PUNTS/YARDS/AVERAGE/INSIDE THE 20: Heber Springs, None. Dover, Kaleb Williams 4/171/42.8/2

Pirates, Cox return to Panther Stadium

Heber Springs senior running back Diego Rubio gets a block from teammate Hunter Kent(1) in last week’s loss at Harding Academy. Also picture, Harding Academy’s Cooper Welch (45). PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


It’s not a one-game football season, but Friday’s nonconference finale may set the tone going into conference play.

Heber Springs hopes to take a step forward and build momentum for the 2-4A Conference opener with a win against Dover at Panther Field. Kickoff is scheduled at 7 p.m.

The Panthers (0-2) played two of the top ranked Class 3A teams in the first two games — No. 1 Harding Academy and No. 4 Newport.

Dover (0-3) lost its first three games by a combined score of 126-22 to Hector, Atkins and Salem.

“We will be looking for growth against Dover,” Heber Springs head coach Todd Wood said. “We want to settle into the way we want to play on offense and defense during the conference games. We want a win and also show improvement in all areas.”

Dover head coach Will Cox said it was mixed emotions coming back to Panther Stadium. Cox coached the last two years at Heber Springs and was the interim head coach last season.

“Three coaches I worked with closely are still on staff,” Cox said. “I was very close to coach (Drew) Lawrence, (E.G.) Dew and (Hunter) Davis. It will be different being on the other side of the field. But it’s going to be exciting to be back in Heber.”

Cox said emphasis is on the game against the Panthers.

“Our focus will be on ourselves and  building the Dover program in the right way,” he said. “It probably helped with preparation because I coached some of Heber’s players in the past. Those guys can make plays. I’ve got a lot of respect for all of those guys and know what they are capable of doing.”

Heber Springs is averaging 150 yards of offense and four turnovers through two games. Wood plans more personnel changes for Friday’s game, in an attempt fore more production.

“We must have better execution,” Wood said. “We have not had it for an entire game yet. You can’t give up the ball as many times we did in the last two games (eight turnovers) and win.”

Wood noticed more positives in practice and hope it carries over to the game.

“We had good practices,” he said. “We are continuing to learn and trying to figure everything out. It was a positive week.”

Heber Springs senior Matthew Cook at quarterback last week against Harding Academy. Cook is expected to start at quarterback tonight against Dover. Also pictured for Heber Springs is Tristan Thissen (56) blocking a Wildcat defender. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Wood said Matthew Cook, who was the backup for the first two games, will start at quarterback. Sophomore Conner Riddle, who completed 6-of-7 passes for 47 yards against Harding Academy in the second half, also is expected to play.

“Conner played well, but he still has a long way to go,” Wood said. “He is still learning the offense.”

Sophomore Isaac King, who started at safety, played receiver in the second half and may play a bigger role against Dover.

“Isaac stepped in for Nathan McKee at safety and also caught passes (6-47),” Wood said. “He will probably start again at safety and at receiver.”  

Wood said changes are planned for the  offensive and defensive line.

“We don’t have much depth and the injuries are affecting us,” he said. “(Preston) Roberson will probably not play because of a bad back for the second straight week.”

The injury list increased with the loss of Gus Hannah, and Wood said Chris Smith is questionable on the line. Payton Owens is expected to play against Dover, along with the return of McKee.

Dover will depend on Dawson Branch and Brantley Craig from its version of a winged offense. Craig is expected to start at quarterback. The Pirates also will utilize the talents of Jon Greathouse.

“It has been a juggling act,” Cox said when asked about Dover’s offense. “Dawson and Branley have played quarterback. Branley is a dynamic player with speed and settling into the offense.”

Cox said one of the keys to the game will be the play of Dover’s defense.

“We need to tackle well and create turnovers,” he said. “We need to do what is necessary to pick up a win.”

Wood said the Panthers played balanced offenses in the first two games, but Dover will be a different challenge with emphasis on the running game.

“Dover established its running game,” Wood said. “We must do a better job of going to the ball and play more aggressive on defense.”


RADIO/VIDEO STREAMING: 101.9 The Lake. Billy Morgan will handle play-by-play with Lance Hamilton providing the color commentary. Pregame begins at 6:45 with kickoff at 7 p.m. 

