Heber Springs’ fullcourt press defense slowed down Dardanelle, but once the intensity picked up during the third quarter, the game quickly changed at the Panther Den Friday.
The Lady Panthers (1-2 in conference, 7-8 overall) led 16-11 at halftime and took control with a 17-4 third-quarter scoring run and coasted to a 42-26 win against Dardanelle in a 4-4A Conference basketball game.
“We talked about that at halftime,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “We wanted to apply more defensive pressure. We were not able to force many turnovers with our press during the first half.”
Jaylea Hooten and Ellie Riddle were a potent one-two scoring punch for Heber Springs. Hooten led all scorers with 21 points and Riddle contributed 14 points. Brooklyn Tidwell and Bethani Walker had nine and eight points, respectively, for Dardanelle.
“During halftime, I asked Madison (Clemons) and Hope (Turney) to apply more defensive pressure,” Jamey Riddle said. “That allowed Ellie and Jaylea to go for steals, which led to transition buckets. We didn’t want to come down and set up our offense all of the time.”
The lead changed three times during a slow-paced first quarter. Annette Navarette connected on a 3-point shot, giving Dardanelle a 5-4 lead with two minutes left.
Hooten and Riddle answered with field goals for the Lady Panthers, who took an 8-5 lead into the second quarter.
Riddle scored on a drive to the basket and Sophie Stone made a 3-pointer, increasing the lead to 13-5. Rylea Manning put the Lady Sand Lizards on the board by hitting a 3-pointer.
Hooten’s field goal increased the Heber Springs lead to 15-8. Manning connected on 1-of-2 free throws and Navarette scored, pulling Dardanelle to within 15-11. Riddle made 1-of-2 free throws as the Lady Panthers led 16-11 at halftime.
Heber Springs went on a 10-0 scoring run during the first six minutes of the third quarter and increased its lead to 26-11. The Lady Panthers maintained control and led 33-15 going into the fourth quarter.
“Dardanelle switched to a man defense during the fourth quarter and we got a little too sluggish against it,” Riddle said. “We played good defense for most of the game and held down their two shooters. We did a better job of limiting Dardanelle’s shots.”
Riddle said the first conference win gave the team renewed confidence heading to the conclusion of the conference’s first half of the schedule.
“It felt good to get the win,” he said. “It was good to see players happy in the dressing room after the game. We lost a lot of close games and maybe this will get us going.”
Heber Springs will host Clarksville on Tuesday night with the senior recognition ceremony for all spring sport athletes scheduled to start at 5 p.m. Tip-off for the game will be 6 p.m. The Lady Panthers will complete the first half of the conference season at Pottsville on Friday.
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.”
It was one of those nights that the Heber Springs Lady Panthers will try and forget quickly.
Heber Springs trailed 18-8 after the opening eight minutes, while Ozark dominated the final three quarters and defeated the Lady Panthers 54-25 in the 4-4A Conference basketball opener at the Panther Den Friday.
Ozark outscored Heber Springs 32-17 during the final three quarters.
“The big difference in the game was our inexperience,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “We were off 10 days from our last game, but had a good week of practice. When game time came, we just didn’t do what we needed to do to win.”
The Lady Panthers trailed 12-4 midway through the first quarter. Hailey Bresnahan reduced Ozark’s lead by making two free throws. Ozark responded with a 6-2 scoring spurt and led 18-8 going into the second quarter.
Heber Springs’ shooting remained cold from the field. The Lady Panthers scored four points during the next eight minutes and trailed 34-12 at halftime.
Ozark increased its lead to 49-19 by the end of the third quarter. Kelsee Barnett, Carter Crane and Briley Burns each scored 11 points for Ozark. Jaylea Hooten led Heber Springs with nine points.
Home games against Newport and Cedar Ridge scheduled for Monday and Tuesday have been cancelled. The Lady Panthers (0-1 in conference, 7-5 overall) will return to action at Sheridan on Dec.
“Sheridan is a very good team,” Riddle said. “We’ve got to keep getting better evert game and learn from our mistakes. We can’t keep using our inexperience as an excuse, and I think we will. The girls come each week to practice and are doing the right things. We just need to to extend what we are doing right to the court.”
