Lady Panthers close out Clarksville on Senior Night

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs provided the right responses against Clarksville during the final minute of Tuesday’s 4-4A Conference basketball game at the Panther Den.

Senior Ellie Riddle scored on a length of the court drive to regain the lead and Jaylea Hooten blocked an attempted 3-pointer by Clarksville’s Shelby Ross as the Lady Panthers celebrated senior night with a 59-55 win.

Ross, who made four 3-pointers during the fourth quarter, connected from behind the circle left wing and gave Clarksville a 55-54 lead with 1:45 left in the game.

Riddle intercepted a pass at the top of the free-throw line, dribbled the length of the court and made a lay-up with 1:05 to play.

Sophie Stone retrieved Hooten’s blocked shot, drew a foul and made two free throws for a 58-55 lead with 39 seconds remaining.

Clarksville called timeout with 13.9 seconds. Ross attempted a 3-pointer, but Hooten jumped and blocked the shot. Kylie Carr retrieved the ball and drew a foul. Carr hit 1-of-2 free throws with nine seconds to go.

“Clarksville got hot at the end of the game and made shots,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “We responded every time. We would not have did that two weeks ago. This team is continuing to grow and improve.”

Ellie Riddle led all scorers by scoring 18 points for the Lady Panthers. Sophie Stone, who made two 3-pointers, contributed 16 points. Hailey Bresnahan had 11 points, and Hooten contributed 10 points.

“We fell behind by one point late in the game, but Ellie was able to score quickly to get it back,” Jamey Riddle said. “Sophie made big free throws down the stretch. Our defensive intensity was good. We have been waiting on Hailey to get going, and she did in the second half. It was good to see her play well. Sophie, Ellie and Jaylea also played well.”

Autumn Miller scored 15 points for Clarksville. Ross finished with 14 points, while Marcy Domerese, who made four 3-pointers, had 12 points. Abby Domerese added 11 points.

Heber Springs held the lead early during the first quarter. Clarksville gained the advantage by the midway point of the quarter, but it could never pull away. The Lady Panthers trailed 17-13 going into the second quarter.

A 10-0 scoring run ignited Heber Springs to a 23-17 lead. Clarksville controlled the next few minutes and tied the game twice at 25-25 and 27-27.

Riddle scored on a short jumper and Stone’s two free throws gave the Lady Panthers a 31-27 lead at halftime.

Heber Springs maintained control throughout the third quarter by outscoring Clarksville 14-7. The Lady Panthers built the lead to 45-34 going into the fourth quarter.

Riddle said the win came at the right time. Heber Springs moved into position to challenge for a spot among the conference leaders. The Lady Panthers (2-2 in conference, 8-8 overall) will finish the first half of the conference schedule at Pottsville on Friday.

“We hope this win helps us to build momentum for the Pottsville game,” he said. “That is the next step to climb in the standings. We are looking for continued improvement. It will be a big game, and we hope to play well again. Friday’s game will be just as important as this game.”

Clarksville 17 10 7 21–55
Heber Springs 13 18 14 14–59
Clarksville scorers — Autumn Miller 15, Shelby Ross 14, Marcy Domerese 12, Abby Domerese 11, Raquel Webb 2, Hannah Melton 1.
Heber Springs scorers — Ellie Riddle 18, Sophie Stone 16, Hailey Bresnahan 11, Jaylea Hooten 10, Hope Turney 3, Kylie Carr 1.

Rose Bud drops Heber Springs in senior girls play

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The Heber Springs Lady Panthers lost two non-conference basketball games after the Christmas break, but worked to shake off the rest before resuming  the 4-4A Conference schedule.

After a loss at Sheridan, Heber Springs (0-1 in conference, 7-7 overall) dropped a 47-43 decision to Rose Bud at the Panther Den before Tuesday’s scheduled conference game at defending conference championship Morrilton.

“The big thing was to knock the rust away,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “We have a quick turnaround with a conference game on Tuesday. We played competitive at Sheridan, but as a young team, we need to find a way to get more rebounds, limit turnovers and make a few shots. We didn’t do that at Sheridan. We got good shots against Rose Bud, but we didn’t make many of them.”

Kyndal Rooks and Kelsie Taylor scored 32 of Rose Bud’s 47 points. Rooks led the Lady Ramblers with 21 points, while Taylor had 11 points.

