Heber Springs forward Mason Schroeder dialed up four three-pointers while scoring a game-high 22 points as the Panthers shredded 2-4A Conference rival Clinton 57-40 on Thursday.
"Mason really helped loosen some things up," said Panther Coach Kevin Kyzer. "I thought [Michael] Kramer had a great game inside after Mason loosened things up, creating some good matchups on post ups. They played in foul trouble all night and I was pleased. They played pretty smart with it.
"We didn't play spectacular as far as shooting the ball but we played sound on defense, played really hard and took care of the ball. The main thing is when we struggled on offense our defense stepped up. They might score two here and there but they never could make a run at us and we kept increasing the lead all night," added Kyzer.
The Panthers, who improved to 2-0 in 2-4A Conference play, led 13-10 after the first quarter as Schroeder had seven points and guard Waren Thomas Olmstead added four.
Schroeder buried three shots from beyond the arc in the second period and guard Austin "Red" Adkins added a deep three-pointer up top, extending Heber's lead to 26-19 late in the first half.
Clinton pulled within five when guard Blake Bryant sank a pair of free throws, but Kramer turned an offensive rebound into a free throw, giving the Panthers a 27-21 lead at intermission.
Leading 31-25 late in the third quarter, Heber gained some breathing room with a 6-0 run, starting when Kramer scored on a double-clutch shot while drawing contact. After Kramer converted from the line to complete the three-point play, Adkins ripped a three-pointer from left elbow, giving the Panthers a 37-25 lead entering the fourth quarter.
Reserve forward Hunter Chandler, who scored four points in the fourth quarter, hit a jumper from right elbow off an assist from Schroeder and the Panthers closed out the victory by sinking 14 of 18 free throws, including 9 of 10 by Olmstead.
In the closing seconds, reserve guard Cody Smith hit a short jumper from left baseline off an assist from reserve forward David Kuebler, setting the final at 57-40.
Bryant led Clinton (3-4, 0-1) with 11 points, power forward Marcus Miles followed with eight and guard Zakk Knoerr added seven.
Following Schroeder's game-high 22 points, Olmstead had 14, Kramer contributed eight and Adkins finished with seven.