Heber Springs split a pair of 2-4A Conference games last week, topping Southside Batesville 47-38 Thursday in Batesville before falling to Pine Bluff Dollarway 44-30 Friday at the Panther Den.
In Thursday's win over the Southerners, the Panthers built a 21-17 halftime lead and pulled away in the third quarter, outscoring Southside 11-6.
Senior guard Judson Smith led Heber with 14 points, hitting 5 of 12 field goal attempts, including two three-pointers, while collecting two assists.
Junior point guard Austin “Red” Adkins, who scored 31 points in a recent win over Star City, followed Smith with 10 points, connecting on 3 of 5 shots from the field and 4 of 4 free throws. Junior forward Aaron Brown added nine points on 3 of 6 shooting while also grabbing six rebounds.
Junior center Mason Schroeder, who sat out the first half of the season with an injury, returned to the lineup against Southside and contributed eight points on 4 of 8 shooting from the field. Schroeder also registered six blocks and six rebounds.
Junior forward Michael Kramer added six points in the Panthers' win over Southside.
In Friday's loss to Dollarway, Heber jumped out to a 27-19 halftime lead but the Cardinals, one of the state's top Class 4A teams, came storming back behind suffocating defense, outscoring the Panthers 25-4 in the second half.
Brown paced the Panthers with 17 points and four rebounds, Smith added six points and Kramer pulled down a team-high six rebounds.
Heber (9-4, 3-1) resumed conference play Tuesday at home against Newport before embarking on a three-game road swing, starting with a game at Lonoke on Friday. Next Tuesday, Jan. 15 the Panthers visit Clinton, and Friday, Jan. 18 Heber travels to Marianna-Lee.
Heber's next home is scheduled for Jan. 22 against Southside, then the Panthers hit the road for another three-game road swing with games at Stuttgart, Newport and Dollarway.