Jaylea Hooten scored 15 points for the Lady Panthers, while Ellie Riddle contributed 10 points.

The two teams were tied at 9-9 after the first quarter. Rose Bud assumed control midway through the second quarter and finished with a 7-1 scoring run and led 22-16 at halftime.

The Lady Panthers pulled to within three points during the third quarter before momentum shifted again. Rose Bud regained the 6-point lead, but Heber Springs rallied and pulled to within 34-30 going into the fourth quarter.

Rose Bud increased its lead to eight points, but the Lady Panthers didn’t go away easily.

Heber Springs went on a 10-4 scoring run, reducing the lead to four points, but never closer for the remainder of the game.

Riddle said the team is ready to resume conference play and begin the push for the postseason.

“We hope to play a good game at Morrilton,” he said. “We battled back in the Rose Bud game and that is a good sign. As long as we keep battling, that lets me know they want to win. We will keep working and see what we can do.”

The Lady Devil Dogs are a talented team and ranked among one of the top teams in Class 4A. Riddle said his team is prepared for the challenge.

“Morrilton won the conference last year and returns most of those players,” he said. “We must play well, rebound and play smart.”

Rose Bud 9 13 12 13–47
Heber Springs 9 7 14 13–43
Rose Bud scorers — Kyndal Rooks 21, Kelsie Taylor 11, Foster 5, Emily Norris 4, Tharp 2, Calhoun 2, Smith 2.
Heber Springs scorers — Jaylea Hooten 15, Ellie Riddle 10, Madison Clemons 7, Kylie Carr 5, Hope Turney 4, Olivia Norton 2.

Lady Panthers tamed by Searcy

Heber Springs’ Hailey Bresnahan battles with Searcy’s Ashley Brown for a rebound at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Trailing by 16 points midway through the second quarter didn’t discourage the Heber Springs Lady Panthers for long.

The Lady Panthers trailed 28-12, reduced Searcy’s lead to nine points by halftime and four points going into the fourth quarter. Heber Springs tied the game twice during the final minutes, but fell to the Lady Lions 58-54 in a non-conference basketball at the Panther Den Tuesday.

The loss ended a four-game win streak for the Lady Panthers.

Heber Springs’ Ellie Riddle made two free throws and tied the game at 51-51 with 3:13 left. Madison Clemons made a 3-pointer and tied the game at 54-54 with 1:01 remaining. Ashria Brown put Searcy ahead to stay 55-54 with 39 seconds to play.

“We finally started to make shots,” said Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle when asked what triggered the second-quarter turnaround. “We capitalized on rebounds, slow down our offense and got better shots. We tied the game, but turnovers prevented us from taking the lead.”

Naliyah Hadley led Searcy’s attack by scoring 13 points. Ashria Brown had 11 points. Hailey Bresnahan came off the bench for the Lady Panthers and scored a game-high 17 points. Jaylee Hooten added 14 points.

“Searcy played more physical during the first half, and we came back and played more physical during the second half,” Riddle said. We can’t start games like that and win.”

Searcy dominated the first quarter and built an 18-8 lead. The Lady Lions increased the lead to 16 points before Heber Springs started its comeback. The Lady Panthers went on a 12-5 scoring run and trailed 33-24 at halftime.

Heber Springs (6-4) closed the gap by outscoring Searcy 19-10 and trailed 47-43 going into the fourth quarter.

Riddle said Bresnahan, who missed the second half of last season with knee surgery, continues to play well off the bench, and she was a major part of the comeback.

“Hailey is finding her rhythm,” Riddle said. “She could become our third or fourth scorer (behind Ellie Riddle and Hooten). It came down to making plays at the end of the game. We need to learn from this game and move on.”

Searcy 18 15 14 11–58
Heber Springs 8 16 14 11–54
Searcy scorers — Naliyah Hadley 13, Ashria Brown 11, Kendricka Turner 9, Olivia Robertson 9, Ashley Brown 7, Chelsea. Johnson 5, Blair Henry 4.
Heber Springs scorers — Hailey Bresnahan 17, Jaylee Hooten 14, Ellie Riddle 8, Sophie Stone 7, Madison Clemons 6, Kylie Carr 2.

