It wasn’t the finish either team would have liked to close a ball game, even though one came away a winner Tuesday night at Yost Center in Hesston.

It wasn’t the finish either team would have liked to close a ball game, even though one came away a winner Tuesday night at Yost Center in Hesston.

Highland Community College handed the Hesston women their sixth loss of the season, 58-53, despite not hitting a field goal with 3:33 left in the game.

Hesston, however, did not capitalize. The Larks went the final 5:32 without hitting from the floor.

“It was a lack of execution on offense,” said coach Don Weaver. “We are a good shooting team, but we have to take the right shots at the right time. That is part of our learning curve.”

The Larks are definately a young team, with 11 freshmen on the 15-woman roster.

Freshman Megan Ballard from Whitewater led the Lark offense, scoring 12 points from the forward position. Another Kansas freshman, Elice Frey of Riley, led the team in rebounding with eight boards. Freshman guard Lynae Wright from Little River added nine points.

“I’m happy for Megan,” Weaver said. “She is a strong player, and no one works harder than her. Lynae had a good night, too. They were both really unlucky; they both had shots that spun out.”

Hesston battled throughout the game, especially in the first half, to overcome a slow start, hampered by cold shooting early. The Larks had just one field goal in the first four minutes before trailing 13-2.

Hesston started to awaken when Breezie Simms entered a scramble for a loose ball and had to leave the game with an injury with 8:46 left in the half.

Just over three minutes later, Megan Ballard hit a field goal that pulled Hesston to within five points, 23-18, setting up a furious close in the half.

Highland scored the next two buckets to take a nine-point lead, but Hesston again came alive, outscoring the Scotties in spurts. Sarah Ingbretson started one of those spurts, a 5-1 run, with a three-point goal with 3:04 to play. Hesston then pulled to within two on a three by Kari Heusinkveld with two minutes to play.

Despite hitting three of four from the free throw line in the final minute of the half, the Larks would close out the half down two, 35-33.

Hesston opened the second half by taking the lead, scoring the first four points and taking a 37-35 lead on a hoop by Wright at the 19:07 mark.

The lead was short-lived, as the Scotties rattled off the next five points of the contest to take a 40-37 lead with 17:31 left to play.

The teams traded hoops over the course of the next 10 minutes, when Hesston again used a scoring spurt to take a lead.

Ingrbretson hit a pair of free throws at the 7:37 mark to tie the game at 51. Wright scored the next bucket of the game, giving Hesston a 53-51 lead with 5:32 left.

Unfortunately for the Larks, Wright’s hoop was their final bucket of the game.

“We overcame the slow start, battled back, and took a lead,” Weaver said. “I thought when we did that, here we go. But we didn’t execute.”

The Larks fall to 5-6 on the season with a pair of home games this weekend. The Larks will host North Central Missouri at 6 p.m. Friday and the Tabor JV at 6 p.m. Saturday in the annual Pizza Hut Thanksgiving Classic.

The Larks lost to on the road at North Central Missouri Nov. 8.

“This is the toughest part of our schedule,” Weaver said. “Before Christmas always is with the Jayhawk league teams we schedule, and we’ve let a couple slip away.”

Highland Community College (58) — Smth 1-2 0-0 2, Galey 2-7 3-8 7, Abey 5-7 4-8 14, Prenger 8-17 1-2 20, Pettway 0-2 0-0 0, Reece 2-7 1-2 5, Howerton 2-4 2-5 6, Brennan 1-7 1-6 3, Gonzalez 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 21-55 12-31 58.

Hesston (53) — Coffman 0-1 0-0 0, Yeackley 0-1 0-0 0, Ingbretson 0-6 8-8 8, Nussbaum 0-1 0-0 0, Wright 4-12 1-5 9, Frey 3-9 0-2 6, Frank-Jones 2-7 1-2 6, Heusinkveld 3-10 0-0 8, Johnson 1-3 0-0 2, Sims 1-2 0-1 2, Block 0-4 0-0 0, Ballard 6-16 0-3 12. Totals: 20-72 10-21 53.

Halftime score — Highland 35, Hesston 33. Three point shooting — Highland, Smith 1-2, Galey 0-1, Prenger 3-4, Team 4-7; Hesston: Coffman 0-1, Ingbretson 0-2, Frank-Jones 1-5, Heusinkveld 2-6, Johnson 0-2, Team 3-16. Rebounds — Highland 38 (Abbey 18), Hesston 43 (Frey 9). Assists — Highland 14 (Galey 6), Hesston 11 (Ingbretson 3).