Men’s Basketball News Archive 2017-2018

Photo release – Special Olympics coaching clinics on campus Sept. 9

Hesston College played host to Special Olympics coaching clinics for basketball and soccer led by Andrew Stauffer, volunteer certified Special Olympics basketball and soccer coach, Saturday, Sept. 9. Stauffer made classroom presentations on philosophy, theory and practice drills for basketball and soccer, then worked with Larks men’s basketball players and women’s soccer players to demonstrate drills and modifications. More than 40 coaches from south central Kansas attended the clinics which were open to all Kansas coaches. All Special Olympics coaches must attend a face-to-face clinic in order to be certified. Hesston College photos by Larry Bartel

Hesston College men's basketball players demonstrate drills at a clinic for prospective Special Olympics coaches.
Hesston College men’s basketball players demonstrate drills at a clinic for prospective Special Olympics coaches.

Men’s basketball loses in Salina to end year

The Hesston College men’s basketball team traveled north to Salina and lost to Brown Mackie College on Saturday afternoon 102-77 in their final game of the season.

The Larks finish the year at 10-19, while the Lions have a final game remaining vs. Fort Scott on March 1. Hesston men’s basketball plans to return six freshman to next year’s roster. Brown Mackie College will close its doors at the end of the year, and playing their final game against Hesston College.

Coach Galyon will look to get back on track next season, in hopes of getting the Larks a return trip to the NJCAA National Tournament (2014-15).

The bounce back: A Lark gets back his winning wings

As a sophomore in high school, Heath Agnew was captain of his basketball team, averaging a double-double every game. Proven to be a young leader with immense potential, Agnew already had colleges begin the show interest in him. By his junior year he was getting calls from some of the biggest Division II schools in the country, several Division IIIs, and even a couple of Division Is. Agnew’s future was looking promising.

Basketball was year-round for Agnew. During the fall of his senior year, it became his sole focus. But there was one thing holding him back. He had started feeling shooting pains in his back the previous summer.

“I never thought anything of it,” he said. “When it started hurting I’d go see someone to loosen my muscles so I could still play. I never took time off. I thought ‘I’m 17 years old, I’m invincible, I’ll be fine.’ ”

So he kept training.

Then, in the middle of weight training, it happened.

He felt a pop while dead-lifting.

The next morning he wasn’t able to move his right leg. Agnew had suffered from a herniated disc, causing pinching in the sciatic nerve down his right leg. He was put in rehab, started physical therapy, endured shock pain management and hoped to be healthy by the time the season started.

However, recovery wasn’t going as well as expected and Agnew missed the first six games of the season. The DI and II schools who had been watching him called to say they chose to put him on hold for the spring. After seeing rehab wasn’t working, the doctors gave Agnew two options.

“Do you want to play or have surgery?”

“Looking back on it now, I should’ve had surgery,” said Agnew. “But it was my senior year and those guys were the teammates I’d been playing with since third grade. That was my team, my school, my people and I had to show loyalty to that.”

So Agnew played through the pain and contributed to the team the best he could. He returned to play for four games before he broke his ankle and ended up in a boot, benched for three more weeks.

He came back to play three weeks earlier than he should’ve, helping his team end the season by winning district.

Then he and his mom decided it was time for surgery. By then the nerve damage was so bad, he could no longer feel anything above the ankle in his right leg.

“At that point, all thoughts of playing college basketball were over,” said Agnew. “I decided I was just going to go to school and be a regular student at Texas State.”

But when he woke up from surgery, feeling like a new person, he reconsidered.

“I visited two DIIIs in Texas and got a good offer from a DII in Minnesota,” said Agnew. “I was really considering Minnesota, but after they found out about my back injury, things changed. I told the coach, ‘Minnesota’s too cold for that small offer.’”

Enter Dustin Galyon.

“I got a call from my dad saying that he had received a call from a NJCAA, DII school in Hesston Kansas,” said Agnew. “I wasn’t considering a junior college, but my dad said the coach was already in Texas, why not give it a shot?”

Agnew’s car ride to Texas Roadhouse, where he was meeting Galyon, was the first time he was able to sit up, let alone ride in a car for two weeks.

