Panther seventh-grade girls finish strong

Heber Springs’ Taylor Parker looks to get rid of the basketball in action earlier this season at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON FILE PHOTO

February 14, 2020

The Heber Springs seventh-grade girls basketball team started slow but showed great improvement over the course of the season.

Heber Springs coach Jay Moore said that this was the first time most of his team had played together.

“Half of my girls said that this was their first year to experience basketball, just playing the game,” he said. “I felt like we started way behind as far as learning to play with each other. We went from the first game where we could hardly inbound the basketball to beating a team that had beaten us earlier in the season.”

That team was Cedar Ridge, whom the Panthers beat on Feb. 6 at the Panther Den, 14-6.

“The only thing they are lacking in my opinion is to just go out there and play as hard as they can and believe in themselves,” Moore said. “The last couple of games of the season the effort really showed.

“We struggled to score in the early part of the season, and the last couple of games, we average in the teens close to 20 points so definitely a lot of improvement.”

February 6
CEDAR RIDGE SCORING (9): No. 25 7, No. 3 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (14): Jovie Smithson 5, Kinnison Prince 4, Taylor Parker 4, Baleigh Burchfield 1

Clinton        7 12  6  7 - 32
Heber Springs  2  6  5  2 - 15
CLINTON SCORING (32): Gresham 14, Long 8, Collins 6, Shaver 4 
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (15): Baileigh Burchfield 5, Kinnison Prince 4, Taylor Parker 2, Kaitlyn Pierce 2, Faelen Evans 2 

Panther 7th-grade boys finish season with 8-1 mark

Heber Springs’ Weston Warden dribbles past at Mount Vernon-Enola defender in seventh-grade action at the Panther Den this past season. PHILIP SEATON FILE PHOTO

February 14, 2020

The Heber Springs seventh-grade boys basketball team closed out its season on February 6th with a victory over Cedar Ridge.

The Panthers finished the season with an 8-1 mark with several games canceled due to weather and one game with Quitman because of the flu.

Heber Springs coach Dusty West was pleased with how the season went for the Cubs.

“This group showed promise and a lot potential,” West said. “The class has some good guard play, got some bigs (post players) and gives us something to look forward to toward the future. If that core groups stays together, Heber basketball is about to improve.”

January 30 
Southside Batesville  3  7   4  5 - 19 
Heber Springs         9  6  15  7 - 37 
SOUTHSIDE BATESVILLE SCORING (19): Kiefer 8, Calhoun 5, Force 3, Keeling 2, German 1 
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (37): Liam Buffalo 16, Ty West 5, Jude Herring 4, Weston Warden 3, Braden Biggs 3, Lawson Greenwald 3, Cooper Cantrell 3 

January 27 
Mayflower      8  10 - 18 
Heber Springs  6  14 - 20 
MAYFLOWER SCORING (18): No. 35 9, No. 20 5, No. 11 2, No. 10 1, No. 21 1 
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (20): Liam Buffalo 7, Ty West 6, Weston Warden 3, Jude Herring 2, Jacob Harrod 2  

Hamilton signs with Lyon Cheer

Heber Springs’ Gentry Hamilton is all smiles after signing with Lyon College at a ceremony before the “Black-Out” Pep Rally. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

February 14, 2020

Heber Springs senior Gentry Hamilton is following in her big sister’s footsteps after signing with Lyon College’s Cheer and Dance in ceremony in the old gymnasium.

Hamilton’s sister, Lawson, was a cheerleader at the Batesville school and it was no-brainer for her to want to attend the college.

“My sister cheered for Lyon about five years ago, so I already knew the program well,” Hamilton said. “I really like that it is a small school and it’s all intimate. I like that and I feel like I’ll get to know everyone a lot quicker.”

It will help that several of her classmates will be attending Lyon College, including basketball standout Libby Stutts.

Hamilton is also a catcher for the Heber Springs softball team.

“She is probably going to be my roommate,” Hamilton said.

The senior, who is also the starting catcher on the softball team, has been cheering for seven years and received a Trustee’s Scholarship to the private college.

