HOPE — Two big keys that win basketball games is defense and rebounding. In a key Mid-Hoosier Conference battle against Waldron, Hauser won the battle in both categories.
The defense helped propel the Jets offense in the first and third quarters when Waldron looked to be threatening and it led them to a 54-41 girls’ basketball victory.
This is the second time in three seasons that the Jets started 4-0.
“We are really performing well as a team right now,” said Hauser junior Sarah Tedder, who finished with 12 points. “In the past, we always had the talent, and this year we are showing what we can do as a team. The way we talk out there and we care about each other on and off the court — it’s great we are mingling on the court, and it is showing and helping us a lot.”
The Jets defensive press showed early as they made several key steals in the backcourt that led to easy lay-ins. Grace Hasler had a steal and layup at the other end, and a Tori Chandler basket capped off a 16-2 run to lead 18-7.
Both teams traded baskets the rest of the first half and the Jets maintained a 28-21 lead.
“We turned them over a bunch of times early, but they made adjustments so hats off to them,” Hauser coach Brad Hamilton said. “They’re a good team, but what really helped us tonight was the offensive glass. We got after it more, and that is something we got to do. It was a great team effort.”
The Mohawks cut it 30-28 to start the third quarter. It had no ill-effect on the Jets as they put the game away by going on a 12-0 run to close out the quarter.
The Jets defense prevented the Mohawks at a fourth quarter comeback. Taylor Henderson scored six of the final seven Jets points, including four free throws to end it.
It was balanced scoring by the Jets. Chandler, a junior exchange student from Australia, finished with a team high 13 points. Lauryn Starnes added 10 points.
“In years past, we had that one person that gets us all of our points, but we are really working as a team this year,” Starnes said. “You can put anybody out there, and we will come together. We stay humble and just stay in the right mindset and not underestimate anybody.”
The Jets now face a difficult schedule that includes another big conference game against Southwestern (Shelbyville) Monday and a date with Class A defending state champion Jac-Cen-Del November 28.
“We are going to have to be focused and not let other things distract us,” Starnes said. “We’re 4-0. That’s awesome, but now we have some teams coming that beat us last year. We have to focus and work hard.”