Junior Jillian Herring finished with 24 points as Heber Springs defeated Morrilton, 65-62, in 4A-4 senior girls play on Tuesday night at the Panther Den.
The win by Heber Springs avenged a 66-45 setback to the same Devil Dog squad on Jan. 15 at Morrilton.
Morrilton had entered the contest on a six-game winning streak and could have wrapped up at least a share of the 4A-4 conference title with the victory, but now must wait to see if Dover, 1-10 in the conference, can upset Pottsville tonight.
Heber Springs (13-10, 5-6 in the 4A-4) raced out to an early 10-3 advantage after senior Jesslyn Johnson’s putback made it 10-3 with 4:10 left in the first quarter.
Sophomore Ellie Riddle closed out the scoring in the quarter with a pair of free throws and a pair of field goals as Morrilton (18-6, 9-3) closed the gap to 16-13 at the end of the opening quarter in favor of the Panthers.
In the second quarter, Herring would put on a show for the crowd on hand for the senior night festivities scoring 16 of Heber Springs’ 18 points, including three 3-pointers. Herring would have 20 first-half points, but the Devil Dogs were able to tie the game in the closing seconds of the first half with a 3-pointer to make it 34-all at the break.
The two teams would battle back-and-forth in the third quarter as the lead changed hands six times to go along with the four times the score was tied in the quarter as Riddle’s two free throws with 1.8 seconds left in the stanza knotted things up at 53-all heading into the final quarter.
The Panthers opened the final quarter on a 7-0 run as Claudia Newberry gave Heber Springs a 55-53 lead with 6:57 left before a Libby Stutts’ steal. Stutts fed Johnson for a lay-up at the other end.
Stutts capped off the run with a 3-pointer to make it 60-53 with 4:51 to play.
The Devil Dogs closed the gap to three at 62-59 with 56.1 seconds left, but Herring added two free throws late and Ashley Spanel added another for good measure as the Heber Springs closed out the victory.
Heber Springs travels to Clarksville tonight to close out the regular season. The Panthers will be the fourth seed at next week’s 4A-4 district tournament in Ozark and will play the winner of tonight’s Ozark/Dardanelle contest in a first-round match-up.
Heber Springs scoring (65): Jillian Herring 24, Ellie Riddle 12, Jesslyn Johnson 11, Libby Stutts 7, Claudia Newberry 6, Ashley Spanel 5.
4A-4 senior girls standings: Pottsville (9-2, 15-8), Morrilton (9-3, 18-6), Clarksville (8-3, 19-7), Heber Springs (5-6, 13-10), Ozark (4-7, 12-14), Dardanelle (3-8, 10-14), Dover (1-10, 8-16).
Freshman Joseph Pinion scored 25 points in helping push Morrilton past Heber Springs, 61-54, in 4A-4 conference play Tuesday night at the Panther Den.
Heber Springs (8-17, 3-10 in the 4A-4) trailed early 6-2 before going on a 17-4 run over the next eight minutes of play to take a 19-10 lead with 5:04 left in the first half after a Dalton Hall steal and lay-up capped off the run.
But Morrilton (15-10, 9-4) rebounded over the final 4:08 of the second quarter, outscoring the Panthers 14 to 6, to close the gap to one at the break, 25-24.
Heber Springs kept the lead through the early stages of the third quarter as a Dalton McCollum 3-pointer made it 30-26 at the 6:48 mark. After the Devil Dogs closed the gap to a field goal, an Adam Martin jumped pushed it back to a four-point lead at 32-28 with 5:56 to play in the third. Martin’s 3-pointer with 4:04 to play in the quarter would give the Panthers their final lead of the night at 37-35.
Morrilton would go on a 19-2 run over the next five minutes to take a 54-39 advantage with 7:08 to play that would seal the win for the Devil Dogs as a late push by Heber Springs came up short.
Panther seniors Bradey Adkins, Sam Cooper, Dalton Hall and Trevor Torres were honored before the game.
Heber Springs is on the road tonight at Clarksville to close out the 4A-4 regular season. The 4A-4 district tournament is set for next week at Ozark.
Heber Springs scoring (54): Adam Martin 14, Dalton Hall 13, Malachi Miller 13, Dalton McCollum 5, Bradey Adkins 5, Wyatt Sanders 3, Trevor Torres 1.
4A-4 senior boys standings: Pottsville (11-2, 20-4), Dardanelle (9-4, 21-5), Morrilton (9-4, 15-10), Ozark (7-6, 14-10), Dover (5-8, 12-13), Subiaco Academy (4-9, 12-12), Clarksville (4-9, 7-18), Heber Springs (3-10, 8-17).
Natalie Buffalo’s jumper as time expired lifted the Heber Springs junior varsity girls to a 19-17 comeback victory over Morrilton Tuesday night at the Panther Den.
The Panthers trailed by 17-14 with less than 10 seconds to play before freshman Hailey Bresnahan drilled a 3-pointer to tie the game. The Lady Panthers then stole the ensuing inbounds pass setting up Buffalo’s game-winning shot.
The win avenged a 32-17 setback on Jan. 15 at Morrilton for the junior varsity girls squad.
Heber Springs scoring (19): Hailey Bresnahan 9, Mary Shearer 6, Natalie Buffalo 4.