Lady Panthers open 4A-4 play with victory

December 10, 2019


DOVER – The Heber Springs Lady Panthers withstood a barrage of 3-pointers and opened the Conference 4-4A basketball schedule by defeating Dover, 59-56, Tuesday.

Ellie Riddle led the Lady Panthers (1-0 in conference, 7-1 overall) with a game-high 22 points. Jillian Herring had 15 points. Libby Stutts and Claudia Newberry each scored 10 points.

Amelia Besterfeldt (19 points) and Kaylee Singleton (11 points) each made three 3-pointers for Dover (0-1 in conference, 5-4 overall). Avery Reichert made two 3-pointers.

“I knew Dover was small in size and could shoot the three,” Heber Springs coach Jamey Riddle said. “We tried to spread our defense out and get a hand in their faces. Dover shot the ball well. We dug down, and we made stops and shots when it was needed to win the game.”

Riddle liked his team’s balanced scoring.

“One of the good things about this team is either of the five starters can be the leading scorer,” he said. “That can be good and lead to success.”

Riddle told the team before the start of the game that it was important to start the conference season with a win.

“I told them it will start with this game,” Riddle said. “If we have the desire of winning the conference championship, we needed a win.”

The Lady Panthers responded, but it was not easy.

“We won a tough game on the road,” Riddle said. “We switched defenses to try and throw them out. We made them rush some ¬†shots, and we were able to get rebounds. We played with a lot of fire in the first half. Dover came back and made shots in the second half.”

Heber Springs led 11-9 midway through the first quarter before gaining its first double digit lead. The Lady Panthers finished with a 14-4 scoring run and took a 25-13 lead into the second quarter.

Dover gained ground with three 3-pointers and reduced Heber Springs’ lead to 38-30 by halftime. The Lady Panthers took a 53-42 lead into the fourth quarter.
Dover pulled to within 58-56 with less than a minute left in the game. Herring made 1-of-2 free throws, while Heber Springs held the Lady Pirates in the final seconds.

The Lady Panthers will play road games against Marshall on Friday and at White County Central on Tuesday.

“Those will be two tough games before hosting Ozarks (Dec. 20) in conference play,” Riddle said. “Both schools are having good seasons.”

Heber Springs 25 13 15 6 -59
Dover 13 17 12 14 -56
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (59): Ellie Riddle 22, Jillian Herring 15, Libby Stutts 10,  Claudia Newberry 10, Hailey Bresnahan 2.
DOVER SCORING (56): Amelia Besterfeldt 19, Kaylee Singleton 11, Jacqueline Fields 9, Avery Reichert 6, Audrey Reichert 6, Haley Villareal 4, Gracie Bowden 1.

4A-4 RECORD: 1-0
November 12 - Heber Springs 55, Nemo Vista 31
November 19 - Heber Springs 70, South Side Bee Branch 45
November 21 - Heber Springs 67, Riverview 27
November 26 - Heber Springs 56, Clinton 54 (OT)
December 3 - Conway St. Joseph 47, Heber Springs 44 #
December 5 - Heber Springs 53, South Side Bee Branch 34 #
December 7 - Heber Springs 44, Wonderview 43 #
December 10 - Heber Springs 59, Dover 56 ^
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 9 - at Newport
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 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)