The next scheduled home game will be played on Jan. 2 against Rose Bud.
Ozark 18 16 15 5–54 Heber Springs 8 4 7 6–25 Ozark scoring — Kelsee Barnett 11, Carter Crane 11, Briley Burns 11, Autuman Joy 6, Jaci Bonds 5, Anna Woolsey 4, McKenzie Powell 4, Gillian Lachowsky 2. Heber Springs scoring — Jaylea Hooten 9, Hailey Bresnahan 4, Sophie Stone 4, Olivia Norton 4, Madison Clemons 2, Brandi Meredith 2.
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.
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.
After starting the season with two wins, the Heber Springs Lady Panthers ran into a buzzsaw at the Panther Den Thursday.
Central Arkansas Christian built a 28-9 first-quarter lead and defeated the Lady Panthers 62-32 in a nonconference basketball game.
“CAC has more playing experience, shot well and ran its offense well,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “I knew it would be a high-caliber game. We needed to attack them quicker early in the game, but we didn’t have success.”
Heber Springs (2-1) trailed 52-18 at halftime. The Arkansas Activities Association sportsmanlike rule was in effect during the final two quarters.
“When you trail by that much at halftime, all you can tell them is go out and play hard, do a better job of running our offense and pick it up on defense,” Riddle said. “I also told them go out there and play for pride. This was a game that the team will learn to grow.”
Ellie Riddle scored 12 points for Heber Springs.
The Lady Panthers will host Batesville in a nonconference game Tuesday.
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.”
Nicole Rackley went two-for-three at the plate and struck out in nine in relief as Heber Springs defeated White County Central, 13-2, on Tuesday.
Heber Springs improved to 2-0 on the young season and won back-t0-back games for the first time since the 2017 season.
The Panthers trailed 2-0 after the Bears plated two runs off Heber Springs starter Madison Clemons before the freshman gave way to Rackley in the second inning.
Clemons struggled in her second start of the season walking four, allowing one hit while striking out two.
“She is going to be in the circle a majority of the year,” Heber Springs coach Dusty West. “She is just getting these first-game jitters out of the way. She’s going to be fine. She has all of the tools that we need out there.”
Clemons also struggled on Monday in the Panthers opener at Maumelle as the Hornets plated eight runs before also giving way to Rackley.
The senior came on in relief on Monday against the Hornets and scattered one run and eight strikeouts over six innings of work as Heber Springs plated five in the fifth, four in the sixth and six in the seventh to claim the win, 16-9.
“I’ve been really happy with Nicole Rackley coming in a as a senior,” West said. “Kinda playing a back-up role in the pitching realm and doing great.
“The last two nights been really proud of Nicole. She’s come in in relief and given up only one run in two games. She’s been a monster on the mound for us.”
Rackley struck out the side in the top of the second before Heber Springs gave her the lead that they wouldn’t relinquish.
Ninth-grader Hope Turney led off the inning by reaching on a walk, taking second on a sacrifice bunt by Adyson Curtis and touching home on an RBI double down the right-field line by freshman Anna Carroll.
Carroll would touch home after a wild pitch while freshman Jaylea Hooten would score the third run on the inning later after following Carroll with a walk, taking third on the passed ball that scored the Panthers second run and scoring on an RBI ground out off the bat of Gentry Hamilton.
” We put the ball in play and we have good speed this year, and hopefully we’ll use that a lot and small-ball people,” West said. “I am just real proud. First two games of the year, facing live pitching for the first time and to be able to put the bat on ball in play and hit it hard at places, that’s what you are excited about.”
Heber Springs would plate five more in the third. Zoe Monroe and Turney led off the inning with back-to-back singles and both would later score on a single by Carroll.
Carroll and Clemons would touch on a triple by Rackley while Hamilton would drive in Rackley to make it 8-2 Heber Springs after three innings.
“The last two nights we scored a lot of runs, 16 last night and 13 tonight,” West said. “Our bats one through nine have been really solid.”
The Panthers would add five more runs in the fourth as an RBI triple by Curtis and a bases-loaded single by Rackley would plate two more.
