Men’s Basketball News Archive 2019-2020

Avalos, Hartley named Lark Athletes of the Year

The Hesston College athletic department announces the 2018-19 Male and Female Athletes of the Year, Lexi Avalos and Cal Hartley. Avalos was an outfielder for the Lark Softball Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) regular season champions and Hartley was a guard for the men’s basketball team.

Avalos stepped up to help lead the softball team to the best season in school history. She was first team all district and second team conference, her second all-district selection. She ended the year with 53 hits including two home runs. Avalos scored 35 and finished with 55 RBIs. For her career she tops the Larks with 118 hits over her two years. Avalos is a nursing major who will be a two time Academic-All American.

“Lexi was unquestionably our team leader, something she did not ask for,” said coach Andrew Sharp. Avalos will continue her education at Hesston College as she plans to get her bachelor of science in nursing degree.

Cal Hartley had a great year for the Lark men’s basketball team. He was a captain and leader on and off the court. Hartley earned second team in both the KJCCC and the NJCAA Region. In the NJCAA Cal ranked 8th Nationally in 3-pointers made (108) and 4th in free-throw percentage (88.1). He sits in the top 10 of the Hesston College all-time leaderboard in several categories including three pointers shot, three point shooting percentage and minutes played. Hartley is also a two time NJCAA Academic-All American with a 4.0 GPA. He will attend Drury University where he will continue his studies in business and play basketball.

Cavs defeat Lark men

It was almost a perfect ending to events in Yost Center on Wednesday night. In the last game before renovations begin, the men’s basketball team was down 1 with the ball and 8.2 seconds on the clock.

From under Johnson County’s basket, Grant Harding threw the inbound pass to Danny Bradley, Jr. Bradley quickly moved the ball up the floor and drove the lane. Swarmed by the Cavaliers defense, Bradley dished the ball to Derrick Magiya in the corner. He immediately swung the ball to Braden Handcock from on the wing who had a relatively free, albeit pressure filled look from behind the ark. The buzzer sounded with the ball was in the air, and the shot rimmed out. The Larks nearly defeated the ninth-ranked Cavaliers, falling, 60-59.

Cal Harley led all scorers with 29 points including 5 of 9 from three-point range and a perfect 6 for 6 from the line. Sterling Hicks tallied 13 and Magiya brought down 11 rebounds to lead the Larks.

It was a disappointing way to end sophomore night. Recognized for their contributions were Bradley, Handcock, Harding, Hartley and Hicks as well as Kendall Pelton, Ishmael Moye, Lucas Comfort, Malik Murad and CR Curless.

Highlights of their careers include Hartley currently in second in the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) in scoring and points per game. Harding sits fourth in points per game and fifth in overall scoring.

The Larks will return to action at Labette Community College at 4 p.m. on Saturday and follow that with KJCCC playoffs next week.

Lark men fall to #3 Highland CC

Hesston College joined the Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference (KJCCC) this year and it has been a challenging start for the men’s basketball program. With the NJCAA #3 Highland Community College playing host last night to Larks, it was not about to get any easier. The Larks fell 83-66.

The Larks took a quick lead on a Cal Hartley three-pointer on the opening possession, but battled uphill the rest of the game. The first half saw small runs for both teams and saw the Larks only trailing at different points by 2 or 3, staying in touching distance.

The effort continued throughout the game but the Larks just could not close the gap. The second half started the same as the first, Hartley hit a three-pointer to draw the Larks within 5, but again, Hesston could not narrow the gap.

Leading the Larks were Hartley with 21 points and Sterling Hicks with 18. Grant Harding added a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Derrick Magiya added 4 points and 11 rebounds on the night.

The Larks task does not get any easier. Saturday they travel to NJCAA #8 Johnson County for a KJCCC matchup. Tipoff will be at 4 p.m. The Larks are 10-12 on the season and 0-3 in the KJCCC.

Larks defeat Next Level Prep 89-86

It was the first day of spring term classes and basketball tipped off again in Yost Center as Hesston College took on Next Level Prep Academy (NLP) out of Wichita, Kan. It was an emotional night that saw the Larks band together and rise in character and determination to defeat Next Level 89-86. The introduction of ‘The Nest,’ the new Larks student section and its embodiment from the students added passion and fueled the excitement for the late comeback charge that sealed the victory for Hesston.

