Jets rally in final minutes, edge Spartans

HOPE — When Southwestern (Shelby) went on a big run early in the fourth quarter Monday night, it looked like Hauser would take its first loss of the season.

In the last four minutes, however, the Jets came roaring back. Hauser closed out the game on a 15-3 scoring run to remain unbeaten in a nail-biting 50-47 Mid-Hoosier Conference girls basketball thriller.

“It’s all them. I can’t take credit for it,” Hauser coach Brad Hamilton said. “They just found another level. We got a little momentum. You make a couple baskets and it builds some confidence. The defense has been our key all year. We gave up a little bit of a run, but we stopped them when we had to.”

The Class A No. 10 Jets (5-0, 2-0) are off to their best start under Hamilton, who is in his fourth year at the helm.

“It’s awesome and we have a great team,” said Hauser junior Grace Hasler, who finished with 11 points. “We all really like playing together, and there is a lot of energy with all of us being together.”

Tori Chandler, a junior exchange student from Australia, has been a huge factor in the Jets’ success so far. She finished with a game-high 20 points. Chandler kick-started the Jets’ fourth-quarter rally by draining a huge 3 to bring the tide back in their favor.

“When Tori made that shot, it brought all of our spirits up,” Hasler said. “We were able to hit our free throws late to win it.”

After letting the Spartans (4-2, 2-1) slip past them late in the game last season, Hauser did not want to experience déjà vu.

“We have worked very hard in preparing for this game,” senior co-captain Hailey Lange said. “We didn’t know what was coming at us because things change, but we stayed tough out there.”