“We got there before they did so I went to the bathroom,” said Agnew. “I’m using the bathroom and Hurricane Galyon comes flying at me and starts greeting me, a hundred miles an hour talking to me. I thought ‘what am I getting myself into?’”

Two weeks later, Agnew endured a nine-hour drive to visit Hesston College.

“It was the perfect day, 70 degrees, chicken patties for lunch, everything was perfect,” said Agnew. “I met with the Jontray Harris, who I had known from playing against in high school, and instantly I could just see the maturity from just a year at Hesston. It was a testament to how coach can change people.”

On his way back to Texas, Agnew called his mom and told her he’s moving to Kansas.

“I committed and the rest is history.”

But that’s not the end of the story.

“He just keeps getting healthier and healthier,” said Galyon. “A guy who comes in as a freshman and didn’t play much while his body was getting right, to now as a sophomore, started every game this semester, unanimous team captain, I would say in some ways he’s won more than people ever thought.

“Heath Agnew’s story is incredible,” said Galyon. “When we talk about athletics, we talk about perseverance, toughness and winning. Yes, winning is important. But if you think about winning in a broader perspective, winning is not giving up, defying the odds and coming back from adversity.”

by Jasmine Pankratz

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.

Larks rally falls short

After trailing by 15 points in the second half, Hesston College men’s basketball rallied to within four only to lose 63-50 to the visiting Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College Greyhounds at Yost Center.

A defensive first half mixed with poor shooting saw both teams struggle to get any rhythm going. After things were knotted at 17-17 with under 3:00 to play in the first half, the Greyhounds responded with a 7-0 run to lead 24-17 and took a 26-20 edge at the break. The Greyhounds stretched their margin to 15 points at 44-29 midway through the second half. A 12-0 Hesston College run made it 44-41 Fort Scott before the Greyhounds responded. They came out of their timeout and rattled off their own 9-0 run to go up 53-41, taking control of the game and going on to win 63-50. Hesston College was held to 28% shooting for the game.

Fort Scott was automatic at the stripe, connecting on 17 of 18 free throws as a team. Freshman forward Heath Agnew (Mountain City, Texas) scored 12 points and three players added 9 points in the loss for Hesston, who dropped to 10-15. The Greyhounds received payback as they lost to the Larks 66-62 in Fort Scott last month. Tyler Zinn scored a game high 20 points (11/11 FT) to help secure the win for the Greyhounds.

“we rallied hard, again our defense was good enough all game, we just went through a stretch where we didn’t score,“ Head Coach Dustin Galyon said following the game.

Next up: The Larks will return to Yost Center on Saturday February 18 to take on Labette Community College. Tipoff will be at 3:30 p.m. against the Cardinals. Hesston College lost 75-63 at Labette on January 25.

Larks hang tight with Scotties, lose late

The Hesston College men&squo;s basketball team traveled to Ben Allen Fieldhouse and lost to Highland (Kan.) Community College 71-58 on Saturday in Region IV play. The Larks dug themselves a quick hole trailing 12-4 with only a few minutes gone. The Scotties enjoyed the lead for most of the half, and saw it reach double digits on a Collin Jasper three-point basket (33-22). Hesston got themselves back in the game going on an 11-4 run at the end of the half to bring things to 36-33 at the interval.

Highland turned up the defensive effort in the second half, holding Hesston to 25 points. The Larks didn’t let down, putting in a gritty effort, battling back to take the lead by four points. “I’m proud of how hard we played,” Head Coach Dustin Galyon commented. “We had the lead at one point in the second half and they hit three incredible contested shots and we just couldn’t get back from it.”

Shooting guard Carson Smith (Baytown, Texas) led the Larks with 16 points and seven rebounds. Freshman guard Caleb Harris (Dayton, Ohio), coming off a career high 27 points, added 12. Highland benefited from Stephon Jackson’s game hight 20 points.

The loss drops the Larks to 10-14 and the Scotties move to 18-7. Hesston College men’s basketball returns to action Wednesday night when they host Fort Scott (Kan.) Community College. The Larks defeated the Greyhounds 66-62 last month in Fort Scott. Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m. from Yost Center.