Heber Springs vs. Dover 
The Series 
Dover leads 6-3
LAST MEETING: 1997 in Heber Springs, Heber Springs 32, Dover 7
LAST WEEK: Heber Springs lost to Harding Academy, 45-6; Dover lost to Salem, 46-0
TONIGHT: This will be the 10th time these two teams have played each other. The first meeting was in 1987, a 20-14 nonconference victory for Heber Springs. The teams would split four nonconference games from 1987-90, with Dover winning in 1988 (13-7) and 1989 (14-6) and the Panthers winning in 1990, 40-0.
OLD CONFERENCE FOES: The next time Dover and Heber Springs would meet on the gridiron would come in the 1993 season when the Panthers and Pirates meet as members of the 4AA-East conference for three seasons, with Dover winning all three. The two teams would remained paired in the new 5AA-North conference for two seasons (1996-1997) with the teams splitting those two games. 
HIATUS: Tonight's game is the final nonconference contest for the Panthers and Pirates. Newport and Dover replaced Greenbrier and Clinton (now in the same conference). Heber Springs has lost to Newport (45-6) and Harding Academy (45-6) while Dover has lost to Hector, 30-8 in week 0; Atkins, 48-14, in week 1; and Salem, 46-0 in week 2. Dover is idle next week after conference-foe Subiaco Academy opted to play 8-man football this season giving the Pirates the opportunity to play four nonconference games.  
NONCONFERENCE WOES: Heber Springs has lost eight consecutive regular-season nonconference games. The Panthers last regular season nonconference win came on Sept. 15, 2017, at Panther Stadium against Harding Academy, 35-14. 
LOSING STREAK: Dover has lost 13 consecutive games. The Pirates last win came on Nov. 1, 2018 with a 46-42 victory over Waldron.  

-- Notes by Philip Seaton

Junior Panthers sink Pirates

Heber Springs’ Parker Brown brings down Dover’s Draxton Mediano. Heber Springs held Dover to minus 8 yards in the first half. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


Heber Springs finished with more than 400 yards of total offense and held Dover to negative yards in the first half in a 30-8 road victory.

Liam Buffalo was 14 of 21 passing for 291 yards and two touchdowns with Parker Brown catching two of Buffalo’s passes for 99 yards and a score and Dalton Yancey catching three balls for 91 yards and a score for the Panthers.

While the offense was efficient, it was the defense that kept the Pirates at bay, especially in the first half where Dover recorded zero first downs on one of five passing for minus seven yard and for a one-yard loss on nine rushing attempts.

Dover avoided the shutout with a 3-yard touchdown run by Draxton Mediano 31 seconds left in the contest.

“We started playing real sloppy in the second half,” Heber Springs coach James Ortiz said. “Wish we could have left the goose egg up there, but we tried to get some more guys out there and for some others to get some reaps. 

“Overall the defense was great. We came out with confidence and excitement, and played great.”

The Panthers got on the board with 3:31 left in the first quarter when Dalton Yancey scored his first-ever touchdown with a 3-yard run. Buffalo connected with Yancey for the 2-point conversion.

Heber Springs’ Gideon Tate. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

After holding Dover to a three-and-out, Heber Springs marched 81 yards on seven plays. Buffalo found Weston Warden for a 12-yard pass completion on first down from the Panther 19. On third down from the Panther 35, Warden ran for 17 yards followed by an 18-yard pass completion to Yancey and a 28-yard strike to Brown to put the ball on the Dover 2. From there, Brown carried the ball over to make it 16-0 with 7:09 left in the half after the 2-point conversion pass from Buffalo to Brown.

The Panthers went up 23-0 with 4:08 left in the quarter after Buffalo connected with Yancey on a 70-yard pass play. Gideon Tate kicked the PAT.

Heber Springs threatened to score again right before the half before the clocked ended the drive at the Dover 14.

After a scoreless third quarter, the Panthers added another score when Buffalo connected with Brown for a 71-yard touchdown. Tate kicked the extra point to make it 30-0 with 5:52 left.

“Our offense was spectacular,” Ortiz said. “We got bogged once or twice, but those are very fixable problems.”

Yancey finished with 135 all-purpose yards for the Panthers while Brown had 125 all-purpose yards and added a sack on defense.

Heber Springs will host Lonoke at 7 p.m. Thursday in the 2-4A conference opener.

“We are going to be ready for it,” Ortiz said. “We’ll be prepared for our conference and it’s just a matter of getting them prepared and ready to go.”

