Heber Springs rebounded from a disappointing loss to Clarksville on Friday by knocking off Subiaco Academy, 63-53, Saturday afternoon in 4A-4 conference action at the Panther Den.
On Friday, the Panthers never led in a 56-55 setback to Clarksville and less than 24 hours later, Heber Springs only trailed for the first 55 seconds in claiming the badly needed conference win over Subiaco Academy, which came into the contest owning nonconference wins over Fort Smith Southside, Van Buren, Mountain Home as well handing conference-leader Dardanelle its only loss in 4A-4 play.
“It’s just a huge win,” Heber Springs coach Chad Johnson said. “To play in this conference is just tough, and to play back-to-back conference games? Last night we got down, fought back and had a chance to take the lead late. It was heartbreaking for the guys so to battle back from that … to overcome that adversity and win today was just huge for our program and our guys.”
After trailing for the first 55 seconds, junior Adam Martin put the Panthers on the board with a basket. A three-point play by Dalton Hall gave Heber Springs (7-11, 2-4 in the 4A-4) its first lead at 5-2 before baskets by Trent Barnes and Malachi Miller completed a 9-0 run in just over two minutes of action to put the Panthers in control early 9-2.
The two teams traded baskets until late in the first quarter when Bradey Adkins hit a couple of shots over the final 60 seconds to give Heber Springs a 17-6 advantage heading into the second quarter.
The Panthers would push their advantage to 17 at 30-13 with 3:31 left to play in the half after a Barnes basket. Subiaco Academy (10-7, 2-4) added a pair of field goals to go into the break down 30-17.
The Trojans fought their way back into the game in the third quarter outscoring the Panthers, 15-9, to trail Heber Springs 39-32.
Subiaco Academy would get as close as four points early in the fourth at 41-37 with 7:06 to play, but down the stretch it would be sophomore Malachi Miller and the free-throw line that would seal the deal for the Panthers.
Miller had 13 of his game-high 20 points in the final stanza as Heber Springs would hit 10 out of 12 free-throw attempts in the fourth to hold on for the win.
Hall and Adkins each finished with 12 points for the Panthers. Heber Springs was 87.5 percent from the line hitting 14 of 16 free-throw attempts.
The Panthers returned to conference play Tuesday night with a road trip to Morrilton in 4A-4 play. The trip will complete the first-round of conference play. Dardanelle leads the conference with 5-1 mark followed by Pottsville at 4-2, while Clarksville, Ozark and Morrilton are all next at 3-3. Heber Springs, Subiaco Academy and Dover all set at 2-4 in the conference.
Heber Springs’ next game at the Panther Den will be on Tuesday when it hosts Pottsville.
Heber Springs scoring (63): Malachi Miller 20, Bradey Adkins 12, Dalton Hall 12, Adam Martin 6, Trent Barnes 5, Dalton McCollum 4, Jacob Cantrell 4,
The Heber Springs junior boys improved to 3-11 on the season and 2-3 in the 4A-4 with a 47-31 victory over Subiaco Academy.
The Panthers hit nine 3-pointers as a team lead by Ryan Crocker’s four and Zach Stogsdill’s three.
Heber Springs led 19-9 at the half and 35-20 at the end of the third quarter.
The junior high teams return to action on Thursday when they travel to Mount Vernon-Enola for a non-conference contest beginning at 5 p.m. The seventh-grade girls and boys open things up followed by the junior girls and then the junior boys.
Heber Springs scoring (47): Ryan Crocker 14, Connor Riddle 11, Zach Stogsdill 9, Gus Hannah 4, Dakota Famer 4, Easton Cusick 3, Bauer Pruitt 2