Harris’s 27 points not enough as Larks fall to KCKCC

Freshman guard Caleb Harris (Dayton, Ohio) scored 27 points, a career high, but it wasn’t quite enough as the Hesston College men’s basketball team lost 78-66 on the road in Kansas City.

The Kansas City Kansas Community College Blue Devils raced out of the gate to take a 11-2 lead forcing Larks coach Dustin Galyon into a quick timeout at 15:59. KCKCC extended their lead to 18-6 with just under 10 minutes to play in the first half. The Larks, unable to shrug off a cold shooting first half, trailed 35-27 at the break.

In the second half, Hesston College began hitting some shots, Caleb Harris playing a large role. Harris, who has played sparingly all season for the Larks, stepped up big in his opportunity scoring 19 of his 27 points in the second half to bring things within 6 points late, The Blue Devils converted on several key free throws down the stretch to hold off the Larks rally. Freshman shooting guard Collin Means (Deer Park, Texas) scored 19 points, and Carson Smith (Baytown, Texas) chipped in 12. Mike Lee Jr. scored 19 points in the win for the Blue Devils.

“The guys played hard, but we missed a lot of open shots and let them (Blue Devils) out to an early lead,” Head Coach Dustin Gaylon said after the game. With the loss, Hesston College drops to 10-13 overall.

The Larks travel to Highland, Kansas on Saturday to play the Scotties. Highland Community College defeated the Larks 76-69 last month in their only visit to Hesston. Freshman forward Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.) who missed Wednesday’s game in Kansas City with the flu, scored 21 points vs. the Scotties.

Larks rally falls short in loss to Lions

Amariontez Ivory scored 31 points and Ali Abdelrahim added 18 to lead the Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) Lions past the Hesston College Larks 85-78. Brown Mackie, playing in their final season before the college closes its doors at the end of the academic year, was successful in its last trip south to Yost Center.

The Lions jumped out to an early 20-5 lead as Hesston struggled to shake off their cold shooting from the field. Sam Smith connected on three baskets from long range in the opening minutes. The Lions scored 49 first half points and lead 49-33 at the break.

Freshman shooting guard Collin Means (Deer Park, Texas) scored 17 of his 27 points in the second half, as the Larks were forced to rally from 22 points down. A driving layup from freshman guard David Ladwig (Wichita, Kan.) brought the score within three points at 70-67 Lions with 5:15 remaining. The Larks got as close as 76-74 on two free throws by freshman forward Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.) The Lions responded with a quick 6-0 run to ice the game.

“I’m incredibly proud of how hard we executed at the end. If we can put two halves together, we’ll be a good team,” remarked coach Dustin Galyon following the game. “Turnovers have been our Achilles heel. We can’t have 20 and expect to beat anyone.” The loss drops the Larks to 10-12 overall.

Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.) and freshman forward, Heath Agnew (Mountain City, Texas) were the other Larks in double figures, scoring 10 points in the narrow loss. Hesston men’s basketball will travel to Kansas City for their next contest February 8. The Larks will take on the Blue Devils from Kansas City Kansas Community College. Hesston fell 78-63 last month in the first matchup. Tipoff from KCKCC Fieldhouse will be at 7:30 p.m.

Johnson County CC knock off Larks

Patrick Cairns scored 19 points, Nick Larkin and Anthony Lupardus added 15 points each as the Johnson County Community College (Overland Park, Kan.) Cavaliers defeated the Hesston College Larks 88-66 Saturday afternoon in Hesston.

After the Larks took a narrow two point lead (9-7) to start the game, the Cavaliers rattled off a 14-0 run to take a controlling 21-9 advantage. Hesston went into the locker room trailing 39-26. The Lark men put up 40 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough, as Johnson County scored 49. Freshman forward Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.) continued his strong offensive output, scoring 18 points in the loss for Hesston. Freshman shooting guard, Collin Means (Deer Park, Texas) went 3/5 from long range scoring 14 points. Carson Smith (Baytown, Texas) scored 11 points off the bench.

