VEVAY — Switzerland County gained momentum heading into the locker room at halftime, but in the second half, Hauser seized control.
The Jets turned up the defensive intensity and forced the Pacers into turnovers, and Hauser took advantage. The Jets went on a 15-0 near the end of the third quarter and early fourth quarter.
The Pacers came storming back to tie the game late, but the Jets were able to get a key basket late, coupled with key free throws, to come away with a season-opening 50-45 victory.
“We tried putting pressure full-court to try and change the game and get the momentum back in our favor,” Hauser assistant coach Griff Roth said. “It worked. We got our steals and lay ups and it changed the pace of the game.”
The Jets stayed unselfish and got contributions across the board. During the third quarter with Hauser trailing 35-30 after a Justin Compton basket, Connor Wilson drained a 3 to tie the game.
A backdoor cut basket by Clayton Wilson gave the Jets the lead. Brad Paetzel had a couple of baskets, and Alex Gross hit two free throws during the huge run.
“We got our open shots and helped out on the defensive end,” said Connor Wilson, who finished with a game-high 12 points.
“Coach Roth was saying that if we put pressure on them, we would get them fired up and turn the ball over,” said Gross, who finished with nine points. “Our guards, Connor and Mason (Sherman) and A.J. (Titus) are all great at driving and stealing the ball, so we kept pressing them more.”
Switzerland County did not go away quietly. Kollin Hayes hit a pair of free throws and back to back 3-pointers to tie the game at 45-45. The Jets sealed the game with five straight points.
With Connor Wilson the only returning starter this season, Hauser has a lot of juniors and seniors coming up from JV that now are getting a lot of varsity time this season. The chemistry should not be a big issue this year, though. The JV finished 20-2 last season.
“I’ve been playing with these guys since I was little, so it will be nothing new to me,” Connor Wilson said.
Sherman finished with nine points, and Compton added eight.