Lady Panthers run past Shirley

IMG_7970
Heber Springs’ Ellie Riddle with a pass against Shirley in senior girls nonconference action at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Playing back-to-back basketball games didn’t slow down the Heber Springs Lady Panthers.

After Monday’s double overtime win at Guy-Perkins, the Lady Panthers (4-3) moved above the .500 mark on the season with an 63-18 non-conference win against Shirley at the Panther Den Tuesday.

Sophomore Jaylee Hooten and senior Ellie Riddle combined for 33 points. Hooten led the Heber Springs’ scoring with 19 points and Riddle contributed 14 points. Sophomore Hope Turney had nine points.

Alyssa Gatlin scored seven points for Shirley.

“I was curious to see how the players’ legs were after playing the night before at Guy,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “They played a lot of minutes. Sometimes, the more you play, a team can get into a better rhythm. We picked up where we finished the Guy game against Shirley. We were moving well, and our shots were falling better. It was good to see them playing consistency.”

Riddle said the team’s full-court press slowed Shirley down and created scoring opportunities.

“Our press confused and caused them to rush their shots,” he said. “We got a lot of rebounds and into our transition game for easy buckets.”

Coach Riddle also said Ellie Riddle and Hooten continued to lead the offense.

“Ellie is finding more of a groove with her shot,” the coach said. “Jaylee is starting to play well and doing a better job of driving into the lane and making shots. Other players are playing their roles.”

Riddle said Kylie Carr continues to play well. Carr scored 16 points at Guy after Ellie Riddle and Hooten fouled out.

“We need players to do that;,” coach Riddle said. “Ellie and Jaylee will not score 20 or more every game. Kylie is an unselfish player. It was her time to shine. She plays that way all of the time in practice. If she hadn’t, we might not have won the game (at Guy).”

Hooten and Riddle combined for 16 of Heber Springs’ 21 points during the first quarter. The Lady Panthers led 21-6 going into the second quarter.
Heber Springs didn’t slow down and went on a 18-4 scoring run and built a 39-10 lead by halftime. The Lady Panthers led 51-12 going into the fourth quarter.

“The two wins will give us momentum,” Riddle said. “We lost games to tough teams (Batesville and Greenbrier).”

Heber Springs will host Conway St. Joseph at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Shirley 6 4 2 6–18
Heber Springs 21 18 12 12–63
Shirley scorers — Alyssa Gatlin 7, Sidney Severn 3, Lilly Wymer 2, Ariana Bradford 2, Kayla Ginn 2, Hoydi Breedlove 2.
Heber Springs scorers — Jaylee Hooten 19, Ellie Riddle 14, Hope Turney 9, Hailey Bresnahan 8, Sophie Stone 4, Kylie Carr 4, Lili Chaney 3, Olivia Norton 2.  

Greenbrier downs Heber Springs in senior girls action

IMG_6991
Heber Springs’ Kylie Carr goes up for a shot against Greenbrier at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Greenbrier post Alexandria Newland proved too much for the Heber Springs defense to contain during Thursday’s non-conference basketball game at the Panther Den.

Newland scored 12 of her game-high 22 points during the second half in Greenbrier’s 48-40 win against Heber Springs.

“You can’t lose where No. 44 (Newland) is on the floor when she puts up shots because she will go after the rebound,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “We lost her a couple of times. She posts up well and has a good touch on her shot.”

Sophomore post Jaylee Hooten and senior guard Ellie Riddle combined to score 33 of Heber Springs’ 40 points. Hooten had 10 of her 18 points during the first half. Riddle contributed 15 points, eight points coming during the first two quarters.

“Jaylee played more aggressively, and we need her to do that every game,” coach Riddle said. “Ellie had a good game, handled the ball well and made a few shots. She is doing what a senior should do and a good team leader.”

Greenbrier took a 5-2 lead early in the first quarter. Hooten scored back-to-back field goals as Heber Springs pulled ahead, 6-5. Heber Springs maintained control during the remainder of the quarter and led 14-7 going into the second quarter.

Greenbrier seized the momentum and went on a 9-2 scoring run and tied the game at 16-16 midway through the second quarter. The lead changed five times during the next four minutes as Greenbrier emerged with a 22-20 advantage at halftime.

Heber Springs trailed by 11 points late in the third quarter. Sophie Stone and Hooten scored field goals as Greenbrier’s lead was reduced to 40-31 going into the fourth quarter.