Heber Springs’ Dalton Yancey. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO


Junior High Football 
September 17, 2020  
Heber Springs     8  15   0   7 - 30 
Dover             0   0   0   8 -  8 
Heber Springs, Dalton Yancey 3-yard run (Liam Buffalo to Yancey pass), 3:31
Heber Springs, Parker Brown 2-yard run (Buffalo to Brown pass), 7:09
Heber Springs, Buffalo to Yancey 70-yard pass (Gideon Tate kick), 4:08
Heber Springs, Buffalo to Brown 71-yard pass (Tate kick), 5:52
Dover, Draxton Mediano 3-yard run (Landon Meador run), :31

First Downs by Rush: Heber Springs 6, Dover 7
First Downs by Pass: Heber Springs 9, Dover 0 
First Downs by Penalty: Heber Springs 0, Dover 0 
Total First Downs: Heber Springs 15, Dover 7
Penalties: Heber Springs 5/40, Dover 3/20 
3rd-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 3/5, Dover 2/8 
4th-Down Conversions: Heber Springs 1/2, Dover 1/2
Fumbles/Lost: Heber Springs 1/1, Dover 0/0 
Sacked/Yards Lost: Heber Springs 0/0, Dover 1/9
Total Offense: Heber Springs 422, Dover 91
Rush/Yards/Avg: Heber Springs 14/112/8, Dover 23/76/3.3
Passing (A/C-Yards-TD/Int): Heber Springs 15/22-310-2/0, Dover 5/14-15-0/1
Punts: Heber Springs 0, Dover 4/153/38.3
Rushing: Heber Springs, Dalton Yancey 3/44, Gideon Tate 4/28, Parker Brown 3/26, Weston Warden 4/14. Dover, Draxton Mediano 11/60, Drew Masters 7/12, Landen Canfield 1/2, Talvin Leavell 4/2.
Passing: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 14/21-291-2/0, Zachary Parker 1/1-19-0/0. Dover, Talvin Leavell 5/14-15-0/1.
Receiving: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 2/99, Dalton Yancey 3/91, Weston Warden 4/42, Bryce Seigrist 2/35, Xander Lindley 2/25, Hud Haggard 2/18. Dover, Landen Canfield 1/11, Colton Shuffield 3/2, Draxton Mediano 1/2.
Kickoff Returns: Heber Springs, Corbin Jones 1/0. Dover, Colton Shuffield 2/65, Landen Canfield 2/20
Punt Returns: Heber Springs, Xander Lindley 1/13
Interceptions: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 1/0 
Total Offense: Heber Springs, Liam Buffalo 291, Dalton Yancey 44, Gideon Tate 28, Parker Brown 26, Zachary Parker 19, Weston Warden 14. Dover, Draxton Mediano 60, Talvin Leavell 17, Drew Masters 12, Landen Canfield 2
All-Purpose Yards: Heber Springs, Dalton Yancey 135, Parker Brown 125, Weston Warden 56, Xander Lindley 38, Bryce Seagrist 35, Gideon Tate 28, Hud Haggard 18. Dover, Draxton Mediano 62, Colton Shuffield 62, Landen Canfield 33, Drew Masters 12, Talvin Leavell 2.
SACKS/YARDS LOST: Heber Springs, Parker Brown 1/9 
PUNTS: Dover, Talvin Leavell 4/153/38.2 
KICKING: Heber Springs, Gideon Tate (2/2 XP) 

Panther seventh-graders top Dover for first win

Heber Springs’ Joel Atwood carries the ball as Dover’s Preston Shuffield gives chase in seventh-grade action. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Jacob Haskett scored four times and Emmett Dwyer threw a pair of touchdown passes as the Heber Springs seventh-grade team claim a 36-8 victory at Dover on Thursday.

The win improved the Panther Cubs to 1-1 on the year.

Heber Springs struck early. After a Dwyer intercepted a Dover pass attempt, Haskett would later score on a 31-yard run to make it 6-0 with 16:10 left in the first half. Dwyer connected with Seth Dudeck for the 2-point conversion.

Heber Spring’s Emmett Dwyer looks downfield as Dover’s Jonas Story purses him. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

The Panthers would score on their next possession as Haskett raced 39 yards for the score with 8:10 left in the half. Dwyer connected with Gavin Widner on the 2-point conversion to make it 16-0.