It was a back and forth game in the opening minutes. These five minutes saw the game tied 3 times and two lead changes as Hesston and Next Level exchanged shots. With the score tied at 9, NLP went on a 15-4 run over the next 4 minutes leaving the Larks trailing 26-13 at the midway point in the half. The Larks fought to get back in the game, but Next Level’s athleticism would not let that happen. They matched their largest lead – 13 – with 50 seconds left in the half.

Sterling Hicks hit a 3 followed by a defensive rebound by Cal Hartley that led to a quick bucket on the other end. A Next Level free throw with 7.8 seconds on the clock gave NLP a 44-34 lead. That is when the momentum changed and the quality Lark character started to emerge. Two technical fouls were issued to NLP as the Larks brought the ball up the court. Hartley hit 3-4 of the free throws and as time expired, nailed a straight-away 3-pointer from deep to bring the Larks within 4 at the half.

The second half saw more of Next Level’s athletic quality and they stretched the lead to 11 at different points in the half. They opened up the lead to 13, 81-68 with just 6 minutes remaining. But that is when the Larks resolve and determination took hold.

“It was a tale of the first 30 minutes and the last 10,” said Head Coach Dustin Galyon. “Our last 10 minutes we did a really good job of attacking and getting stops.”

After a Hesston College timeout, the Larks defense became oppressive, leading to an open break dunk by Grant Harding. The comeback was on. The Larks only gave up two more buckets in the game and went on a 17-3 run to close out the contest. With just 5 seconds on the clock, Hartley finished up his incredible night by sinking 2 free throws and icing the game.

“It was an emotional win for our guys,” said Galyon. “They played for one another, that is for sure.”

Eleven Larks played but it was the starters who really shined. Hartley led the team with 23 points, Hicks had 20, Harding 17, Danny Bradley Jr. 12 and Braden Handcock 11.

The Larks will be back in action tomorrow night, January 18, as they take on Bethel College JV in Yost Center at 8 p.m.

Lark men win a close one against Nation Wide Academy

In what was dubbed as ‘very entertaining game’ of basketball on the Lark Network, Hesston College defeated the Bengals of Nation Wide Academy Prep 90-83. It was an intense game that saw both teams make huge runs and take double digit leads.

Nation Wide were hot out of the gate, pushing the tempo and finding the bottom of the net. The Bengals led 37-20 at the 8:23 mark in the first half. The reversal of fortune started at the line. The Larks were able to draw plenty of fouls, but started converting free throws with freshman Reese Nobel going 2-for-2. A defensive rebound and another basket, followed by a Nebel steal-assist on the break brought the Larks within 11 in just 56 seconds. And the comeback was on. The Larks continued to claw and brought the deficit to just four at halftime.

“We had a very sluggish start,” said Head Coach Dustin Galyon, “but we really stayed committed on the defensive end which ultimately gave us a chance to win.”

The second half saw quality from everyone on the court.

“We had 11 guys contribute and that was awesome to see,” said Galyon.

Defensively the Larks held the Bengals to just 32 shots in the half and edged them 17-16 on the boards. This team effort saw the Larks open up a 16 point lead just under the halfway mark in the second. A run by the Bengals brought the game draw within 2 with just over 2 minutes to go, 83-81. The Larks were able to hold off the Bengals, converting on the offensive end while only giving up two more points in the final 2:18.

“Nation Wide is a very talented group with a couple of D1 players, so it was a good win for us,” said Galyon. “We continue to trend upwards and have more and more guys buying in. I am so proud of the guys’ focus and energy during a really tough finals week”.

Cal Hartley had a big night with 27 points and seven rebounds to lead the Larks. Also in double digits on the night were Danny Bradley Jr. (18), Braden Handcock (12) and Sterling Hicks (10).

Next up for the Larks: Christmas break. The season resumes with two home games in mid January: vs. Next Level Prep on the 16th and Bethel College JV on the 18th. Both games start at 8 p.m.

