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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Lady Panthers pick apart Mayflower

  • Heber Springs used its pressure defense to pick apart Mayflower as the Lady Panthers built a 20-1 first quarter lead and cruised to a 58-22 victory on Tuesday night at the Panther Den.
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  • Heber Springs used its pressure defense to pick apart Mayflower as the Lady Panthers built a 20-1 first quarter lead and cruised to a 58-22 victory on Tuesday night at the Panther Den.
    "We finally played the way I was hoping we are capable of playing," said Heber Coach Jamey Riddle. "We had almost a whole week off and kinda harped on details, starting the game right and being where we are supposed to be on defense, a lot of energy on defense and running our offense.
    "The defense really stepped up and created a lot for us on offense. We didn't have to run our set offenses very much because we were in transition a lot. That starts with Hannah Johnson being active up top, Mary Simmons was really active and Mary Lawrence did a good job inside. I thought it was a good team effort as far as defense and it carried over to offense," added Riddle.
    The Lady Panthers scored the first 13 points of the contest, beginning with four straight from forward Mary Simmons, who sank a jumper from left elbow and scored from right block off an assist from point guard Skylar Johnson, who moments later scored off a strong drive.
    Simmons swiped a steal and hit guard Hannah Johnson for a layup and Skylar Johnson scored off an assist from twin sister Hannah, who then drilled a three-pointer from left corner, giving Heber a 13-0 lead a little over midway through the first quarter.
    Mayflower got on the scoreboard with 2:45 left in the first quarter when forward LonJanae Wyatt hit a free throw. But the Lady Panthers continued to roll as Hannah Johnson scored seven straight, including a three-pointer from right corner and runner from right elbow, extending Heber's lead to 20-1 entering the second quarter.
    Leading 26-6 late in the second quarter, Simmons hit a jumper from right elbow off an assist from forward Makenzie Martin and Skylar Johnson swiped a steal and scored before Hannah Johnson used a step through move to get free for a layup in transition.
    After Mayflower forward Jessica Webb buried a three-pointer, Hannah Johnson dropped a floater in the lane, giving Heber a 34-9 lead at half.
    The Lady Panthers continued to pour it on in the third quarter, scoring six straight, including two buckets from Skylar Johnson and a leaner in the lane by Hannah Johnson.
    Heber and Mayflower exchanged points throughout the remainder of the third period, leaving the Lady Panthers ahead 46-15 entering the fourth quarter, which was played under the mercy-rule with the clock running continuously.
    Playing reserves, Heber outscored the Lady Eagles 10-7 in the final period behind six points from forward Alison Thomas. Guards Madeline Spanel and Alexis Evans also contributed two points apiece in the final minutes as the Lady Panthers cruised to victory.
    Page 2 of 2 - Forward Raegan Bartlett led Mayflower (2-3) with eight points and Wyatt added six.
    Hannah Johnson pumped in a game-high 26 points for Heber (3-2), Skylar Johnson followed with 10, Simmons had eight and Thomas finished with six.
    Weather permitting, the Lady Panthers opened 2-4A Conference play at Stuttgart on Friday and face Midland in the first round of the Lyon College Invitational today at 4:15 p.m.

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