Morris, Gutierrez Claim All-Conference Honors; Meyer Named to All-Sportsmanship Team

Kale Morris (left) and Sam Gutierrez (Photos courtesy of Chad Williams)
Kale Morris (left) and Sam Gutierrez (Photos courtesy of Chad Williams)

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Franklin College junior Kale Morris and sophomore Sam Gutierrez were recognized by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) on Wednesday (Feb. 27) afternoon, when the league announced its all-conference teams.

Morris became a two-time all-conference selection, being named Second Team All-HCAC for the first time in his career. Gutierrez picked up his first all-league selection, finding his way onto the Honorable Mention All-HCAC squad. Additionally, junior Kyle Meyer was named Franklin's representative on the Christopher M. Ragsdale All-Sportsmanship Team.

Frankfort, Ind.-native Morris enjoyed another stellar campaign in 2018-19, starting all 27 games while averaging a career-best 13.6 points per game and adding 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per contest. Morris remained one of the league's top long-range threats, shooting 43 percent from behind the three-point line, the third-highest mark in the HCAC.

He saved his best play for the stretch run, averaging 17.6 points and shooting 56.9 percent from three over the final 10 games of the season, reaching double-digit point totals in each contest. Against Earlham on Feb. 2, Morris netted a career-high 32 points, knocking down five threes and going a perfect 17-for-17 from the line in a 97-76 Grizzly win.

The Grizzlies' leading scorer in 2018-19, Gutierrez improved upon a strong freshman season to earn a spot on the honorable mention team. The Tipton, Ind.-native averaged a career-high 13.9 points per game while finishing with career-best marks in field goal percentage (43.8%) and three-point field goal percentage (32.7%). Additionally, he grabbed 3.9 rebounds per contest and his 3.9 assists per game were tops among all players.

The sophomore guard turned in a career-best performance in Franklin's HCAC tournament win over Rose-Hulman on Feb. 22, going 10-of-18 from the floor and knocking down a trio of three-pointers on his way to a career-high 29 points in the Grizzlies' 88-87 double overtime win over the Engineers. His two blocks in the final 10 seconds of the game helped preserve the Grizzlies' win and trip to the conference semifinals.

The entire list of major award winners and all-conference teams can be found below.

Player of the Year: Cam Fails, Hanover
Defensive Player of the Year: Dezman Brown, Bluffton
Freshman of the Year: Devin Young, Mount St. Joseph
Coach of the Year: Jon Miller, Hanover

First Team All-HCAC

Cam Fails Guard Hanover
Cole Hartman Forward Anderson
Adrian Johnson Guard Manchester
Charlie Aimone Guard Rose-Hulman
Craig McGee Guard Rose-Hulman
Michael Jefferson Guard Transylvania

Second Team All-HCAC

Maurice Knight Forward Anderson
Andrew Renner Guard Bluffton
Kale Morris Guard Franklin
Isaac Hibbard Guard Hanover
Jake Cropper Guard Mount St. Joseph
Gabe Schmitt Guard Transylvania

Honorable Mention All-HCAC

Dezman Brown Guard Bluffton
Isaiah Taylor Center Bluffton
Jamel Barnes Guard Earlham
Darrell Hutchison Jr. Guard/Forward Earlham
Sam Gutierrez Guard Franklin
Kevin Williams Forward Hanover
Devin Young Forward Mount St. Joseph
Cooper Theobald Guard Transylvania

Christopher M. Ragsdale All-Sportsmanship Team

Wesley Davidson Anderson
Jared Wentling Bluffton
Noah Goodrich Defiance
Jacob Mosher Earlham
Kyle Meyer Franklin
Logan Ratts Hanover
Ketion Hall Manchester
Liam Rabe Mount St. Joseph
Nick McGrail Rose-Hulman
Bo Schuh Transylvania