Heber Springs scored one more time in the first half to lead 22-0 at the break. After a Widner interception, Haskett would carry the ball from 37 yards out with 18 seconds left in the half.

The Panthers got the ball to start the second half and didn’t waste any time getting another score as Dwyer connected with Haskett on a 70-yard pass. Dwyer ran in the 2-point conversion with 19:25 to make it 30-0.

Heber Springs’ final tally came at the 11:55 mark when Dwyer connected with John Wilson for a 55-yard touchdown pass. The 2-point conversion failed.

Dover added a late score to avoid the shutout when Gavin Hampton intercepted a Panther pass attempt and returned it 35 yards for a touchdown. Keagan Hampton added the 2-point conversion at the 5:05 for the Pirates.

Heber Springs returns to action on Thursday when it hosts Lonoke at Panther Stadium beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Heber Springs’s Gavin Widner gets a block from teammate Nate Eaton (42) on Dover’s Chris Newman in seventh-grade action. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

Heber Springs host Pottsville in 4A-4 play

March 8, 2020

Heber Springs returns to 4A-4 action on Monday when the Panthers host Pottsville at 4:30 p.m. at the Heber Springs Sports Complex.

The game was originally scheduled for Friday but was pushed back because Pottsville was in the 4A state basketball tournament.

Heber Springs opened conference play on March 3 with a 13-3 setback at Dover (1-2 overall, 1-1 in 4A-4).

The Panthers and Pirates were tied at 3-all heading into the bottom of the fourth before Dover plated 10 unanswered and run-ruled Heber Springs.

The Panthers struck first in the top of the first as Alec Kelley walked and would later score on a double steal.

Dover will would tie things up in the bottom of the frame with a triple and a single off Heber Springs starter Garrett Hudspeth.

After a quiet second for the Panthers, a lead-off walk and back-t0-back singles would give Dover a 3-1 advantage heading into the third.

The score would remain that way until the fourth when Matthew Cook lead off by reaching on an error and scoring on an Hudspeth double. Fate Berry followed with a single driving Hudspeth for the Panthers final runs of the afternoon.

In the bottom of the fourth Dover would plate four runs, after a lead-off walk, a double and two errors would help push across four Pirate runs.

In the fifth, two more Panther errors and four doubles helped Dover end the contest with six runs in the inning.

Heber Springs had three hits on the night with Berry going 2-for-2 with an RBI.

Hudspeth struck out five but walked four in getting the loss in three plus innings of work.

Dover used five Panther errors and 12 hits to plate five earned runs.

March 3
Heber Springs    100 20 -  3  3  5
Dover            120 46 - 13 12  1
Note: 1-out when winning run scored
WP: Dawson Branch
LP: Garrett Hudspeth (1-1)
HEBER SPRINGS HIGHLIGHTS: Fate Berry 2-for-2 with an RBI; Garrett Hudspeth, RBI double with run scored; Alec Kelley, run scored
DOVER HIGHLIGHTS: Dawson Branch 2-for-3, double, triple, RBI and two runs scored; Brock Payne, 2-for-4 with a double, three RBIs, and a run scored; Josh Besterfeldt, two runs scored; Kaleb Williams 1-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and two RBIs; Lance Millsaps 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored; Jeremy Robinson, RBI double, run scored; Jayce Sharp 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored; and Jon Greathouse 2-for-3 with a double and two runs scored.
PITCHING: Heber Springs, Hudsepth 3 2/3 innings pitched, six hits, seven runs, three earned runs, five strikeouts, four walks; Alec Kelley 2/3 IP, five hits, six runs, two earned runs, one strikeout; Matthew Cook, faced one batter and gave up a hit; Dover, Dawson Branch 5 innings pitched, three hits, three runs, two earned runs, seven strikeouts and one walk.
4A-4 RECORD: 0-1
March 2   Heber Springs 7, West Side Greers Ferry 5
March 3   Dover 13, Heber Springs 3 *
March 9   Pottsville *                 4:30 p.m.
March 10  at Ozark *                   4:30 p.m.
March 13  Subiaco Academy *            4:30 p.m.
March 16  at Harding Academy           4:30 p.m.
March 17  Dardanelle *                 5 p.m.
March 19  at Pangburn Tournament
March 20  at Clarksville *             4 p.m.
March 21  at Pangburn Tournament 
March 31  Morrilton *                  4 p.m.
April 3   Dover *                      4:30 p.m.
April 7   at Pottsville *              4:30 p.m.
April 9   Ozark *                      4:30 p.m.
April 14  at Dardanelle *              5 p.m.
April 17  at Subiaco  Academy *        4:30 p.m.
April 21  at Morrilton *               4 p.m.
April 23  at Clinton                   6 p.m.
April 24  Clarksville *                4 p.m.
April 27  4A-4 Tournament at Dover

