The Hauser boys basketball team has progressively been making strides ever since bottoming out in the 2012-13 season.
After winning their most recent sectional title and reaching the regional finals in 2012, the Jets went 1-20 the next year. They jumped to 9-11 in 2013-14, then hopped over the .500 mark with a 12-11 record last season.
With its top three scorers back and seven seniors among its eight full-time varsity players, Hauser hopes to make another big jump in wins this season.
“The last couple years or so, we’ve been able to improve and be competitive and have more success than the year before,” said Bob Nobbe, who enters his 20th year as Jets coach. “Hopefully, that experience pays off for us on the basketball court. We’re hoping the fact that we have a lot of seniors that have played a lot of basketball will result in good decision making on the floor.”
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Three starters return in 6-foot senior point guard Zach Johnson, 6-0 senior Quindon Shipley and 6-4 senior Zach Gearhart. Johnson led the Jets with 11.3 points, 2.9 assists and 1.9 steals and added 3.5 rebounds a game. Shipley averaged 11.2 points and 4.1 rebounds, and Gearhart added 7.8 points and a team-high 4.9 rebounds.
Aaron Sweet, a 6-3 senior, started some games, averaging 7.4 points and 3.7 rebounds. John Mote, a 5-10 senior, also saw some varsity action.
Up from a 14-5 junior varsity team are 6-0 senior Jake Hatton and 6-1 senior Jared Schoen and 6-1 junior Connor Wilson.
“We have some speed,” Nobbe said. “We’re not particularly tall or big inside, but hopefully, that speed will balance out, and we’ll be able to get up and down the floor, which we like to do.”
Hauser will also have a group of sophomores who went undefeated and won the Mid-Hoosier Conference freshman championship last season.
“Those sophomores are a strong group and create a lot of competition in practice,” Nobbe said.
The Jets will get a big test the first week of the season. After opening at home against Madison Shawe on Tuesday, Hauser will visit Columbus North on Saturday.
“That will be a good opportunity for us to see where we’re at and see how competitive we can be,” Nobbe said. “We’ll be fortunate enough to have a game under our belt.”
Nobbe thinks North Decatur and Indian Creek will be the teams to beat in the MHC.
“Those are some pretty good teams, but we feel like we can be competitive and be in the thick of things,” Nobbe said.
The 2015-16 Hauser boys basketball schedule
Tuesday;Madison Shawe;7:30 p.m.
Saturday;at Columbus North;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 1;Trinity Lutheran;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5;at Indian Creek;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 7;Greensburg;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 12;Franklin;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 18;at Edinburgh;7:30 p.m.
Dec. 22;at Henryville Tournament;TBA
Jan. 8;at North Decatur;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 9;Columbus Christian;6 p.m.
Jan. 15;at Lawrenceburg;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 16;Milan;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22;Waldron;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 23;Crothersville;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 29;South Decatur;7:30 p.m.
Jan. 30;at Batesville;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4;at Southwestern (Shelby);7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6;at Morristown;2:30 p.m.
Feb. 11;Eastern Hancock;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 12;at Jac-Cen-Del;7:30 p.m.
Feb. 23;at Knightstown;7:30 p.m.