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.
HEBER SPRINGS – South Side Bee Branch’s final 12 points all came from the free-throw line as the Hornets held off Heber Springs, 44-36, in nonconference senior girls action at the Panther Den.
The win by South Side Bee Branch avenged a 47-41 victory by Heber Springs on Dec. 4 on a neutral court in Conway.
On Tuesday, a cold second quarter doomed the Panthers (8-2) as they were outscored 12-4 in the stanza to trail at the half 18-11.
Heber Springs, which trailed 26-18 at the end of the third, went on an 8-1 run midway through the fourth quarter to pull within three at 29-26 after a 3-pointer by Sophie Stone and a three-point play by Jaylea Hooten with 4:11 left.
After a pair of free throws by South Side’s Jewel Walley, the Panthers would make it a 2-point game at 31-29 with three minutes left. Stone would hit the front end of a one-and-one while Hooten would stick the rebound back up for two.
Brinkley Smith would have an answer for the Hornets on their next possession when she drilled a 3-pointer from the corner to make 34-29.
From that point on, South Side Bee Branch (10-10) would hit 12-of-14 over the final 2:08 to hold on for the win.
On the night, the Hornets hit 21-of-25 (84 percent) while Heber Springs was 1o-of-17 (58.5 percent).
Hooten led all scorers with 19 points.
Heber Springs will open conference play Friday night at Ozark (7-3).
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (36): Madison Clemons 1, Jaylea Hooten 19, Addison Hudspeth 4, Sophie Stone 7, Savannah Stout 3, Molly Smith 2
SOUTH SIDE BEE BRANCH SCORING (44): Erin Holland 2, Brinkley Smith 7, Marli Huddleston 4, Mollie Leonard 7, Jewel Walley 8, Emily Walley 13, Maggie Bradford 2, Emily Thomas 3
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CONWAY – Heber Springs got 16 points from Addison Hudspeth as the Panthers downed South Side Bee Branch, 47-41, in a consolation contest of the St. Joseph Tournament at the Family Activities Center.
Heber Springs led 14-10 at the end of the first quarter and 23-17 at the break.
The game remained tight throughout the third quarter as a Molly Smith basket gave the Panthers a 29-21 advantage with 5:45 left in the third quarter, before Marli Huddleton field goal capped a 6-0 run that put the score a 29-27 with 2:22 remaining in the stanza.
Hudspeth would go on a 5-0 run with a 3-pointer, one of three on the afternoon, and a short jumper with 59 seconds left pushed the Heber Springs advantage back to seven at 34-27.
Mollie Leonard hit a pair of free throws for the Hornets and Jewel Walley drilled a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 34-31 heading into the final quarter.
Junior Jaylea Hooten would take over in the fourth quarter scoring seven points, including the only two field goals for Heber Springs in the quarter, to fuel a 7-2 run that saw the Panthers increase their advantage to 41-33 with 4:48 left.
South Side Bee Branch (7-9) would make it a six-point contest with less than a minute to go but Heber Springs would salt the game away from the free-throw line. The Panthers finished the quarter 9-of-15 from the line and 11-of-20 on the afternoon.
“The game was a little closer than I wanted it to be,” Heber Springs coach Spencer Gay said, “but I was proud of the effort and was really proud of the girls fixing some ball-handling problems we’ve had.”
Heber Springs came into the tournament with an undefeated record but suffered their first loss of the season in the pool-play opener to Mayflower.
“That game was tough,” Gay said. “I don’t want to harp on that because winning two out of three (in the tournament) was pretty big time for us. I was proud of that.”
The first-year Panther coach would later add that the loss could benefit Heber Springs when they get into conference play.
“They played us a style that we are going to see later down the road,” Gay said. “I saw a (ball-handling) problem. Our kids saw a problem and they’ve worked every day since to fix it. It’s not going to happen overnight, but a month from now, but you are going to see a different team.”
The win improved Heber Springs to 7-1 on the season.
“I am ecstatic where we are,” Gay said. “I think it says a lot about the kids.”
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (47): Hope Turney 1, Jaylea Hooten 15, Addison Hudspeth 16, Sophie Stone 4, Molly Smith 8, Emily Fuller 3.
SOUTH SIDE BEE BRANCH SCORING (41): Brinkley Smith 2, Marli Huddleston 3, Mollie Leonard 8, Jewel Walley 13, Emily Walley 14, Maggie Bradford 2.
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CONWAY – Mayflower knocked down nine 3-pointers and had three players finish in double figures in scoring as they defeated Heber Springs, 61-25, in the St. Joseph tournament at the Family Activities Center.
Hailey Francis finished with 17 points, Kiara Williamson added 12 and Karley Brown with 10 as the Eagles led 22-6 at the end of the first quarter and 42-13 at the break.
Heber Springs was paced by Jaylea Hooten’s 10 points.
HEBER SPRINGS SCORING (25): Hope Turney 2, Jaylea Hooten 10, Addison Hudspeth 1, Sophie Stone 5, Emily Fuller 2.
MAYFLOWER SCORING (61): Hailey Francis 17, Karley Brown 10, London Webb 2, Riley Whittington 9, Olivia Patterson 3, Kiara Williamson 12, Ella York 8.
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.”