(* - Denotes 4A-4 Conference contest)
(Note: Games and times are subject to change)

Panthers head to district tournament as No. 4 seed

February 10, 2020

The Heber Springs junior high boys closed out their regular season with a 46-24 victory over Subiaco Academy Friday night at the Panther Den.

Eli Riggs (11) and Conner Riddle (10) each finished in double figures as the Panthers led 24-14 at the half and 41-22 at the end of three quarters.

Heber Springs finished the season as No. 4 seed and will open the 4A-4 District tournament today at Ozark. The Panthers will play Dover at 5 p.m. The Pirates defeated Heber Springs at the Marshall tournament, 43-36, and on January 24 at Heber Springs, 39-28, while the Panthers won at Dover on December 10, 45-33.

The winner of the Dover/Heber Springs contest will play at 5:30 p.m. in the semifinals at Ozark.

February 7
Subiaco Academy   4  10  8  2 - 24
Heber Springs     9  15 17  5 - 46
SUBIACO ACADEMY SCORING (24): B. Koch 9, G. Vargas 8, M. Mayeux 4, L. Hess 3
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (46): Eli Riggs 11, Conner Riddle 10, Ladd Choate 7, Xander Lindley 6, Luke Greenwald 4, Bent McClain 4, Hud Haggard 2, Bauer Pruitt 2

February 6
CEDAR RIDGE SCORING (10): No. 14 4, No. 31 2, No. 5 2, No. 44 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (30): Hud Haggard 12, Easton Cusick 10, Wyatt Winchester 6, Ladd Choate 2

February 4
Dardanelle      22  12  9   1 - 44
Heber Springs    4   5  7  13 - 29
DARDANELLE SCORING (44): Braden Tanner 12, Robert Millard 10, Drew Vega 7, Chase Jordan 6, Holt 5, Trenton Whitecotton 4
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (29): Hud Haggard 12, Conner Riddle 7, Ladd Choate 6, Bauer Pruitt 2, Bent McClain 2

January 31
Ozark         20  19  16  7 - 62
Heber Springs  9   8  14  7 - 33
OZARK SCORING (62): Watson 22, Shaffer 11, Masingale 10, Peters 5, Archer 4, Wright 3, Cowell 3, Stane 2, Parker 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (33): Conner Riddle 12, Eli Riggs 8, Bent McClain 6, Bauer Pruitt 5, Wyatt Winchester 3, Hud Haggard 2, Ladd Choate 2
COACH: Chad Johnson
4A-4 RECORD: 3-6
November 9 - Greenbrier 37, Heber Springs 17 ^
November 12 - Nemo Vista 45, Heber Springs 37
November 13 - Heber Springs 54, Yellville-Summit 50 ^
November 14 - Dover 43, Heber Springs 36 ^
November 19 - Heber Springs 44, South Side Bee Branch 38
November 21 - Riverview 51, Heber Springs 21
November 23 - Cabot South 8th 37, Heber Springs 33 *
November 23 - Conway Blue 71, Heber Springs 39 *
November 26 - Clinton 44, Heber Springs 27
December 10 - Heber Springs 45, Dover 33 #
December 13 - Marshall 46, Heber Springs 38
December 16 - Heber Springs 36, White County Central 35
December 20 - Ozark 46, Heber Springs 28 #
January 7 - Pottsville 51, Heber Springs 35 #
January 10 - Heber Springs 33, Subiaco Academy 3 #
January 14 - Dardanelle 43, Heber Springs 17 #
January 16 - Mount Vernon-Enola 44, Heber Springs 41 (OT)
January 24 - Dover 39, Heber Springs 28 #
January 27 - Mayflower 52, Heber Springs 20
January 28 - Pottsville 59, Heber Springs 28 #
January 31 - Ozark 62, Heber Springs 33 #
February 4 - Dardanelle 44, Heber Springs 29 #
February 7 - Heber Springs 46, Subiaco Academy 24 #
February 10 - Heber Springs vs. Dover $