“We played a great first quarter,” Riddle said. “Greenbrier turned it on during the second quarter and evened the score. Greenbrier began hitting its shots in the third quarter that it had missed earlier in the game.”

Riddle said Greenbrier’s conditioning and stronger physical play were determining factors, especially during the fourth quarter.

“Kylie (Carr) started because she is more of a physical player,” Riddle said. “She helped on the inside. Lili (Chaney), Brandi (Meredith) and Hope (Turney) came off the bench and played well. That is what we are going to need this season to be more successful.”

Riddle said playing more physical will be one of the areas that the team needs improvement before starting conference play.

“You got to play physical and not get tired,” Riddle said. “We didn’t do that or enough to win the game. We need to get in better physical condition.”

Heber Springs (2-3) is scheduled to play at Guy-Perkins on Monday and will host Shirley on Tuesday in nonconference games. Both games are set to start at 5 p.m.

“We need a bounce-back week,” Riddle said. “We played better against Greenbrier, and I hope that momentum will carry over to those games going into Thanksgiving.”

Greenbrier 7 15 18 8–48
Heber Springs 14 6 11 9–40
Greenbrier scorers — Alexandria Newland 22, Kylie Griffin 7, Riley Myatt 5, McKayla Betts 5, Carlie Reynolds 4, Brooklyn Jerry 3, Ashton Hopper 2.
Heber Springs scorers — Jaylee Hooten 18, Ellie Riddle 15, Hailey Bresnahan 3, Sophie Stone 2, Kylie Carr 2.

Batesville races past Heber Springs

IMG_5431_(3)
Heber Springs’ Madison Clemons gets past a Batesville defender in action Tuesday night at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

University of Missouri commit Isabella Higginbottom scored a game-high 23 points and led the Batesville Lady Pioneers to a 78-44 win against the Heber Springs Lady Panthers in a nonconference basketball game at the Panther Den Tuesday.

Batesville began the game with a 9-0 scoring run and held the Lady Panthers scoreless until Jaylee Hooten made 2-of-2 free throws with 4:14 left in the first quarter. Heber Springs was outscored 11-8 for the remainder of the quarter and trailed 20-10 going into the second quarter.

The pace picked up during the second quarter when the Lady Pioneers outscored Heber Springs 26-18 for a 46-28 halftime lead. Batesville’s lead increased to 68-40 going into the  the fourth quarter.

Ellie Riddle led the Lady Panthers with 16 points. Hooten contributed 10 points. Taylor Rush scored 14 points for the Lady Pioneers, while London Cuzzort and Olivia Everretts each had 12 points.

Heber Springs (2-2) will host Greenbrier in a nonconference game at 6 p.m. Thursday.

Batesville 20 26 22 10–78
Heber Springs 10 18 12 4–44
Batesville scorers — Isabella Higginbottom 23, Taylor Rush 14, London Cuzzort 12, Olivia Everretts 12, Kayla Ward 6, Anna Ezell 5, Sophie Poole 4, Belen Sanchez 2.
Heber Springs scorers — Ellie Riddle 16, Jaylee Hooten 10, Hailey Bresnahan 9,  Sophie Stone 3, Madison Clemons 2, Olivia Norton 2, Hope Turney 1, Kylie Carr 1.

Lady Panthers open season with win over Bald Knob

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Heber Springs needed almost eight minutes to shake off its inexperience against Bald Knob in the basketball season opener.

The Lady Panthers took the lead for good at 12-11 less than two minutes left in the first quarter and pulled away to 58-36 win in a girls’ high school nonconference basketball game at the Panther Den on Monday.

Heber Springs led 17-11 after the opening quarter and then outscored Bald Knob 41-25.

Sophomores Madison Clemons and Jaylee Hooten led the Lady Panthers with 18 and 16 points, respectively. Senior Ellie Riddle, the only returning player with high school game experience, contributed 13 points.

“The slow start could be attributed to first-game jitters,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “We were unsure how we played at times during the first quarter and our inexperience showed. We fouled too much. For the most part, when things didn’t start out smooth and you still win, you have to be happy with that.”

Riddle said he was pleased with three players scoring in double figurers, but the team will need production from other players off the bench to be successful this season.

