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.

Heber Springs picks up first conference win

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

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.

Dardanelle 8 3 4 11–26
Heber Springs 8 8 17 9–42
Dardanelle scorers — Brooklyn Tidwell 9, Bethani Walker 8, Annette Navarette 5, Rylea Manning 3, Emma Daughtery 1.
Heber Springs scorers — Jaylea Hooten 21, Ellie Riddle 14, Sophie Stone 5, Madison Clemons 2.

Lady Panthers hold off St. Joseph

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Heber Springs’ LiLi Chaney with a pass against Conway St. Joseph Tuesday night at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

After a scoring marathon for 29 minutes, the Heber Springs Lady Panthers finally shut the door on Conway St. Joseph at the Panther Den Tuesday.

The Lady Panthers (5-3) went on an 11-2 run during the final three minutes and defeated St. Joseph 71-62 in a nonconference basketball game for their third straight win.

Heber Springs started the fourth quarter trailing 51-49 as the lead changed three times during the next five minutes. St. Joseph tied the game at 60-60 on Savannah Mooney’s 3-pointer before the Lady Panthers made their move. Hailey Bresnahan broke the deadlock by hitting a jumper and seconds later, she made two free throws, and Heber Springs never trailed again.

“I knew the first team that got a couple of defensive stops was going to win,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “We got deflections, rebounds and made shots. Our defense came through in a big way.”

Jaylee Hooten scored a game-high 29 points for the Lady Panthers, followed by Sophie Stone with 14 points and Ellie Riddle had 12 points. Stone and Bresnahan, who combined for 23 points, led the charge late in the game.

“They (Stone and Bresnahan) are capable scorers and understand their roles,” Riddle said. “They helped out the team in that situation.”

Savannah Mooney led St. Joseph with 22 points. Lilly Hill contributed 15 points and Livi Williams added 12 points. Maggie Mooney scored 11 points.

“St. Joseph’s shooting surprised us, but our defense didn’t rotate quick enough to the right spot,” Riddle said. “We didn’t slow down their passes.”

The two teams exchanged field goals during most of the first quarter. St. Joseph took a 16-14 before Hooten scored on an inside move and Riddle’s jumper put the Lady Panthers ahead 18-16 with 1:11 left in the quarter.
Hill made 1-of-2 free throws and made a short jumper, giving the Lady Bulldogs a 19-18 lead going into the second quarter.

Heber Springs rallied for a 28-23 lead midway through the second quarter. The Lady Panthers maintained that margin and took a 35-30 lead into the dressing room at halftime.

St. Joseph took a 49-44 lead midway through the third quarter. The Lady Bulldogs survived Heber Springs’ rally and led 51-49 going into the fourth quarter.

The Lady Panthers hope to continue the momentum from the win against Riverview in Searcy at 6 p.m. Friday.

“We have played a lot of homes games and Friday will be an opportunity to show we can win on the road,” Riddle said. “Conference play is coming, and we need to learn how to win on the road. It will be a good test in preparing for the conference opener against Ozark, which had a great run late last season and returns experienced players.”

Conway St. Joseph 19 11 21 11–62
Heber Springs 18 17 14 22–71
Conway St. Joseph scorers — Savannah Mooney 22, Lilly Hill 15, Livi Williams 12, Maggie Mooney 11, Chloe Skinner 2.
Heber Springs scorers — Jaylee Hooten 29, Sophie Stone 14, Ellie Riddle 12, Hailey Bresnahan 9, Melissa Clemons 4, Hope Turney 3.

Lady Panthers run past Shirley

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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

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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

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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.

CAC hands Heber Springs first loss

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

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.

CAC 28 24 5 5–62
Heber Springs 9 9 7 7–32
CAC scorers — Bethany Dillard 24, Riley Bryant 15, Ava Knoedl 7, Payton Gaston 5, Reese Shephard 3, Livian Burton 2, Katie Odom 2, Carleigh Petlak 2, Avery Lillard 2.
Heber Springs scorers — Ellie Riddle 12, Jaylee Hooten 8, Sophie Stone 6, Hailey Bresnahan 3, Madison Clemons 3