(^ - Denotes Marshall Tournament)
(* - Denotes Heber Springs Tournament)
(# - Denotes 4A-4 Conference Game) 
($ - Denotes 4A-4 District Tournament at Ozark)

Dover junior boys basketball 2019-20 roster

January 15, 2020

0    Landon Canfield          8th
1    Wesley Dale              9th
3    Gavin Reichert           9th
4    Colton Shuffield         8th
11   Eli Jacobs               9th
13   Christian Walker         8th
14   Presson Davis            8th
15   Lane Standridge          8th
20   Landen Meador            8th
21   Bentley Craig            9th
22   Caleb Krentz             9th
23   Josh Soto                9th
24   Joseph Mathews           9th
30   Logan Lozeau             8th
34   Cody Vickers             9th
44   Garrett Engebrecht       9th
45   Ryder Payne              9th
Head Coach: Andrew Vire
Assistant Coach: Ben Stiles
Athletic Director: Wes McCrotty
Principal: Jo Lynn Taverner

Panthers drop heartbreaker to Pirates

Heber Springs’ Adam Martin dribbles to the basket past Dover’s Robbie Flowers at the Panther Den Friday night. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

JANUARY 24, 2020


Dover’s outside-inside combination of Josh Besterfeldt and Caden Frazier prevailed in the final minute against the Heber Springs Panthers at the Panther Den Friday.

Besterfeldt made a 3-pointer to give Dover a 51-49 lead with 49 seconds left in the game as the Pirates defeated Heber Springs 55-50 in a 4-4A Conference basketball game.

Frazier and Ross Laffoon led Dover with 15 points. Besterfeldt had 14 points. Dalton McCollum scored 22 points for the Panthers, followed by Adam Martin with 21 points.

“We did a good job of taking Besterfeldt out of the game until late,” Heber Springs coach Chad Johnson said. “Dover adjusted and got the ball to Frazier on the onside and we don’t have a players with height that could match up against him. We tried to double-team Frazier, but he would pass the ball back to Besterfeldt.”

McCollum and Martin, who are the team’s leading scorers on the season, each fouled out in the final two minutes.

“It hurt losing them late in the game,” Johnson said. “They always give the team great leadership and they are good ballhandlers.”

McCollum’s field goal started a 12-4 scoring run midway through the first quarter. The Panthers led 18-11 going into the second quarter.

Heber Springs increased its lead to 27-17 late in the first half. Dover responded by scoring two field goals as the Panthers led 27-21 at halftime.

The third quarter remained close and Heber Springs emerged with a 39-33 lead going into the fourth quarter.

“We played with a lot of intensity throughout the game,” Johnson said. “The players loved the big crowd and the loud student section. They were playing for the crowd, which inspired them. I’m proud of the way they played.”

Heber Springs (1-7 in conference, 1-17 overall) face a two-game road trip. The Panthers will play at Pottsville Tuesday and then go to Ozark on Friday.

“We will be playing two good teams,” Johnson said. “Both games will be tough matchups.”

Dover at Heber Springs
Dover         11 10 12 22 - 55
Heber Springs 18  9 12 11 - 50
DOVER SCORING (55): Caden Frazier 15, Russ Laffoon 15, Josh Besterfeldt 14, Leighton Alexander 7, Robbie Flowers 3, Landen Parker 1
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (50): Dalton McCollum 24, Adam Martin 21, Garrett Hudspeth 4, Zach Thomas 1

Heber Springs at Clarksville
Clarksville  11 9 17 1 - 38
Heber Springs 9 9 14 0 - 32
CLARKSVILLE SCORING (38): Braden Payne 10, Garrett Waddill 6, John Case 6, Owen Ashlock 6, Cameron Patterson 5, Miles Castleman 5
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (32): Dalton McCollum 16, Garrett Hudspeth 8, Wyatt Sanders 3, Logan Monahan 3, Zach Thomas 2

