HOPE — After playing a limited role in the Hauser girls basketball rotation last season as a freshman, Sarah Tedder vowed to step up her game.
She honed in on her ball-handling skills, and her offseason improvement caught the attention of Jets coach Brad Hamilton.
Tedder began her sophomore season coming off the bench, but Hamilton believed that she possessed the capability of having a breakout season.
He was right.
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Tedder finally got an opportunity to start Dec. 29, when she was inserted into the starting lineup against Union (Modoc). The results were immediate and monumental, as she put up a career-high 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Jets to a 61-45 win.
Tedder has started for the Jets ever since.
“When we gave her that opportunity to start varsity, she showed kind of another level of hustle and focus and intensity,” Hamilton said. “She literally was on a mission when we played that game against Union (Modoc).”
For Tedder, the mission didn’t start that night.
“I gave it 110 percent in practice, and I go 150 percent during games,” she said. “That always motivates me to keep me going for my team, trying to get the win.”
The mission didn’t end with that one game, either. Never one to rest on her laurels, Tedder scored another 17 points against Brownstown Central and gave the Jets the spark they needed to pull out an unlikely win. She also put up 15 points in Tuesday’s Mid-Hoosier Conference win against a tough North Decatur squad.
Tedder has averaged 8.8 points in the eight games she has been in the starting lineup.
“She brings a lot of energy and lifts us all up on the same level,” Hauser senior co-captain Leslie Sims said. “She shows a lot of enthusiasm and has been an awesome support to our program.”
Hamilton characterized Tedder as a strong, versatile player who is willing and able to play any position on the floor. That flexibility and willingness to adapt and learn has made her an invaluable part of the Jets’ success.
Tedder is a three-sport athlete for the Jets, playing volleyball in the fall and tennis in the spring. For now, though, she is focused solely on basketball, which she was introduced to at a young age.
Like many other Indiana families, the Tedders have a passion for the game of basketball, and they have been along for the ride as Sarah has grown and developed.
“My family has always loved basketball,” Tedder said. “Most of my family has also played basketball before me, and so it just carried over onto me.”
The Jets finished the regular season with a 13-8 record and will open up sectional play Tuesday against Waldron in the Jac-Cen-Del sectional at 7 p.m. Hauser won at Waldron in November, 52-36.
If the Jets prevail, then they face a Friday semifinal against Class A No. 1 Jac-Cen-Del, which is considered the heavy favorite to come out of the draw.
The Jets are a much improved, different team since their encounter with the Eagles earlier in the season, a 75-32 defeat Nov. 30.
“We definitely want to win sectional this year,” Tedder said. “We need to play as a team and I’m going to give all the effort I can in order to help us reach that goal.”
Class A Jac-Cen-Del Sectional
Game 1: Waldron vs. Hauser, 7 p.m.
Game 2: Rising Sun vs. Oldenburg Academy, 6 p.m.
Game 3: Southwestern (Shelbyville) vs. South Decatur, 8 p.m.
Game 4: Game 1 winner vs. Jac-Cen-Del, 6 p.m.
Game 5: Game 2 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 8 p.m.
Game 6: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 7:30 p.m.
Dark horse: Hauser
Players to watch: Hauser — Paige Miller, Leslie Sims; Jac-Cen-Del — Jordan Day, Rosie Newhart, Lilly Simon; Rising Sun — Lucy Carrigan; Southwestern (Shelbyville): Logan DeArmitt.