Hesston coach Dustin Gaylon wants the Larks to take Tuesday’s game personally — especially what happened to the Hesston defense in a 92-72 loss to Highland Community College.


Hesston coach Dustin Gaylon wants the Larks to take Tuesday’s game personally — especially what happened to the Hesston defense in a 92-72 loss to Highland Community College.

“Defensively, we have to take it personally,” Gaylon said. “We have to play every possession like it’s life and death, and we have the athletes to do it.”

Hesston struggled on both sides of the ball Tuesday, trailing by as much as 30 points in the second half to a team who came out with a hot shooting hand.

Highland shot nearly 60 percent from the floor in the first half, including a blistering 58 percent from the three-point line.

The Scotties made as many three-point goals, 12, as Hesston took in the game.

“They executed their offense excellently,” Gaylon said. “They played harder than we did for all 40 minutes.”

While Highland finished the game with a 50 percent shooting night, Hesston’s early struggles spelled doom. The Larks shot just 30 percent from the floor in the first half and ended the night 23 of 60 for 38 percent shooting from the floor.

However, the night was not without highlights for the home team.

Joey Atkinson ended the night with a team-high 14 points and eight rebounds. He was paced by 12 from team leader Carlton Dean.

“Last week, we talked about getting healthy,” Gaylon said. “We are starting to get healthy enough to compete again. ... Dean was back tonight. He was hurt for a while.”

Gaylon said the team also got strong minutes off the bench from freshmen Dylan Krahn and Jason Crawford.

Krahn scored nine points, Crawford scored seven.

“Some of our kids came off the bench and played hard for us,” Gaylon said. “Krahn played especially well, and Crawford played hard for us.”

The Larks will be at home Friday and Saturday in the annual Pizza Hut Thanksgiving Classic.

The team will play against North Central Missouri at 8 p.m. Friday and the Bethel College JV at 8 p.m. Saturday in Yost Center.

Box score

Highland Community College (92) — Gray 7-15 3-4 21, Nordman 5-11 11, Coleman 8-13 3-4 22, Patterson 1-2 2-2 4, Powers 2-4 0-0 4, Fisher 2-3 0-0 6, Magg-Downing 3-5 1-4 8, Six 5-10 5-9 16, Reese 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 33-65 14-23 92.

Hesston (72) — Blackmon 3-9 5-7 11, Krahn 2-3 5-7 9, Dean 3-9 5-6 12, Atkinson 5-12 3-4 14, Vick 1-4 1-3 3, Crawford 3-5 0-0 7, Todd 2-6 1-5 5, Porter 2-4 0-2 4, Wright 1-7 0-0 3, Unruh 1-1 2-4 4. Totals: 23-60 22-38 72.

Half — Highland 48, Hesston 24. Three point shooting — Highland: Gray 4-10, Nordman 1-3, Coleman 3-5, Patterson 0-1, Powers 0-1, Fisher 2-2, Magg-Downing 1-2, Six 1-2, Team 12-26; Hesston: Dean 1-2, Atkinson 1-1, Crawford 1-2, Todd 0-1, Wright 1-6, Team 4-12. Rebounds — Highland 36 (Six 7), Hesston 32 (Atkinson 8). Assists — Highland 13 (Gray 5), Hesston 9 (Atkinson, Todd 2). Total fouls: Highland 25, Hesston 18.