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.

PHOTO: Three Heads Are Better Than One

IMG_7026_(2)
Heber Springs seventh-grade girls basketball players, from left, Mackenzie Lozeau (14), Carly Holland, and Sophie Joyner (15) wait for the inbounds pass in action against Newport Monday night at the Panther Den. PHILIP SEATON PHOTO

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