Larks miss shot at buzzer, Cardinals escape 

The Hesston College men’s basketball team dropped a heartbreaker to the visiting Labette Community College Cardinals, missing a game winning attempt at the final buzzer and falling 61-60 on sophomore day, Saturday at Yost Center. 

After a sluggish opening few minutes, Labette emerged with a seven-point advantage at 18-11. Sophomore Dillon Buchanan (Boerne, Texas) capped off a 10-0 Hesston run with an emphatic slam dunk. The Larks stretched their lead to 26-20 on a pair of free throws by freshman Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.). Hesston held Labette to 27% shooting from the field in the first half to lead 27-24 at the interval. 

The second half was a back and forth affair that came down to the last second. With a 58-56 lead with under 30 seconds on the clock for Labette, Lark freshman Collin Means (Deer Park, Texas) connected on two free throws to bring things even at 58-58. The Cardinals’ John Batts responded drilling a clutch three-pointer to give the Cardinals a 61-58 lead. After a missed shot for the Larks, freshman guard David Ladwig (Wichita, Kan.) cut to the hoop for an offensive board and put back to close the gap to 61-60 Cardinals with under 10 seconds. After an intentional foul, Labette missed the front end of a one-and-one and, after a quick scramble up the court, Hesston’s Collin Means’s long range three-point attempt bounced off the back rim as the buzzer sounded as a stunned crowed watched on at Yost Center.

Means finished with 13 points. Brian Allen (Houston, Texas) also had 13 points in the narrow loss. Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.) chipped in 11 for the Larks. Kevin Mack had 24 points, 20 of those coming in the second half for the Cardinals. Hesston drops to 10-16 overall (1-9 in region VI) clinging to postseason hopes.

Next up: Men’s Basketball will travel to Overland Park, Kan. on Wednesday, February 22, to take on Johnson County Community College. The Cavaliers squeaked by the Larks in their last meeting, 88-86 on January 28 in Hesston. Tip off from JCCC Gymnasium will be at 7:30 p.m.