HESSTON — The Hesston College men’s basketball team opened the season by putting four players in double figures in a 93-73 win over the Ottawa University junior varsity gold team at Yost Center.

The Larks led from start to finish, hitting 37 of 69 from the field for 53.6 percent. Ottawa was 22 of 66 for 33.3 percent.

“I’m happy with our effort. I’m not terribly happy with our execution, but we’re trying,” Hesston coach Dustin Galyon said. “This was the first time we had a full group. Some of the guys who played tonight practiced just two or three times the whole month and just got healthy. That’s to be expected.”

Hesston was led by Cal Hartley with 22 points. Grant Harding scored 20 points. Danny Bradley Jr. scored 14 and Sterling Hicks scored 12 off the bench.

“Grant Harding was a beast,” Galyon said. “He’s one of the guys who hasn’t played in a scrimmage. Cal Hartley had a quiet 22 points. Ottawa played hard and hit some threes.”

Ottawa was led by Jake Thompson, who scored 16 points off the bench. Trevor Ballou scored 14. Khalil Clark scored 12. The Ottawa squad was coached by former Bethel assistant Jake Meyer, in his first year with the Braves.

The Larks have eight sophomores and eight freshman on the team this season. Hesston was 15-12 last year, 3-7 in NJCAA Division II, Region VI play, taking fifth place. The Larks fell to Labette Community College 71-69 in the quarterfinals of the Region VI tourney.

The Larks enter this season as full-fledged members of the Jayhawk Conference. The change doesn’t affect scheduling or even post-season since the Jayhawk Division II Division matches the NJCAA Division II, Region VI, which the Larks have played in for years. Member school Highland Community College is ranked seventh in the NJCAA Division II pre-season poll, while Johnson County Community College received votes.

“That’s a positive,” Galyon said. “We get a voice in the Jayhawk. Our kids get the opportunity to win weekly awards, monthly awards and season-end awards. It’s the best basketball in the country. So to be a member of that, it’s a good step for us. It’s exciting for our kids.

“I hope that every team in our region is ranked. For two-year schools, it’s exciting, but a bit ambiguous. After 11 years, I’m least worried about records and rankings. It’s can our kids get in a stance tomorrow in practice.”

Hesston hit three of its first four shots to take an 8-0 lead. Ottawa replied with a 9-3 run of its own. The Larks led by as many as 19 in the half. Ottawa hit some late outside shots to get back to within 14, 44-30.

Hesston opened the second half with a trey. After trading baskets for more than five minutes, Harding hit a slam dunk with 14:27 remaining to put the Larks up by 21. Ottawa never came any closer than 20 points.

Hesston has little time to savor the win, hosting the Bethel junior varsity at 8 p.m. today in a clash of sister schools.

“These guys play 10 games on a weekend in AAU ball,” Galyon said. “I think it’s important that we get in a rhythm. We play in a lot of tournaments this year. I think the players like it. The coaches don’t so much.”

OTTAWA JV (0-2) — Standridge 3-7 2-2 9, Clark 2-6 8-10 12, Burnett 2-12 0-0 4, M.Thompson 1-5 0-0 2, Ballou 5-12 3-4 14, Stillwell 1-4 0-0 3, Hopkins 2-4 3-4 9, Sanchez 1-6 0-1 2, Pernetis 1-2 0-0 2, J.Thompson 4-8 8-9 16, TOTALS 22-66 24-30 73.

HESSTON (1-0) — Hartley 8-13 1-2 22, Handcock 3-6 1-2 9, Comfort 1-5 0-0 3, Harding 9-13 1-2 20, Magiya 4-7 1-1 9, Bradley Jr. 6-8 2-2 14, Elliot 0-0 0-0 0, Pelton 0-0 0-0 0, Hicks 4-10 1-2 12, Baker 0-0 0-0 0, Moye 0-1 0-0 0, Nebel 2-3 0-1 4, Murad 0-1 0-0 0, Curless 0-2 0-0 0, TOTALS 37-69 7-12 93.

Ottawa;30;42;—73

Hesston;44;49;—93

Total fouls — OU 16, HC 23. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. 3-point shooting — OU 5-25 (Standridge 1-3, Clark 0-2, Burnett 0-5, M.Thompson 0-1, Ballou 1-4, Stillwell 1-4, Hopkins 2-3, Sanchez 0-2, Pernetis 0-1), HC 12-30 (Hartley 5-9, Handcock 2-4, Comfort 1-4, Harding 1-4, Bradley Jr. 0-1, Hicks 3-7, Moye 0-1). Rebounds — OU 30 (Ballou 6), HC 39 (Magiya 9). Assists — OU 3 (M.Thompson 1, Ballou 1, Thompson 1), HC 15 (Harding 5). Turnovers — OU 17 (Sanchez 5), HC 18 (Hicks 3, Murad 3). Blocked shots — OU 0, HC 6 (Magiya 3). Steals — OU 6 (Standridge 2, Ballou 2), HC 12 (Hicks 5).