December 10, 2019
BY LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY
DOVER – Heber Springs answered the challenge, broke into the win column for the first time this season and started the boys’ Conference 4-4A basketball schedule with a 37-32 win against Dover Tuesday.
The Panthers (1-0 in conference, 1-4 overall) played without Ryan Crocker and Logan Monahan, who missed the game because of illness. An ankle injury sidelined Hunter Griffin.
Adam Martin, who made 3-of-4 free throws in the final 30 seconds to preserve the lead, led Heber Springs with 15 points. Dalton McCollum contributed 11 points. Josh Besterfeldt led Dover (0-1 in conference, 4-5 overall) with nine points.
“This was a total team effort without a doubt,” Heber Springs coach Chad Johnson said. “We faced a lot of adversity with a starter (Crocker) and our sixth man (Monahan) out because of the flu. We lost one of our posts (Griffin) to an ankle injury. It was a tough environment, but we pulled out the win. I could not be more proud of the team.”
Dover took a 2-0 lead early in the first quarter. Heber Springs responded as Martin scored to tie the game. McCollum made two field goals, giving the Panthers a 6-2 lead going into the second quarter.
Heber Springs scored seven consecutive points to start the second quarter. Johnson said that was his team’s response to the challenge of starting the game fast.
“We had to play with intensity from the beginning of the game,” he said. “We wanted to take the game to them. We played a tremendous defensive game. Besterfeldt is a good player and Caden Frazier a good post. We defended both players well. Defense won this game.”
Dover kept within striking distance throughout the remainder of the first half. Each team each scored eight points as the Panthers led 21-10 at halftime.
Heber Springs’ advantage slipped to four points during the third quarter The Panthers withstood Dover’s challenge and took a 24-17 lead into the fourth quarter.
Dover pulled to within 34-30 with less than two minutes left in the game. Martin made 3-of-4 free throws during the final minute.
“I knew Dover would not roll over in the second half,” Johnson said. “They kept battling until the end of the game. We responded with good defense.”
Heber Springs will play three straight nonconference road games against South Side Bee Branch today (Thursday), followed by Marshall (Friday) and White County Central (Tuesday). The Panthers will return to conference play by hosting Ozarks on Dec. 20.
Heber Springs 6 15 3 13 — 37
Dover 2 8 7 15 — 32
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (37): Adam Martin 15, Dalton McCollum 11, Garrett Hudspeth 8, Wyatt Sanders 2, Zach Thomas 1.
DOVER SCORING (32): Josh Besterfeldt 9, Caden Frazier 8, Ross Laffoon 7, Landen Parker 5, Zeke Stanek 3.
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR BOYS BASKETBALL 2019-2020 SCHEDULE RESULTS RECORD: 1-4 4A-4 RECORD: 1-0 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 - at South Side Bee Branch December 13 - at Marshall December 16 - at White County Central December 20 - Ozark ^ December 26 - Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Classic December 27 - Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Classic December 28 - Cowboy Chevrolet Holiday Classic January 7 - Pottsville ^ January 10 - at Subiaco Academy ^ 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 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)