“I am pretty excited about it,” Hamilton said.

The daughter of Lance and Kellie Hamilton, Gentry plans on majoring in biology and going into marine biology after that.

Jennifer Arnold is the cheer coach for the NAIA school in Batesville.



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


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.”

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. 

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

Panthers fall to Clarksville on Senior Night

Heber Springs’ Adam Martin looks to get past a Clarksville defender in action at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

February 14, 2020


The Heber Springs Panthers finished the regular season with a 77-54 loss to Clarksville at the Panther Den on Friday.

Heber Springs (1-13 in 4-4A Conference, 1-23 overall) and Dover tied for eighth place. The Panthers were awarded the No. 7 seed for the conference tournament by winning a coin toss and now switch their focus to the 4-4A Conference basketball tournament.

The Panthers will play Subiaco Academy in the first round of the tournament at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Wyatt Sanders, Dalton McCollum and Adam Martin were among the seniors recognized between the girls’ and boys’ games.

Heber Springs coach Chad Johnson said Sanders tore tendons in his ankle.

Sanders stepped on the court for the opening tip-off and received a pass before returning to the bench.

“We wanted to honor him (Sanders) at the beginning of the game,” Johnson said. “It was very emotional to say goodbye to he and the other seniors.”

Clarksville started the game by making three 3-pointers. The Panthers called timeout and changed from a zone defense to a man-to-man.

Heber Springs outscored Clarksville 9-8 for the remainder of the first quarter and trailed 17-9 going into the second quarter.

“We played the man defense well,” Johnson said. “We ran out of gas during the second half. The players played with a lot heart. This team will never quit and they will play until the end of the game.”

Clarksville defeated the Panthers by five points, but Cole Clark, who scored 17 points in Friday’s game,  didn’t play in the game at Clarksville.

Martin scored 20 points for the Panthers. McCollum had 13 points and Garrett Hudspeth finished with 12 points. Garrett Waddill led Clarksville with 21 points. Braden Payne had 18 points.

“The first game was more of a defensive battle,” Johnson said. “The offenses were clicking for both teams in this game. Clarksville likes to shoot 3-pointers and made 11 for the game.

Hudspeth connected on a jumper and reduced Clarksville’s lead to 17-11 early in the second quarter.

Clarksville regained the momentum and increased the lead to 10 points.

Heber Springs pulled to within 23-18, but Clarksville held on and took a 26-20 halftime lead.

Clarksville dominated the third quarter, outscored Heber Springs 30-17, and led 56-27 going into the fourth quarter.

Johnson said the team will move forward and focus on the tournament.

“We will take the same approach like the regular season for Tuesday’s game,” he said. “The players will battle. We hope to surprise teams at the tournament.”

Clarksville  17  9 30 21 - 77
Heber Springs 9 11 17 17 - 54
CLARKSVILLE SCORING (77): Garrett Waddill 21, Braden Payne 18, Cole Clark 17, Miles Castleman 8, Owen Ashlock 6, John Case 5, Gabe Gregory 2.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (54): Adam Martin 20, Dalton McCollum 13, Garrett Hudspeth 12, Zach Thomas 8.  

at Morrilton
Heber Springs  6   7   8   7 - 28
Morrilton     16  23  11  14 - 64
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (28): Dalton McCollum 14, Adam Martin 6, Wyatt Sanders 6, Zach Thomas 2
MORRILTON SCORING (64): Devin Foster 13, Riley Wade 12, Nevin Williams 9, Darrius Allison 7, Nate Zachary 6, Keevon Moore 5, Julian Brockman 4, Bugg Rector 4, Markel Swinton 2, B.J. Black 2
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 - Pottsville 68, Heber Springs 49 ^
January 31 - Ozark 60, Heber Springs 29 ^
February 4 - Dardanelle 67, Heber Springs 47 ^
February 7 - Subiaco Academy 54, Heber Springs 23 ^
February 11 - Morrilton 64, Heber Springs 28 ^
February 14 - Clarksville 77, Heber Springs 54 ^
February 17 - Subiaco Academy 69, Heber Springs 40 $

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