Heber Springs at Subiaco Academy
Subiaco Academy 15 4 18 10 - 47
Heber Springs    4 7  2 15 - 28
SUBIACO ACADEMY SCORING (47): Johnathan Mercera 12, Jackson Frederick 11, Conner King 10, Ivan Martijn 8, Jude Percy-Allen 2, Jeadan Nieveld 2, Justin Luidens 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (28): Dalton McCollum 14, Adam Martin 8, Wyatt Sanders 4, Garrett Hudspeth 2
                 Conference Season
Morrilton            7-1     15-6
Ozark                6-2     13-7
Dardanelle           6-2     19-2 
Pottsville           4-4      6-10
Clarksville          4-4      8-12
Subiaco Academy      3-5      7-12
Heber Springs        1-7      1-17
Dover                1-7      5-16  
RECORD: 1-17
4A-4 RECORD: 1-7
November 21 - Riverview 68, Heber Springs 36
November 26 - Clinton 71, Heber Springs 35
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 44, Heber Springs 21 #
December 5 - South Side Bee Branch 50, Heber Springs 49 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 37, Dover 32 ^
December 12 - South Side Bee Branch 64, Heber Springs 53
December 13 - Marshall 69, Heber Springs 43
December 16 - White County Central 65, Heber Springs 43
December 20 - Ozark 69, Heber Springs 34 ^
December 26 - Rose Bud 68, Heber Springs 65 (OT) *
December 27 - Batesville 72, Heber Springs 60 *
December 28 - Mayflower 66, Heber Springs 41 *
January 7 - Pottsville 59, Heber Springs 26 ^
January 10 - Subiaco Academy 47, Heber Springs 28 ^
January 14 - Dardanelle 70, Heber Springs 13 ^
January 17 - Clarksville 38, Heber Springs 32 ^
January 21 - Morrilton 58, Heber Springs 43 ^
January 24 - Dover 55, Heber Springs 50 ^
January 28 - at Pottsville ^
January 31 - at Ozark ^
February 4 - at Dardanelle ^
February 7 - Subiaco Academy ^
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) 
(* - Steve Landers' Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Classic 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


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.”

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

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
                 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
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) 

Dover tops Heber Springs junior boys

Heber Springs’ Eli Riggs dribbles past Dover’s Landon Canfield Friday night at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

January 24, 2020

A rough second quarter cost the Panthers Friday night at the Panther Den as Dover claimed a 39-28 victory in junior boys action.

It was the second time this season Dover has beaten Heber Springs, the Panthers had won the conference opener at Dover on Dec. 10, but fell at the Marshall junior high tournament in November.

Conner Riddle finished with 13 points in a losing effort as the Panthers trailed 16-9 at the half and 27-20 at the end of three quarters of play.

Dover          12  4 11 12 - 39
Heber Springs   9  0 11  8 - 28
DOVER SCORING (39): Caleb Krentz 11, Brantley Craig 10, Lane Standridge 5, Wesley Dale 5, Landon Canfield 3, Cody Vickers 3, Joseph Mathews 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (28): Conner Riddle 13, Eli Riggs 8, Luke Greenwald 5, Bauer Pruitt 2
COACH: Chad Johnson
4A-4 RECORD: 2-3
November 9 - Greenbrier 37, Heber Springs 17 ^
November 12 - Nemo Vista 45, Heber Springs 37
November 13 - Heber Springs 54, Yellville-Summit 50 ^
November 14 - Dover 43, Heber Springs 36 ^
November 19 - Heber Springs 44, South Side Bee Branch 38
November 21 - Riverview 51, Heber Springs 21
November 23 - Cabot South 8th 37, Heber Springs 33 *
November 23 - Conway Blue 71, Heber Springs 39 *
November 26 - Clinton 44, Heber Springs 27
December 10 - Heber Springs 45, Dover 33 #
December 13 - Marshall 46, Heber Springs 38
December 16 - Heber Springs 36, White County Central 35
December 20 - Ozark 46, Heber Springs 28 #
January 7 - Pottsville 51, Heber Springs 35 #
January 10 - Heber Springs 33, Subiaco Academy 3 #
January 14 - Dardanelle 43, Heber Springs 17 #
January 16 - Mount Vernon-Enola 44, Heber Springs 41 (OT)
January 24 - Dover 39, Heber Springs 28 #
January 27 - at Mayflower
January 28 - at Pottsville #
January 31 - at Ozark #
February 3 - Quitman
February 4 - at Dardanelle #
Februaryr 7 - Subiaco Academy #
February 10 - District Tournament at Ozark

(^ - Denotes Marshall Tournament)
(* - Denotes Heber Springs Tournament)
(# - Denotes 4A-4 Conference Game)