SHELBYVILLE — Defensive first-quarter woes plagued the Hauser girls basketball team Thursday night at Shelbyville.
The Jets were simply giving away basket after basket inside right from the start and fell behind 12-2 midway through the first quarter. They could not recover the rest of the game and fell 41-32.
“We dug ourselves too deep of a hole early,” Hauser coach Brad Hamilton said. “We got a lot of work to do. If you really break it down, when we play at home, we start out with a lot of intensity from the opening tip as opposed to being on the road. I don’t think they’re that much of a better team than us. We let them be because we did not get after it from the start.”
The Jets offense did not help them break out of their defensive slump in the first half, either. The Golden Bears (7-13) utilized a zone defense that limited Hauser (10-11) from scoring inside the paint.
Whenever the Jets found an open lane inside, Shelbyville was right there to deflect the pass away or cause a turnover. In turn, Hauser had to rely on its jump shot, which was ice cold. The Jets made only three field goals, with two of them being in the final three minutes of the second quarter, but even after the rough first half trailed only 20-12.
“We have enough plays to run against it, but the difference was that they were jumping to the ball and trapping it,” Hamilton said. “We really did not make any adjustments to it. We never used pass fakes. We never kept the ball moving and let them trap us.”
Hauser has been playing without point guard Leslie Sims and forward Danielle Sneed, who both are recovering from injury. As shorthanded as the Jets were, they still had an opportunity to win.
Hauser started the fourth quarter with much more intensity than it showed the first three quarters. Abbey Ashbrook scored seven straight points to cut it to 32-26. Ellie Trotter then added a basket on the Jets’ next possession to make 32-28.
Hauser was then forced to foul, and Shelbyville converted 3 of 4 from the line. Trotter knocked in a 3-pointer to make it 35-31. From there, the Golden Bears converted four of their next six free throws to seal the win.
Ashbrook finished with 10 points to lead the Jets. Trotter and Paige Miller added nine and eight points, respectively.
“I’m proud of that fact that they did not quit,” Hamilton said. “We still hung around and gave the effort. It’s still dissatisfying that we could not do that the entire game.”