It's a good thing Haskell's Bill Tyner heated up during the second-half Friday night.
Had Tyner not scored 17 of his game-high 21 points in the final 20 minutes, the Indians' basketball team might have failed to top the half-century mark.
Even with Tyner's strong showing, Haskell dropped a 64-54 decision to Hesston at Coffin Complex.
"He's a competitor. He's one of our hardest working players. He's our zone buster," Haskell coach Walt Wilson said of Tyner, a freshman guard from Cleveland, Okla.
Tyner hit nine of 27 shots and scored 15 of Haskell's last 27 points.
"I think our other guys were sacrificing to get the ball to him," Wilson said.
Haskell center Ray Ellenwood, who had 13 points, was the only other Haskell player in double figures.
The Indians were shorthanded. Just seven players suited up and six played. School doesn't start until next Thursday, and five players haven't yet made it back from holiday break.
"I was really disappointed. Out of the five missing, three are eligible," Wilson said. "One player is living in Western Arizona. His tribe pays for transportation right before school starts. We've got to have eight to 10 players minimum. Our limited resources hurt tonight."
Haskell's players did not seem to tire, however. The Indians, who hit just six of 21 shots (28.6 percent) in falling behind 27-17 at halftime, sliced a 19-point deficit (44-25) mid-way through the second half to 10 at the buzzer. Haskell outscored Hesston, 12-4, to end the game.
"Too little too late," Wilson said. "It was our worst game of the year. It's one of those things if I knew the answer, I could sell it. I thought we were as well prepared for this as any game all year."
Mike Primus scored nine points, Chad Killscrow eight and Ringo McGimpsey three for the Indians, who hit 32.3 percent of their shots to Hesston's 44.3 percent mark.
Haskell, 6-7, will meet Emporia State's JV on Tuesday at the Hornets' gym. Hesston, led by Charles Mininger, who had 14 points, also is 6-7.