The back-and-forth duel that led to victory for the Hesston women was a tough act to follow. The Hesston men succeeded in duplicating the drama against Bethany, but came up on the wrong side of the scoreboard for the third straight game, falling 88-71. The final score is hardly indicative of how well matched these teams were, but despite a game-leading 21 points from sophomore Tra Smoot the Larks were unable to grab their first win of the season.
Unlike the women’s game, the men played a game of runs. For example, with the score sitting at 24-23 Bethany, the Swedes opened the game up with a 13-3 run to go up 37-26. But immediately following that came a 10 straight points by Hesston to bring the score to 37-36 at halftime. Hesston extended the run 12 with the first basket of the second half to take a small lead, but that would be the last time the Larks would ever be ahead, as Bethany responded with an extended 20-10 run to go back up 57-48. After that the Swedes continued to slowly build the eventual 17 point margin the game would end on.
That’s not to say Hesston wasn’t in this game for a while. Freshman Darrion Martin scored most of his 17 points in the second half, largely on the strength of 10 free throws. The Larks outrebounded Bethany 36-30, but lost the game to two key categories; turnover and three-point shooting. Hesston committed twice as many turnovers than the Swedes, 24-12, while Bethany hit twice as many threes, 12-6. AJ Ford led the Swedes with 21, tying him with Smoot for the game high total.
Hesston (0-3) travels to Beatrice, Neb on Nov. 11 for their next game against Southeast CC. Their next home game in Nov. 13 against Barton CC.