“With have only three upperclassman (Rackley, Monroe and Hamilton), a lot of freshmen and sophomores, so it’s always good to start 2-0,” West said. “It’s a good confidence booster for us to get us ready for a conference doubleheader on Monday.
“The three seniors that have been with me for four years, and we are trying to send them out on a good note. They were with me as freshman and we made the state quarterfinals. Our goal is to get them back to the postseason and get these young girls some experiences.”
Carroll paced the Panthers at the plate by going three-for-three with a double, three runs scored and four RBIs.
Heber Springs travels to Sherwood on Thursday to face Sylvan Hills.
“We have got a tough challenge on Thursday,” West said. “We’ll get a quick measuring stick on where we are at.”
The Panthers will open conference Monday against Ozark with a doubleheader in Conway on the University of Central Arkansas campus.
“Getting to play at UCA on the turf in front of college coaches, that is something neat for a girls to do and something we haven’t done in a while,” West said. “We are excited about it.”
Heber Springs was scheduled to face Pottsville on Friday, but because of the state basketball tournament that conference contest will be rescheduled for a later date. Instead, West was able to schedule a junior varsity doubleheader with Batesville at the Heber Springs softball complex. Both games will be five innings.
WHITE COUNTY CENTRAL AT HEBER SPRINGS
White County Central (0-1) 200 00 - 2 2 0
Heber Springs (2-0) 035 5x - 13 11 0
WP - Nicole Rackley (2-0)
LP - Micah Todd (0-1)
HEBER SPRINGS HIGHLIGHTS: Madison Clemons 1-for-1, stolen base, two walks, HBP, two runs scored; Nicole Rackley 2-for-3, triple, run scored, stolen base, two RBIs and HBP; Gentry Hamilton 1-for-4 with an RBI; Zoe Monroe 1-for-2 two runs scored, HBP and stolen base; Brooklyn Barnes, HBP; Hope Turney 1-for-2 with a walk, two runs scored; Adyson Curtis 1-for-2, triple RBI, run scored and stolen base; Anna Carroll 3-for-3 with a double, three runs scored, three runs scored and four RBIs; Jaylea Hooten 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored; and Jade Adamson, HBP.
WHITE COUNTY CENTRAL HIGHLIGHTS: Gracie Rogers, walk, stolen base and run scored; Kalista Altom, walk and run scored; Micah Todd, two walks; Jaci Beals 1-for-3 with an RBI; Taryn Blanton, walk; Kendall Talieje 1-for-2, Maliah Litaker, walk.
HEBER SPRINGS AT MAUMELLE
Heber Springs (1-0) 010 054 6 - 16
Maumelle (0-1) 801 000 0 - 9
WP - Nicole Rackley (1-0)
LP - Morgan Krebs (0-1)
HEBER SPRINGS HIGHLIGHTS: Madison Clemons, three runs scored; Nicole Rackley, two runs scored; Gentry Hamilton, three runs scored; Brooklyn Barnes, two runs scored; Zoe Monroe, two runs scored; Adyson Curtis, one run; and Jaylea Hooten, three runs scored.
HEBER SPRINGS 2020 SOFTBALL SCHEDULE
COACH DUSTY WEST
4A-4 RECORD: 0-0
March 2 Heber Springs 16, Maumelle 9
March 3 Heber Springs 13, White County Central 2
March 5 at Sylvan Hills V/JV 5 p.m.
March 6 Batesville JV-DH 4:30 p.m.
March 9 vs. Ozark at UCA * V DH 4:30 p.m.
March 12 at Riverview V/JV 4:30 p.m.
March 13 at Conway St. Joseph V/JV 4:30 p.m.
March 14 Heber Springs Tournament V
March 16 at Dover * V/JV 4:30 p.m.
March 17 Dardanelle * V/JV 4:30 p.m.
March 19 Clinton V/JV 5 p.m.
March 30 at Clarksville * V/JV 4 p.m.
March 31 Morrilton * V/JV 4:30 p.m.
April 3 Dover * V/JV 4:30 p.m.
April 6 Jacksonville V/JV 4:30 p.m.
April 7 at Pottsville * V/JV 4:30 p.m.
April 13 Cedar Ridge V/JV 4:30 p.m.
April 14 at Dardanelle * V/JV 4:30 p.m.
