Last Thursday night, the Barclay College men’s basketball team, fresh off a runner-up finish in the Midwest Christian College Conference tournament in Ankeny, Iowa, were back in action. They were rewarded the #4 seed in the National Christian College Athletic Association Southwest Region tournament held in Moore, Okla. and drew Dallas Christian College for their opening round opponent.
Dallas Christian entered the game as the #5 seed, even though they posted just one win on the season because of an arduous schedule. Regardless, the Bears jumped on them quickly behind the post play of Senior Tanner Huck (Coldwater, Kans.). He went 4-4 from the field in the opening minutes of the game before things went cold for the Bears. Huck would finish a perfect 10-10 from the field to lead the Bears with 21 points. Their early 11-2 lead, however, was short-lived as the Crusaders used their athleticism to force 13 first-half turnovers and capitalized on nine offensive rebounds. By the half, Dallas had taken the lead 32-30. The Crusaders carried their momentum from the first half right into the second half and methodically built the lead to double digits before the Bears responded. Senior Jay Bradley (Wichita, Kans.) and sophomore Quinton Walker (Paris, Texas) ignited a late charge to get the Bears within three with several minutes remaining, but a banked three by the Crusaders as the shot clock was expiring seemed to be too much to overcome. The Bears would fall 82-98 to conclude their season.
“Anytime you put a ton of time and energy into something and you fall short of your goals, it is simply gut-wrenching,” said head coach Royce Bryan. “You especially feel badly for the four seniors and the way this just ended.”
The Bears graduate four seniors: Bradley, Cole Hibler (Ponca City, Okla.), Huck, and Adrian Maloney Jr. (Wichita, Kans.). “I will be forever thankful for their contributions to this program, college and community,” said Bryan. “It was a privilege to have been given the opportunity to coach and teach, not only these four seniors, but this whole team. Those seniors will not easily be replaced, but, in time, it will be exciting to see how those underclassmen continue to develop.”
Bradley was named to the SW Region 1st Team while Walker was named to the second team. The two were the Bears leading scorers this year. Bradley averaged an impressive 19.6 points and 6.8 rebounds as a three-point ace while Walker averaged 15.5 points primarily as a slasher.