The loss drops Hesston to 10-11 overall, 1-4 in Region VI, as they continue a tough stretch of games. Johnson County improves to 15-6 overall with the win as Cavaliers coach Mike Jeffers recorded his 500th victory. The Larks will travel to Overland Park February 22 for a rematch.

Next up – Hesston College men’s basketball will take on Brown Mackie College (Salina, Kan.) on Wednesday February 1. Tipoff will follow the women’s game at 7:30. The Lions are coming off a 63-45 win over Highland CC.

Cardinals top Larks

Hesston College men’s basketball, looking to follow up Saturday’s big win at Fort Scott, came up short, losing 75-63 to Labette Community College (Parsons, Kan.) in a hard fought Region VI road game.

The Cardinals went up 9-2 in the first few couple minutes, hitting a couple deep shots forcing Hesston College coach Dustin Galyon into a quick timeout at the 18 minute mark. The Larks settled into their offense, hitting a few shots of their own, cutting the deficit to 34-32 before the Cardinals went on a 6-0 run to close the half.

Labette outscored the Larks 36-31 in the second half, connecting on numerous second chance points and points off turnovers. The Larks were outrebounded (47-33) and committed 27 turnovers.

Freshman guard Collin Means (Deer Park, Texas) went 5/12 from three point range finishing with 21 points for the Larks. Freshman forward Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.) added 15 points. Frank Royles and Kevin Mack each scored 21 for the Cardinals. The win pushes the Cardinals to 10-11 overall as Larks drop to an even 10-10.

Next up – Hesston College will continue Region VI play vs. Johnson County Community College Cavaliers. Tipoff will follow the women’s game at 3:30 p.m. from Yost Center.

Larks basketball sneaks by Ft. Scott

In what looked to be a tough task away from Yost Center, the Hesston College men’s basketball team traveled to Fort Scott, Kan., and knocked off the Greyhounds 66-62. After trailing 32-30 at the break, the Larks chipped away in the second half, taking the lead for good down the stretch.

Freshman point guard Brian Allen II, who has embraced his new starting role, connected on several clutch shots from the line to help secure the victory for Hesston College at Arnold Arena in Fort Scott. With the win, the Larks snapped a two game skid vs. the Greyhounds as Ft. Scott defeated the Larks on both occasions during the 2015-16 season.

Freshman forward Heath Agnew (Mountain City, Texas) carried the load for Hesston College finishing with 15 points and seven rebounds. Freshman guard Collin Means (Deer Park, Texas) added 12 points and freshman guard David Ladwig (Wichita, Kan.) rounded out the double figure scorers with 10 points. Anthony Cerda led all scorers on the day with 17 points in the loss for the Greyhounds.

Next up – Hesston will travel to Parsons to take on Labette Community College Wednesday, January 25. Tip off vs. the Cardinals will be at 7:30 p.m.

Scotties slip by Larks in Hesston

The Highland (Kan.) Community College Scotties men’s basketball team visited Yost Center and came away with a 76-69 victory over Hesston College. The Larks led 34-30 at halftime but Highland went on a 12-5 run in the second half to re-take the lead at 52-49 and didn’t look back. In a back and fourth second half, the Scotties scored 46 points to secure the Region VI win.

Hesston held Highland to under 30% shooting from the field but the Scotties benefited from numerous second chance opportunities from offensive rebounds down low and converted 29 second chance points. The Larks had only 2 points coming off offensive rebounds.

Freshman forward Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.) scored 12 points in the first half to lead the Larks. Neely finished with a game high 21 points in the loss. Freshman guard Carson Smith (Baytown, Texas) added 14 points in a starting role. Ryan Haskins scored 17 points for Highland, and Jaquan Daniels chipped in 15. The Scotties move to 13-4 on the season, and the Larks drop back to .500 at 9-9. These same teams will match up once again (in Highland) on February 11.

Up next- Larks Basketball will head to Fort Scott, Kan., to take on the Greyhounds. Tip off from Arnold Arena is set for 4 p.m. Saturday January 21.

Blue Devils top Larks

Hesston College men’s basketball rallied from 22 points down, eventually losing to the Kansas City Kansas Community College Blue Devils 78-63. The Larks surged ahead 9-2 to open the game before KCK settled in finding their scoring rhythm.