Lark men post third straight win

The Larks won their third game in a row picking up a comfortable win over the Central Christian Tigers JV team on Saturday afternoon. The final score was 92-63 and took the Larks to 8-7 on the year.

The game was close when Central Christian hit a three with 18:51 left in the 1st half giving the Tigers a 3-2 lead over the Larks. The Larks went on an 18-2 run the next 5 plus minutes to take over the game. The rest of the half continued to see the Larks push the game, finishing the half up 51-32. Cal Hartley led the Larks in the first with three 3s and 12 of his 15 points in the first half.

The Larks went 13 deep in the second half, outscoring the Tigers 41-31 and all 13 got on the score sheet. Leading the way was Hartley followed by Braden Handcock (13), Grant Harding (11), Danny Bradley Jr (10) and Sterling Hicks (11) off the bench. The Larks also won the battle on the boards 58-33.

Hesston College will step onto the court one more time before the winter break, as they will take on National Wide Academy on Wednesday, December 12 at 7 p.m. They will be back Wednesday, January 16 against Next Level Prep Academy.

Hesston men defeat McPherson JV, even record at 7-7

Hesston College men’s basketball got back to .500 on the season after picking up an 80-70 home win Monday night against McPherson College JV. After their best complete game of the year on Saturday, the Larks came in against the Bulldogs with plenty of momentum.

“It was a trap game for our guys coming off a huge weekend and an emotional big win on Saturday,” said Head Coach Dustin Galyon. “It can be really difficult to get guys focused and going after a weekend like that with a short turn-around, but we made enough plays on the defensive end and got stops down the stretch.”

The Larks commanded the game around the rim. They were aggressive around in both the attack and on the boards. Outscoring the Bulldogs 38-22 in the paint, out rebounding them 40-23 and going strong to the hoop, Hesston College earned 29 free throws, converting 25 of them.

Grant Harding lead the team with 21 points, Cal Hartley had 16, Danny Bradley, Jr., had 14, and off the bench Jacob Baker added 10. Bradley (9) and Harding led the team on the boards.

The Larks will step back onto the court Saturday, December 8, against Central Christian College JV in Yost Center.

Lark men pull together to defeat North Central Missouri

Playing their most compete game of the season so far, Hesston College defeated North Central Missouri College 92-86 in their second game of the Labette Community College Tournament. Great defense and a unified team effort spurred the Larks on for the win.

The first half was defined by a focused defensive mindset. The Larks held the Pirates to just 33 points in the opening 20 minutes. This was a direct reflection of the determination and unity that Hesston College chose to play with.

“Without question, it was our best defensive effort of the season,” said Head Coach Dustin Galyon.

The Larks took a 44-33 lead into halftime, a margin too great for the Pirates to overcome in the second half.

In the second half, the Larks got into some foul trouble. However, they were able to pull together down the stretch to close out the game, making some critical free throws in the waning minutes.

“We had an incredible effort against a very talented, big and deep NCMC team on Saturday,” said Galyon. “Our guys committed to the game plan for 40 minutes and it was exciting to see our group come together.”

Leading the way for the Larks was Danny Bradley, Jr., with 24 points with 5 assists and 4 rebounds. Also scoring in double digits were Cal Hartley (20) and Grand Harding (19). Derrick Magiya added 9 points and 4 rebounds while Braden Handcock added 7 points.

“I wasn’t surprised at the end result,” said Galyon, “rather happy that our guys bought in and were committed to one another for 40 minutes”.

The Larks will play at home Saturday, December 8, at 3 p.m., their last contest before winter break. They will resume with Next Level Prep Academy at home on Wednesday, January 16 at 8 p.m.

Lark men top Moundbuilders JV

Hesston College men’s hoops got back to their winning ways last night defeating the Moundbuilders of Southwestern College 85-67. A big first half led the way for the Larks who are now 5-4.

