Lady Panthers battle, fall one game short of regionals


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.

Sand Lizards top Panthers in senior girls play

Heber Springs’ Sophia Stone looks to drive past Dardanelle’s Jayden Vazquez in senior girls action Tuesday night at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

HEBER SPRINGS – Dardanelle outscored Heber Springs 21-7 in the second half and cruised to a 41-24 4-4A victory over the Panthers in senior girls play at the Panther Den.

Dardanelle (6-10 overall, 5-4 in the 4-4A) led 20-17 at the half and got 10 points from Karlie Cursh in the third quarter to take a 30-21 lead into the final stanza.

Heber Springs (10-12,0-8) was held scoreless in the third quarter before a Madison Clemons free throw with 2:32 to play in the quarter.

With the loss, the Panthers can do no better than a six seed in the upcoming district tournament at Subiaco Academy. However, with only six teams in the conference, Heber Springs will only need one win to qualify for the regional tournament at Farmington.

The Panthers will play their final home game on Saturday at the Panther Den against Clarksville. The senior boys tip things off at 2 p.m. followed by the senior girls contest.

HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (24): Jaylea Hooten 9, Sophia Stone 11, Molly Smith 3, Madison Clemons 1.

DARDANELLE SCORING (41): Karlie Cursh 17, Grace McIntyre 3, Savannah Williams 3, Audry Rowan 4, Bethani Walter 12, Elizabeth Earnest 2.