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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Johnson twins take over in win over eStem

  • Down by a basket, Heber Springs twin sister guards Hannah Johnson and Skylar Johnson scored eight straight points in the latter half of the fourth quarter and the Lady Panthers survived two last-second missed three-point attempts, upending eStem 50-47 on Tuesday at the Nutt Complex.
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  • Down by a basket, Heber Springs twin sister guards Hannah Johnson and Skylar Johnson scored eight straight points in the latter half of the fourth quarter and the Lady Panthers survived two last-second missed three-point attempts, upending eStem 50-47 on Tuesday at the Nutt Complex.
    Matched against the Lady Mets, who will compete the same conference (2-4A) with Heber next year, the Lady Panthers tied the game a little over midway through the fourth quarter on Hannah Johnson's floater in transition.
    The Lady Panthers fell behind for the final time when eStem point guard Gia Hayes, who scored seven points in the fourth quarter, sank a jumper from left elbow.
    On the road for the first time this season, Heber retaliated as guard Madeline Spanel set up point guard Skylar Johnson on a give-and-go for a layup, then Makenzie Martin found Hannah Johnson breaking under the basket for another layup and the lead.
    Hannah Johnson followed with a runner in the lane as Heber stormed in front, taking 48-44 lead, but eStem countered with a three-pointer from Hayes.
    With under a minute to play, the Lady Panthers pushed their lead to 50-47 as Skylar Johnson drove the middle the lane, spitting two defenders for a layup.
    The twin tandem has now scored a combined 60 points over the past two games, led by Hannah Johnson with 41 points. "They are kinda doing what three-year starters are supposed to do," said Riddle. "They are stepping up and wanting the ball in their hands. Skylar has a little different role this year as far as point guard but I think she is really doing a good job.
    "Hannah is doing a good job as far as being more aggressive, looking for her shot from the outside or penetrating in and I think what they are doing is just making the people around them a lot better … like Mary Lawrence, Mary Simmons, Makenzie Martin."
    Martin scored six in the first half, while Simmons, Lawrence and Spanel each had four.
    Trailing 24-22, Heber closed the first half with a 6-2 spurt as Spanel scored four straight, giving the Lady Panthers a lead on a jumper from right elbow off an assist from Lawrence, who then grabbed an offensive rebound and hit a turnaround jumper.
    Heber, which led 28-26 at halftime, began the third quarter on an 8-2 run, starting when Simmons pulled down a rebound and scored.
    Hayes hit a pull up jumper from left baseline but Hannah Johnson fired back with a pair three-pointers launched from left wing, increasing Heber's lead to 36-28.
    The Lady Mets ran off eight unanswered, tying the score at 36-all on guard Carly Clement's three pointer, but Skylar Johnson notched a putback for a two-point cushion entering the final eight minutes of play.
    Page 2 of 2 - With Heber down by two after eStem opened the fourth quarter with four consecutive, Martin sank two free throws, tying the game at 40-all before the Johnson twins took over down the stretch.
    Hayes paced eStem with 15 points and Jasmine Williams followed with seven, while Olivia McWilliams, Becca Mosler and KeaKea Collins each had six.
    Hannah Johnson scored a game-high 22 points, scoring a widely dispersed six points in the first quarter, four in the second, six in the third and six in the fourth. Martin and Skylar Johnson each collected eight points for the Lady Panthers (2-1), while Simmons added six.

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