The Blue Devils responded with an 11-0 run to jump ahead 26-22. Kellan Turner scored 14 first half points and the Blue Devils connected on 10 three-point baskets in the first frame to take a 41-34 edge into the locker room.

Turner added another 12 in the second half for a game high 26 points to lead the Blue Devils in the road win. Freshman forward Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.) finished with 13 points for the Larks in the loss and sophomore point guard Brian Allen (Houston, Texas) and frehman guard Collin Means (Deer Park, Texas) added 11 each.

The Blue Devils improve to 4-14 with the win, as the Larks dip to 9-8 overall. Hesston College returns to Yost Center Wednesday, January 18, for a game vs. the Scotties of Highland (Kan.) Community College. Tipoff will be 7:30 p.m. following the conclusion of the women’s game.

26-2 run fuels Larks past Falcons

Basketball is a game of runs, and the Hesston College men’s basketball team, trailing the Friends University Falcons JV 13-6, rallied off a 26-2 scoring run midway through the first half to take a comfortable lead and go into the break up 41-24. The Larks continued the impressive play and outscored Friends 51-38 in the second half to win 92-62 at Yost Center.

These teams matched up in a preseason scrimmage in October and it looked like the Larks learned a few things. The defense was stifling in the first half, as the Larks held the Falcons to 21% from the field. Offensively, the depth for Hesston College has been a positive factor in the early part of the season, and it made an exclamation point as the bench scored 71 of the team’s 92 points.

Freshman guard Caleb Harris (Dayton, Ohio) scored 15 points, all in the second half, to carry the load. Sophomore forward Heath Agnew (Mountain City, Texas), freshman forward Cory Holt (Houston, Texas) and freshman forward LaDarius Johnson (Richmond, Texas) each scored 12 points. Freshman point guard Coye Campbell (Mesquite, Texas) averaging 16.3 points a game to lead the Larks, added 10. Jackson Oldham scored 20 points for Friends and Eric Sharping added 14 in the loss.

“72 bench points…our guys did a nice job of sharing the ball and getting each other open,” Coach Dustin Galyon commented. “We held them to two points for a total of 10 minutes in the first half during one stretch so guys were really guarding.”

Hesston College moves to 9-7 overall and will have a month off, before returning to action January 9. The Larks will travel to McPherson to take on the McPherson College Bulldogs JV. Hesston defeated McPherson JV 85-70 on November 21 at Yost Center.

Hesston races by Tigers

The Hesston College men’s basketball team rebounded from three straight loses to defeat the visiting Central Christian Tigers JV team 111-80. The Larks raced out to a quick 11-2 lead to begin the game. The advantage grew to 20 points midway through the first half, as the Larks’ shots were falling, while aggressively getting to the basket. Hesston controlled the game from start to finish and went into halftime up 60-34 shooting over 60% from the field.

In the second half, the Larks quickly pushed their advantage to nearly 30 points to cruise for a comfortable win. Back to back buckets by Carson Smith (Baytown, Texas) and an emphatic slam dunk by Dillon Buchanan (Boerne,Texas) made it 79-40, bringing the student section to their feet!

It was a balanced scoring attack for the Larks as 14 players scored in the lopsided victory. Freshman guard Carson Smith scored 22 including six three-pointers. Freshman forward LaDarious Johnson (Richmond, Texas) chipped in 14 points, a career high, and Cory Holt (Houston, Texas) 12 points- were the three players in double figures. Freshman forward Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.) added nine points, and three players scored seven points. Vann Calhoune carried the weight for the Tigers with 24 points, while Garrett Bylsma scored 14 in the loss for Central.

Head Coach Dustin Galyon returned to the sidelines after missing the previous two games due to the birth of his child. “I’m very proud of how we shared the ball and made the extra pass,” coach Galyon said following the game. “We were committed to our defensive assignments. It was a good win and fun to get a lot of guys involved.”

The Larks move to 8-7, snapping a three-game losing streak with the win over the Tigers. Hesston returns to the court Wednesday, December 7 for a 7 p.m. tipoff against the Friends University Falcons JV.