HEBER SPRINGS – Raigan Head won the scoring battle, but Jaylee Hooten’s team won the game as Heber Springs downed Newport, 59-44, Monday night in senior girls action at the Panther Den.
The two juniors combined to score 71 of the game’s 103 points with Head leading the way with 36 points followed by Hooten with 35.
It would be near the end of the third quarter before another Greyhound scored a point besides Head, a transfer from Tuckerman.
“I had some kids try to guard her so I could hide Jaylea,” first-year Heber Springs coach Spencer Gay said. “I didn’t want Jaylea to pick-up some silly fouls. When I had to put some smaller kids on her, she kind of took over.
“I am used to collapsing, and not letting one kid beat us, but I haven’t had a chance to instill that in these girls. So we’ve got some work to do, but man, she is hard to stop.”
While the duo was busy scoring points, it was Hooten who was getting more help from her teammates.
A Hope Turney field goal with 3:06 left in the first quarter help capped a 6-0 run to give Heber Springs an 8-2 advantage. The junior would later add a 3-pointer with five seconds left in the quarter to finish off another 12-3 run to give the Panthers a 20-7 lead after the first quarter.
Heber Springs seemed to be in control at that point, but cooled off in the second quarter, allowing Newport (0-1) to close the gap to 10 points at the half, 26-16.
“We started off hot, but we cooled off,” Gay said. “The shots weren’t falling, but we still took any shot we could get instead of waiting for the right shot.”
Baskets by sophomores Savannah Stout and Addison Hudspeth pushed the Panthers advantage back to 14 at 30-16 with 6:58 to play in the third quarter, but the Greyhounds were able to get within 10 late in the quarter at 36-26.
Heber Springs would go on 6-0 run to start the fourth, but the Panthers couldn’t stop Head as she scored seven straight to make it a 46-35 contest with 5:53 left.
A 3-pointer by Olivia Norton and a Hooten field goal with 5:04 to play expanded the Heber Springs advantage and Newport would not get any closer.
Hooten scored 20 of her 35 points in the second half and was a perfect eight-of-eight from the free-throw line over that period — she was 13-of-15 from the line on the night.
“Jaylea sees everything as a blur,” Gay said. “She is so fast.”
It had a been a week since the Panthers opened their season with a win over Mount St. Mary.
“I did see some things we improved on,” Gay said, “but some things are still bothering me. Our transition offense is still an enigma. It still difficult to figure out for us. We just try to get going so fast.”
Heber Springs will get a chance to improve on that Thursday night when they travel to Bald Knob (1-1) for the first road game of the season.
“They have an athlete and a good shooter,” Gay said. “So they have two kids that I am going to have to worry about. We saw them this summer. We are going to see the 2-3 zone and they are going to press us, so we are going to have to be ready.”
Newport (0-1) 7 9 12 16 - 44 Heber Springs (2-0) 20 6 14 19 - 59 Newport (44): Avery Robinson 2, Raigan Head 36, Lexi Harp 2, Grace Fain 4 Heber Springs (59): Hope Turney 8, Kylie Carr 2, Madison Clemons 2, Jaylea Hooten 35, Addison Hudspeth 3, Sophie Stone 2, Savannah Stout 4, Olivia Norton 3.
Please consider helping support local and independent journalism by donating today.
HEBER SPRINGS SENIOR GIRLS 2021-2022 (Click on a game for previous details) (Record: 2-0, 4-4A Conference: 0-0) Nov. 09 Heber Springs 53, Mount St. Mary 42 Nov. 15 Heber Springs 59, Newport 44 Nov. 18 at Bald Knob (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Nov. 22 Guy-Perkins (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Nov. 23 at Shirley (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Nov. 29-Dec. 4 at Conway St. Joseph Tournament (SG, SB) Dec. 07 at Benton Harmony Grove (JG, SG, SB), 5 p.m. Dec. 14 South Side Bee Branch (JG, SG, SB), 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Ozark (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Dec. 20 at Lonoke (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Dec. 21 at Des Arc (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Dec. 28-30 at Mount Vernon-Enola Tournament (SG, SB) Jan. 04 Morrilton (SGJV, SBJV, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Jan. 07 at Dardanelle (JG, JB. SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 11 at Clarksville (SBJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. * Jan. 14 Pottsville (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 21 Ozark (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. * Jan. 25 at Morrilton (SGJB, SBJB, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Feb. 01 Dardanelle (JG, JB, SG, SB), 4 p.m. Feb. 03 Clarksville (SBJV, SG, SB), 5 p.m. * Feb. 08 at Pottsville (SGJV, SG, SB), 6 p.m. * Feb. 14 District Tournament at Subiaco Academy