“Ellie will play a different role than the past two seasons,” Riddle said. “Madison can score, but we will need to get her the ball in the right spots. We need other players, like Oliva Norton, Brandi Meredith and Kylie Carr, to come off the bench and make contributions.”

Bald Knob led 11-4 midway through the first quarter before the Lady Panthers made their move. Hailey Bresnahan connected on a 3-pointer and Hooten scored as Heber Springs pulled to within two points.

Clemons hit a 3-pointer for a 12-11 lead as the Lady Panthers never trailed again. Clemons connected on a 3-pointer and Riddle scored for a 17-11 lead going into the second quarter.

The Lady Panthers outscored Bald Knob 7-6 during the second quarter for a 24-17 halftime lead.

Heber Springs gained its first double-digit lead at 30-20 midway through the third quarter. The Lady Bulldogs didn’t go away and pulled to within six points. The Lady Panthers finished by scoring six unanswered points and took a 40-28 into the fourth quarter.

It will be a busy week as the Lady Panthers were scheduled to play at Newport Tuesday and will host Central Arkansas Christian on Thursday.

“We need to get into game shape and the best way is to play games,” Riddle said. “I’m glad we are playing three games this week. You can work on conditioning in practice, but it’s hard to simulate it in a game. The best way to improve conditioning is playing games. We will get there. I’m just exciting that the team is playing.”

Bald Knob 11 6 11 8–36
Heber Springs 17 7 16 18–58
Bald Knob scorers — Molli Pierce 15, Regianna Ward 14, Reese Brimer 3, Gunn 2, Karlie Cochran 2.
Heber Springs scorers — Madison Clemons 18, Jaylee Hooten 16, Ellie Riddle 13, Hailey Bresnahan 5, Oliva Norton 4, Hope Turney 2.

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 tops DeWitt in senior girls play

Heber Springs’ Ashley Spanel launches a 3-pointer against DeWitt Thursday night at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

December 26, 2019

BY LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The Heber Springs Lady Panthers dominated from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer and defeated DeWitt 70-34 in the quarterfinals of the Steve Landers Cowboy Chevorlet-Heber Springs Holiday Basketball Classic Thursday.

Heber Springs scored the game’s first 14 points and finished the opening quarter on a 15-7 scoring run. The Lady Panthers led 29-8 going into the second quarter and built their lead to 47-22 by halftime.

Heber Springs took a 64-32 lead into the fourth quarter.

Game MVP Heber Springs’ Claudia Newberry

Hailey Bresnahan came off the bench and scored 16 points for the Lady Panthers. Claudia Newberry and Jillian Herring each had 14 points.

Carrington Holliman led DeWitt with 12 points and Abby Noblin had 10 points.

“I told them before the opening tip not to do more than expected,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “They ran hard, played hard and let the game come to them and settled in. We got a good lead, but we didn’t want to play soft and did what was needed by playing good defense and making shots.”
Riddle said he liked how the players came off the bench and contributed.

Game Hustle Award DeWitt’s Carrington Holliman

“The girls played well,” he said. “Hailey made shots and Mary (Shearer) got some rebound. It was good to see any rest from the time off.”

Heber Springs (10-2) will meet Pea Ridge in the semifinals at 6:30 p.m. today.

“Pea Ridge will be a tough game and one of the best teams we played so far,” Riddle said. “The five starters are capable of being the leading scorer in any game. We need to play good defense and shoot well to win.”

DeWitt          8 14 10 2 - 34
Heber Springs  29 18 17 6 - 70
DeWITT SCORING (34): Carrington Holliman 12, Abby Noblin 10, Ellie Cox 4, Alyssa Stewart 3, Paige Howard 2, Kiana Wright 2, Jami Fluker 1.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (70): Hailey Bresnahan 16, Claudia Newberry 14, Jillian Herring 14, Ellie Riddle 9, Ashley Spanel 5, Kylie Carr 5, Libby Stutts 3, Liz Chaney 2, Olivia Norton 2.  

Heber Springs’ girls claim key 4A-4 win over Ozark

Heber Springs’ Mary Shearer and Ozark’s Summer Joy fight for the basketball during 4A-4 action at the Panther Den on Friday. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

December 20, 2019

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

Improved accuracy at the free-throw line paid dividends for the Heber Springs Lady Panthers at the Panther Den Friday.