April 16 at Calico Rock V/JV 4:30 p.m.
April 20 at Cave City V/JV 4 p.m.
April 21 at Morrilton * V/JV 4:30 p.m.
April 23 at Mayflower V/JV 4:30 p.m.
April 27 4A-4 District Tournament at Dover
(* - Indicates 4A-4 Conference Contest)
(Note: Schedule is subject to change due to weather)
(Note: The Heber Springs/Pottsville contest for March 6 will be re-scheduled due to a basketball conflict)
The Heber Springs junior girls went on the road and dropped a pair of contests.
On Monday, Heber Springs fell to Mayflower, 47-42, in nonconference play and followed that by dropping a 52-24 decision in 4A-4 play at Pottsville.
Heber Springs travels to Ozark on Friday before closing out the regular season next week at home against Quitman on Monday before travelling to Dardanelle on Tuesday to close out 4A-4 play.
On Monday against Mayflower, Heber Springs led 19-7 at the end of the first quarter and 29-21 at the half before falling to Mayflower. The Panthers held an eight-point advantage heading into the final stanza but could only manage a pair of Jaylea Hooten field goals an were outscored in the final quarter.
Hooten finished with 12 points as Sophia Stone paced Heber Springs with 15 points.
The two teams combined to shot 52 free throws as Mayflower was 19 of 31 from the line while Heber Springs was 11 of 21.
On Tuesday, Heber Springs trailed 30-15 at the break and fell, 52-24, to Pottsville.
Stone finished with 15 to pace the Panthers while Hooten added 12.
JANUARY 28 BOXSCORE
Heber Springs at Pottsville
Heber Springs 8 7 7 2 - 24
Pottsville 14 16 11 11 - 52
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (24): Sophia Stone 11, Jaylea Hooten 9, Molly Smith 2, Hope Turney 2
POTTSVILLE SCORING (52): AbbiGrace Cunningham 14, Tawnie Sweeden 12, Harmony Garner 12, Annleigh Pennington 6, R. Boley 4, B. Harvis 2, Kennedy Corbin 1, S. B. Francis 1
JANUARY 27 BOXSCORE
Heber Springs at Mayflower
Heber Springs 19 10 9 4 - 42
Mayflower 7 14 10 20 - 47
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (42): Sophia Stone 15, Jaylea Hooten 12, Hope Turney 7, Rylee Harrod 4, Riley Bailey 2, Madison Clemons 2
MAYFLOWER SCORING (47): Williamson 21, Francis 11, Webb 9, Mahnken 6
HEBER SPRINGS JUNIOR GIRLS BASKETBALL
2019-2020 SCHEDULE/RESULTSCOACH: Jamey Riddle
OVERALL RECORD: 10-9
4A-4 RECORD: 2-4
November 9 - Heber Springs 27, Greenbrier 16 ^
November 12 - Heber Springs 33, Nemo Vista 27
November 14 - Dover 60, Heber Springs 49 ^
November 16 - Heber Springs 40, Marshall 25 ^
November 19 - Heber Springs 44, South Side Bee Branch 22
November 21 - Heber Springs 46, Riverview 13
November 23 - Heber Springs 62, Cabot South 8th 10 *
November 23 - Conway Blue 35, Heber Springs 29 *
November 26 - Clinton 48, Heber Springs 40
December 10 - Dover 43, Heber Springs 33 #
December 12 - Heber Springs 52, South Side Bee Branch 31
December 20 - Heber Springs 21, Ozark 7 #
January 7 - Pottsville 34, Heber Springs 31 #
January 9 - Heber Springs 40, Newport 21
January 14 - Dardanelle 32, Heber Springs 29 #
January 16 - Mount Vernon-Enola 38, Heber Springs 33
January 24 - Heber Springs 55, Dover 52 #
January 27 - Mayflower 47, Heber Springs 42
January 28 - Pottsville 52, Heber Springs 24 #
January 31 - at Ozark #
February 3 - Quitman
February 4 - at Dardanelle #
February 10 - District Tournament at Ozark
(^ - Denotes Marshall Tournament)
(* - Denotes Heber Springs Tournament)
(# - Denotes 4A-4 Conference Game)