Each team scored in spurts to open up the first half. The Larks trailed 3-2 at the 17:10 mark in the opening period. Short bursts from each team highlighted a competitive opening 10 minutes, with the score tied at 16 a piece with 9:25 to go in the first. CR Curless hit 1 of 2 free throws to spark a 7-0 run over the next two minutes. The Moundbuilders tried to claw back making hitting two close range shots and bringing the score to 23-20 for the Larks. With 6:23 left in the half, the Larks pulled away. Hesston’s 15-0 run over the next five minutes was punctuated with a Grant Harding dunk and did not give Southwestern a chance to overcome the massive momentum the Larks had built.

The second half was mostly a formality as the Moundbuilders could never draw close enough to worry the Larks. The Larks took their biggest lead, up 25 with 12:53 to go in the game. The Larks outrebounded Southwestern 38-33. The Larks also outshot Southwestern 45.8% to 35.7% from the field and by over 10% from behind the arc.

Cal Hartley led the Larks with 23 points and 9 rebounds. Grant Harding also had a nice night with a double-double, 17 points and 12 boards and a team high 4 assists. Sterling Hicks had 16 points coming in off the bench.

The Larks will travel west to take on ninth ranked NJCAA D1 Hutchinson Community College on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. They will host Sterling College JV on Monday, November 26 followed by a home contest against Creating Young Minds Prep on Wednesday, November 28. Both games will start at 8 p.m.

Men’s basketball tops Next Level Preparatory Academy

Hesston College men’s basketball team put their 2-0 record on the line against a Next Level Preparatory Academy team laced with D1 commits Monday evening. It was a back and forth affair, with nine lead changes and the game tied six times. In the end it was the Larks prevailed, 86-80.

The first half saw Next Level control the scoreboard. Any time the Larks tried to make a run and even things up, Next Level would find their shot, always keeping the Larks a few points behind. With four minutes remaining, the Larks trailed 29-22, but their first real run of the game was about to happen.

The Larks hit a three with some great dribble-drive ball movement by Grant Harding and Derrick Magiya to free up Braden Handcock for the open look. The Larks went on to hit another three and make several free throws to draw within one, 35-34, with just under a minute on the clock. Off a defensive rebound with seven seconds on the clock, Harding found the quick outlet to a streaking Lucas Comfort who races down the court. The contested layup falls and Comfort gets fouled, giving him an and-1, which he sinks. The Larks head into the locker room with a 37-35 lead.

The second half sees more back and forth action as Next Level Prep goes on a 14-3 run early in the half. At the 13:43 mark in the second, the Larks find themselves with their largest deficit of the season down 56-45. Hesston tightens up its defense and starts clawing back, taking the lead on a Reese Nebel jumper with 8:58 to go. The lead continues to change hands until 1:20 remains in the game. Off the steal by Comfort, Harding hits a jumper tying the game at 80. The Larks held Next Level scoreless in the last three minutes of the game to take the win, 86-80.

The Larks were out rebounded by the more athletic Next Level Prep 35-23, but the big story was points off of turnovers. The Larks had a +6 differential, which was the final margin of victory on the night. The Larks hit 41.7% from behind the arc, led by Cal Hartley who went 6-11 and scored 25 on the night. Derrick Magiya (16), Grant Harding (15) and Braden Handcock (10) scored double-digits for the Larks. Grant Harding had a double-double adding 13 rebounds to his 10 points.

The Larks will continue to host games over the next week. Butler Community College will be in Yost Center on Wednesday, November 7, at 8 p.m. Bethany College will visit on Friday, November 9, at 5:30 and next week will see Neosho County Community College come to Hesston on Tuesday, November 13, at 8 p.m. The Larks are now 3-0.

Men’s basketball opens season with win over Ottawa JV

Hoops are back at Hesston College for the 2018-19 season. The men’s basketball team tipped off last night at home against Ottawa University JV. They secured the 93-73 victory to start the season 1-0.

The Larks started off quick, going up 8-0 in the first 1:11 with Grant Harding getting the scoring started with a short jumper. Cal Hartley hit a three, followed by Harding’s three, and Hesston never looked back. The Larks went on good spurts out scoring the Braves of Ottawa and pushing the lead to 13 at halftime, 43-30. “We had good periods of time,” said Head Coach Dustin Galyon.

Four Larks were in double digits. Starters Hartley (22) and Harding (20) lead the Larks with Danny Bradle1y, Jr., (14) and Sterling Hicks (14) came off the bench to add to the scoring. Freshman Derrick Magiya added 9 points and led the Hesston with 9 rebounds.