The Lady Panthers made 14-of-18 free throws during the fourth quarter and defeated Ozark, 55-42, in a 4-4A Conference basketball game.

Libby Stutts hit 6-of-8 at the free-throw line during the fourth quarter. Ashley Spanel made 4-of-4 and Hailey Bresnahan converted 3-of-4 attempts. Ellie Riddle was 1-of-2 at the line.

The Lady Panthers made 25-of-33 free throws for the game.
Jillian Herring led Heber Springs with 16 points. Ellie Riddle added 11 points and Stutts had 10 points. Carter Crane scored 17 points for Ozark and Mary-Grace Ree had 10 points.

“Our free-throw shooting was very big in winning the game,” coach Jamey Riddle said. “We had not been shooting free throws well. We also did what was needed during the final three games to win. We outplayed them in the last three quarters.”

Heber Springs switched its full-court press at the start of the second quarter and it led to success.

The Panther trailed 13-8 after the first quarter and reduced it to 22-19 by halftime.

“The full-court press we started was not working and I decided to make a change,” Riddle said. “We contained them better and kept the ball from Ozark’s big girl. We wanted to speed up the game.”

Heber Springs tied the game at 24-24 two minutes into the third quarter on a 3-pointer by Herring.

The Lady Panthers, who outscored Ozark 20-7 during the third quarter, gained a double digit lead and took a 39-29 lead into the fourth quarter.

Ellie Riddle and Claudia Newberry committed their fourth personal fouls late in the third quarter, but strong play off the bench helped to increase the lead. Riddle and Newberry returned with two minutes to play in the game.

“Mary Shearer has a lot of playing time and a senior that you can count on playing well,” Jamey Riddle said. “She goes hard for rebounds and does what we need to help the team succeed. Hailey gave us good minutes, made free throws and got defensive rebounds.”

Riddle also credited Herring and Stutts, especially for their play during the fourth quarter.

“Libby and Jillian waited for their time and got good shots in the fourth quarter,” Riddle said. “We were able to create one-on-one opportunities for them to drive.”

Heber Springs (2-0 in conference, 9-2 overall) is one of three teams (Morrilton and Clarksville) undefeated in conference play.

“We had to win at home because it will be tough at Ozark,” Riddle said. “We must win the home games. We got a big road win at Dover.”

Heber Springs will return to action at 6:30 p.m. Thursday against DeWitt at the Steve Landers Chevorlet-Heber Springs Holiday Tournament.

“We didn’t play well at the St. Joseph Tournament and hope to play well at our tournament,” Riddle said. “We will take the approach of a end-of-the-season tournament. We would like to win the tournament.”

On Dec. 16, Heber Springs traveled to White County Central and came away with a 51-31 nonconference victory.

Heber Springs led 30-14 at the half and 41-23 at the end of three quarters.

Ellie Riddle (13) and Claudia Newberry (11) each finished double figures in scoring for the Panthers.

HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS BOXSCORES
December 20 vs. Ozark
Ozark         13  9  7 13 - 42
Heber Springs  8 11 20 16 - 55
OZARK SCORING (42): Carter Crane 17, Mary-Grace Ree 10, Kelsee Barnett 5, Briley Burns 4, Summer Joy 3, Tanner Richard 3.  
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (55): Jillian Herring 16, Ellie Riddle 11, Libby Stutts 10, Ashley Spanel 5, Hailey Bresnahan 5, Claudia Newberry 4, Mary Shearer 4.  

December 16 at White County Central
White County Central  8 6  9  8 - 31
Heber Springs        21 9 11 10 - 51
WHITE COUNTY CENTRAL SCORING (31): Jaidyn Koerdt 6, Abigail Mullins 6, Makayla Baker 5, Hailey Jackson 4, Ashlyn Mullins 4, Destiny Clark 4, Kalista Altom 2
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (51): Ellie Riddle 13, Claudia Newberry 11, Jillian Herring 9, Ashley Spanel 7, Libby Stutts 6, Hailey Bresnahan 2, Kylie Carr 2, LiLi Chaney 1.
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
RECORD: 9-2
4A-4 RECORD: 2-0
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 vs. DeWitt *
December 27 - Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Classic
December 28 - Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Classic
January 7 - Pottsville ^
January 9 - at Newport
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)