Pirates pull away from Jets

GREENSBURG — With a strong first half Tuesday night, the Hauser girls basketball team looked like it could pull off another upset victory.

Greensburg quickly erased any hope of that in a hurry to start the second half. The Pirates jumped out of the gate on a 19-2 run to sail away from that point forward to hand the Jets a 66-30 loss.

Hauser (10-8) captured the lead on two different occasions in the second quarter. A Paige Miller 3-pointer gave the Jets their first lead at 12-11. After Greensburg recaptured the lead, Leslie Sims connected on two free throws for a 14-13 advantage.

Midway through the second quarter, Sims took a hard fall to the floor as she was going for a layup. She stayed in the game to finish out the half, but coach Brad Hamilton knew something was not right and decided to pull her from the game as a precaution. From that point forward, all the momentum went directly to the Pirates.

“You can just tell that mentally the kids were thinking, ‘Oh jeez, we are going to struggle’ because she did such an excellent job defending (Kyra) Whitaker in the first half,” Hamilton said. “Even the two 3s she hit, I will give it to her because there was not much we could do defending fall away 3s from five feet behind the 3-point line.”

Whitaker finished with a game-high 18 points.

Even though Hauser trailed 28-19 at halftime, Hamilton was pleased with the effort because it much closer than what the score indicated.

“We played a great first half of basketball,” Hamilton said. “I was really proud because this is a top-notch team. If we take away those two 3s from Whitaker, it would only be a three-point game. We missed four free throws, and that we did not finish at the rim were also factors that I took away from the first half.”

Tessa Sims led the Jets with nine points.

As much as Greensburg clicked offensively, the defense played a huge role as well. The Pirates allowed Hauser only one field goal in the third quarter. Early in the fourth quarter, both teams went to their benches to finish the game.

“I haven’t rotated the kids in enough, so I didn’t have kids ready to step up,” Hamilton said. “The one thing we can learn from this is that we have to have that next-man-up mentality. Under any circumstance, they have to be ready to play, even if they sat for more than six quarters.”