“We have really only had most of our guys healthy for two days” said Head Coach Dustin Galyon. “It is good to get off to a good start. We have plenty to build on but I was excited with the scoring spurts we went on.”

The Larks will be back on the court tonight, November 2 at 8 p.m. against Bethel College JV.

42 Larks named to NJCAA All-Academic Teams

The Hesston College athletic department announces that 42 student-athletes have been named National Junior College Athletic Association Academic All-Americans. To be an All-American a student needs to complete a minimum of 24 credits over the two semester school year. The 42 student-athletes represents 24% of Hesston’s total athletes on campus. Congratulations to the following students:

Named to the first team with a GPA of 4.0 were Landon Baer (North Lima, Ohio), men’s soccer; Jenna Boller (Kalona, Iowa), women’s soccer; Jeremy Deckinger (Wichita, Kan.), baseball; Jade Gleason (Brush, Colo.), volleyball; Cal Hartley (Benton, Kan.), men’s basketball; Luke Hertzler (Harrisonburg, Va.) men’s soccer; Kylee Kasselman (Claflin, Kan.), volleyball; Kate Kilmer (Goshen, Ind.), women’s cross country; Cassidy King (Cochranville, Pa.), volleyball; Kaylen Lassley (Salina, Kan.), softball; Levi Litwiller (Hopedale, Ill.), men’s cross country; Nicole Loewen (Hutchinson, Kan.), women’s tennis; Taylor Longenecker (Harrisonburg, Va.), men’s track and field; Faith Manickam (Hesston, Kan.), women’s soccer; Elizabeth Miller (Archbold, Ohio), women’s cross country; Rio Mori (Osaka, Japan), women’s tennis; Curtis Oesch (Caldwell, Idaho), men’s tennis; Hannah Rosenbaum (Richmond, Texas), women’s tennis; Jaelyn Rufenacht (Pettisville, Ohio), softball; Jenna Schneider (Lodi, Calif.), softball; Morgan Sterner (Lehi, Utah), women’s basketball; Harune Suzuki (Osaka, Japan), women’s tennis; Bryson White (Fort Worth, Texas), men’s soccer; and Sadie Winter (Newton, Kan.), women’s cross country.
Lark athletes named to the 2018-19 NJCAA All-Academic second team
Named to the All-Academic Second Team with a GPA of 3.80 to 3.99 were Sam Amarante (Lodi, Calif.), softball; Kenzie Brown (Estes Park, Colo.), women’s soccer; Andre Eanes (Harrisonburg, Va.) men’s cross country; Faith Hallmark (El Dorado, Kan.), volleyball; Zac Neely (Ada, Okla.), men’s basketball; Caitlyn Nichols (Mesa, Colo.), women’s basketball; and Payton Yehnert (Parker, Colo.) women’s soccer.
Lark athletes named to the 2018-19 NJCAA All-Academic third team
Named to the All-Academic Third Team with a GPA of 3.60 to 3.79 were Alexis Avalos (Yucaipa, Calif.), softball; Savannah Bontrager (Milford, Neb.), women’s cross country; Sierra Broce (Goddard, Kan.), women’s cross country; Annalys Hanna (Fraser, Colo.), volleyball; Jacob Harris (El Paso, Texas), baseball; Shaelyn Headrick (La Junta, Colo.), women’s basketball; Preston Judd (Hayden, Ala.), baseball; Kaede Nakada (Tokyo, Japan), women’s tennis; Miho Okuda (Chiba-ken, Japan), women’s soccer; Haley Unruh (Wilmore, Kan.), volleyball; and Lindsey Yoder (Millersburg, Ohio), women’s soccer.

Neely and Campbell earn all-region honors

The Hesston College men’s basketball season came to an end on a buzzer-beater just a few weeks ago. But, this is not the end, especially for two of the Larks outstanding sophomores. Zac Neely and Coye Campbell were both named to the NJCAA All-Region teams this past week. Neely was selected to the Region VI-Division II First Team. And Campbell was honored with a Second Team selection.

