NPC Nighthawks sweep Williams Baptist in basketball


HOT SPRINGS, Ark. — The National Park College (NPC) Nighthawks basketball teams swept Williams Baptist University’s junior varsity teams in nonconference play Monday, with the Nighthawk women (7-11) winning, 65-52, and the Nighthawk Men (15-5) picking up a 112-79 victory.

In a back and forth first half, the Nighthawk women withstood an onslaught of Lady Eagles three-pointers to stay in front early. With a 10-point first-half effort from freshman Kayla Richardson (Grannis) and well-timed treys from freshman Jhyla Calvin (Plumerville), NPC clung to a 34-33 halftime advantage.

NPC made history in the second half, with sophomore Essieana Bennett (Houston, TX) becoming the Nighthawks’ all-time rebounds leader, passing the record previously set by Imani Honey.

Led by seven points from sophomore Amaya Coakley (Killeen, TX), the Nighthawks gained ground in the third quarter, outscoring the Lady Eagles, 16-12. In the fourth quarter, NPC stepped up, defensively, allowing just one field goal. Behind a nine-point quarter effort from sophomore India Atkins (Bryant), NPC cruised to its second-consecutive victory.

Richardson and Coakley led the Nighthawks in scoring with 14 points apiece, while Calvin and Atkins added 12 and 11 points, respectively, in the win.

Fueled by 10 quick points from freshman JoQuarius Valrie (Houston, TX), the Nighthawk men enjoyed an offensive explosion early, taking a double-digit lead in the first three-and-a-half minutes and never looking back. Paced by great shooting from Valrie and freshman Garett Powell (Springboro, OH) down low and timely three-pointers from sophomore Sayvon Traylor (Atlanta, GA), the Nighthawks cruised to a comfortable 57-39 lead after 20 minutes.

In the second half, NPC continued to attack the basket down low to pad its lead. Led by a 10-point half from sophomore Rodrique Massenat (Trenton, NJ), the Nighthawks capitalized on Eagles turnovers to soar to their 15th victory of the season.

Traylor led the Nighthawks in scoring with 18 points, while Valrie and Powell added 17 and 15 points, respectively. Massenat added 12 points, while sophomores Kam Vick (Little Rock) and Jaylen O’Conner (Oklahoma City, OK) finished with 10 points apiece in the win.

The Nighthawk women travel to Eastern Oklahoma State College Thursday at 5:30 p.m. The Nighthawk men and women play host to University of Arkansas Cossatot in NJCAA Region II play Saturday with the women tipping off at 2 p.m., followed by the men at 4 p.m. The games will be streamed live on the Nighthawk Network.