Lady Panthers battle, fall one game short of regionals

By LARRY “SCOOP” McCARTY

SUBIACO – The Heber Springs Lady Panthers didn’t go away without a fight against Dardanelle in Tuesday’s quarterfinal game at the 4-4A Conference Basketball Tournament.

Dardanelle (8-10) went on a 13-3 scoring run, beginning with one minute left in the third quarter to 3:45 remaining in the game, and defeated the Lady Panthers 46-36.

Heber Springs, which lost its 12 consecutive game, finished the season at 10-15. The Lady Panthers’ last win came against Nemo Vista at the Mount Vernon-Enola Holiday Tournament in late December.

Jaylea Hooten and Addison Hudspeth led Heber Springs each with eight points. Hudspeth and Savannah Stout each made two 3-pointers. Hope Turney and Madison Clemons each had a 3-pointer.

Karlie Cursh scored a game high 17 points for Dardanelle. Bethani Walter contributed nine points.

The Lady Sand Lizards led throughout the first half with a 4-2 lead after the first quarter and 17-12 at halftime.

But momentum shifted to the Lady Panthers early during the third quarter. Stroud hit back-to-back 3-pointers for an 18-17 lead.  Dardanelle regained the lead on two free throws by Cursh. Heber Springs then recaptured the lead on Hudspeth’s 3-pointer.

The Lady Sand Lizards pulled within one and later took the lead for good on Grace McIntyre’s 3-pointer with one minute to go in the third quarter.

Savannah Williams scored during closing seconds for a 29-25 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Dardanelle put the game away by completing the 13-3 scoring run and led by as much as 15 points, 46-31, with 48 seconds left.

Heber Springs    2 10 13 11 –36
Dardanelle           4 13 12 17–46
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (36): Jaylea Hooten 8, Addison Hudspeth 8, Savannah Stout 6, Molly Smith 4, Sophie Stone 4, Madison Clemons 3, Hope Turney 3.
DARDANELLE SCORING (46):  Karlie Cursh 17, Bethani Walter 9, Grace McIntyre 6, Jayden Vazquez 6, Savannah Williams 4, Audry Rowan 2, Elizabeth Earnest 2.

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