Neely was a two-year starter for the Larks. A model of consistency as he averaged 15.2 points and 7.1 rebounds per game this season.

“There is not anyone more deserving than Zac,” said Head Coach Dustin Gaylon. “I am not surprised. Hard work really pays off.” Neely will transfer to Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Florida. He has been awarded a full scholarship and will compete in one of the toughest NCAA DII conferences in the country.

Campbell averaged 16.5 points per game this season. He also had a 1:5 assist to turnover ratio. He also scored a career high 44 points in a game against Southeast Community College early in the season.

While Campbell’s on the court accomplishments are fantastic, it is his personal turnaround that really captures his quality. Coach Gaylon uses words like “growth,” “amazing story,” and is “the best player on the court at times,” to describe Campbell. Coye has a full-scholarship NCAA DI offer but is still deciding on the next step.

Larks get sophomore night win over Johnson County

It was sophomore night, a chance to honor the five guys who have put in two quality years on the court for the Larks. It was going to be a tough matchup as Hesston College was taking on Johnson County Community College, top of the standings and undefeated in Region VI play. After a slow start, the defense got rolling and the Larks were able to take the victory, winning 79-78.

Johnson County started off hot hitting their first three shots, including two 3-pointers. They started the game on an 11-0 run until Grant Harding hit a three to open the scoring for the Larks. But it was almost eight minutes into the first half and down 23-6 until the Larks really got things going.

“Our defense was the key,” said Head Coach Dustin Gaylon. The defense spurred on the offense allowing the Larks to move the ball down the court before Johnson County could get their defense set up. Coye Campbell took over attacking the rim.

With just over six minutes remaining in the half, two big defensive plays elevated the Larks. Aubrey Johnson came up with a block and seconds later Shannon Cordes stole the ball. On the transition offense, Johnson was about to knock down a jump shot to bring the Larks within five, 30-25. This was a part of a 20-7 run for the Larks to end the half, giving them a two point lead heading into the break, 39-37.

The second half saw more back and forth basketball, but the Larks never relinquished their lead. “I am proud of how hard our guys played on the defensive end,” said Gaylon. “We finally played defense like we are capable for a full game.”

David Ladwig led the defense with four steals and Cal Hartley and Grant Harding each had six defensive rebounds. On the offensive side of the ball, Cambell had 28 points, Hartley 16 and Harding 12.

The Larks will head to Labette CC (Parsons) on Wednesday, February 28, for the opening round of NJCAA Region VI playoffs. The game will tipoff at 6 p.m.

Larks hit nine threes in a row, defeat KCK

Hosting the Blue Devils of Kansas City Kansas Community College, the Hesston Men’s basketball team closed strong to earn the win. Having already defeated KCK in Kansas City, the Larks looked to their depth and defense at home. With the 73-61 final the Larks believe this will be enough to get into the post season and still hope for an opportunity to host a playoff game.

The first half saw many ebbs and flows with both teams taking and relinquishing the lead several times. Neither team shot well in the first half. “I thought we were a little tight early,” said Head Coach Dustin Gaylon. However, “we were a very focused group last night. We played really hard and committed for 40 minutes.” Going into half the Larks trailed 28-25.

Focus and team depth really started to show as tired legs began to build in the second half. And then, just after the 10-minute mark in the second half, the Larks’ shooting caught fire. Down 44-36 Coye Campbell knocked down a three and the comeback was on. Over the next six minutes the Larks would make eight more threes and two two-pointers without a miss, overcoming KCK and pushing the lead to 68-56 with 1:56 to play.

“We played so hard defensively and that gave us a chance late in the game when we finally starting hitting shots,” said Gaylon.

Leaders for the Larks were Cal Hartley with 19 points, followed by Zac Neely (15) and Coye Campbell (13). The bench dominated outscoring KCK 27-0 led by Aubrey Johnson (12). The team shared the ball well with a 16-5 assist advantage over KCK.

The Larks will be away on Saturday, February 17, at Highland Community College and finish the regular season at home with two games: Wednesday, February 21 against Labette Community College (8 p.m.) and Saturday, February 24, against Johnson County Community College (3 p.m.).