TRAFALGAR — Hauser kept itself within striking distance at Indian Creek on Saturday night, but the Braves nailed down clutch free throws to hang on for an 83-76 Mid-Hoosier Conference win.
With the Jets in foul trouble, Indian Creek made the most of its opportunities. The Braves finished 32 of 39, including 6 of 8 down the stretch.
Hauser (3-1, 0-1) controlled the opening 4½ minutes of the game by coming out with a lot of intensity on offense to grab an early 12-8 lead. Indian Creek (3-0, 3-0) found a way to come back to lead 22-19 after the first quarter, and the Jets had to play from behind for the rest of the game.
“I think the difference in the game was that they were able to handle our pressure,” Hauser coach Bob Nobbe said. “We were able to get some turnovers and get the momentum in our direction. We got out to such a nice start, but we kind of lost our focus a little bit in the second quarter and then we had to play from behind in the end.”
Nobbe was proud of his team’s effort.
“They played very hard,” Nobbe said. “It just came to the point where we were down six-to-seven points, and we had to make every shot we took. We had to catch some breaks, and it was not there for us.”
Hauser stayed in the game with huge contributions off the bench. Jacob Hatton buried three 3-pointers to give a spark in the second half. Jared Schoen put up all seven of his points in the second quarter.
“Our bench was strong tonight,” Nobbe said. “Hatton, Schoen and even (Connor) Wilson did a great job taking Zach Johnson’s spot when he got into some foul trouble. With the personnel we put on the floor, they did some great things.”
Aaron Sweet led the Jets with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. Quindon Shipley finished with 13 points, and Zach Gearhart added 11.
There was one more aspect that Nobbe said a made a difference, too.
“A key that was difficult for us tonight was blocking out,” he said. “They beat us in the rebound numbers, and it gave them a lot of putbacks.”
Hauser will look to refocus after a strong start to the season.
“It’s a long season,” Nobbe said. “Someone might knock off Indian Creek, and we are right back in (the conference). If we focus and continue to improve and be competitive, we are going to have a nice run.”