Panthers battle Clarksville late

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

The Heber Springs Panthers trailed by 16 points early in the third quarter, but didn’t go away with a battle late in the fourth quarter against Clarksville.

Heber Springs rallied within five points, but the Panthers’ comeback bid came up short in the 68-51 loss to Clarksville in a 4-4A Conference basketball game at the Panther Den Tuesday.

“The players played well during the fourth quarter,” Heber Springs coach Dusty West said. “We made shots, played with more intensity and made it a two-possession game. We couldn’t get the defensive stop.”

Clarksville led by 16 points with five minutes left in the third quarter. Heber Springs stayed close and pulled to within 46-34 going into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers reduced Clarksville’s lead to single digits on Ryan Crocker’s 3-pointer 53-45 with six minutes left in the game. Two minutes later, Conner Riddle drove and scored as Heber Springs trailed 55-50 with 3:53 to go. Clarksville finished the game on a 13-1 scoring run.

Riddle led the Panthers with 22 points, followed by Crocker’s 16 points. Owen Ashlock scored a game-high 27 points for Clarksville. John Case, who hit three 3-pointers, had 16 points. Hunter Buss, who made four 3-pointers, added 12 points.

“The players still are giving great effort and doing good things,” West said. “We’re trying to get over that hump during the fourth quarter. Conner played well, along with Ryan during the fourth quarter. The team tends to play better when Ryan plays well. We need him to play with more confidence and get going for the entire game.”

Clarksville emerged from a low-scoring first quarter with an 11-5 lead. The Panthers fell behind by double digits during the second quarter, but they remain within range and trailed 26-14 at halftime.

Heber Springs played even during the third quarter and trailed 46-34 going into the fourth quarter.

Clarksville’s 3-point shooting proved to be too much for the Panthers to overcome.

“We knew they could shoot the threes,” West said. “No. 33 (Ashlock) worried us and we focused on containing him. Clarksville deserves credit for making the 3-point shots.”

Heber Springs (0-5 in conference, 1-15 overall) will play at Pottsville on Friday.

“We will be playing another good team,” West said. “The players still have a lot of fight left.”

Clarksville 11 15 20 22–68
Heber Springs 5   9 20 17–51
Clarksville scorers —  Owen Ashlock 27, John Case 16, Hunter Buss 12, Ryan Clark 6, Cody Qualls 4, Abel Dean 3.
Heber Springs scorers — Conner Riddle 22, Ryan Crocker 16, Logan Monahan 8, J.T. Spears 3, Bauer Pruitt 2.

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

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

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.”

FEBRUARY 14 BOXSCORE
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.  

FEBRUARY 11 BOXSCORE
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
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR BOYS BASKETBALL
2019-2020 SCHEDULE RESULTS
FINAL RECORD: 1-24
FINAL 4A-4 RECORD: 1-13
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)

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

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

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.”

JANUARY 24, 2020 BOXSCORE
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

JANUARY 17, 2020 BOXSCORE
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

JANUARY 10 BOXSCORE
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
4A-4 SENIOR BOYS STANDINGS
                 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  
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR BOYS BASKETBALL
2019-2020 SCHEDULE RESULTS
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)