FRANKLIN — Missed opportunities hurt the Hauser boys basketball team Saturday night.
Two free throws and a layup with 6 seconds left by Jacob Rockey lifted host Franklin to an 82-78 overtime win over the Jets.
What could have been an upset win for Hauser was ruined when Cory Richards hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer in regulation to tie the score at 69. Jets assistant coach Griff Roth didn’t need to be reminded of that.
“If (Richards) doesn’t hit the shot, we’re talking about winning a game, but we’re not,” Roth said. “I thought we played really well, and we had some good defense and fought hard. I’m very proud of the guys.”
The win was the Grizzly Cubs’ fifth straight against Hauser (2-3), but from the beginning, this game would not emulate the previous battles, including last season’s 25-point Franklin win on the Jets’ home court.
But it was the missed opportunities that plagued Hauser. Whether it was a 10-foot jumper, easy layup, a botched attempt at a slam dunk or free throws, the Jets didn’t make the most of their chances in the first half.
Especially free throws.
Hauser missed eight free throws, five of them in the first half, that would ultimately determine the outcome.
The Grizzly Cubs (4-0) made the most of theirs, going 14 for 17 from the line. The Jets also committed 20 turnovers to Franklin’s 10, yet were still able to keep the game close.
No team had more than a five-point lead the entire game.
“I thought Hauser outplayed us at times,” Franklin coach Brad Dickey said. “They made us work hard.”
Both teams exhibited patience more than panic — even during crunch time with the game in the balance. The game was tied at 32 at the half, and the chess match continued well into the second half with each team patiently setting up plays and taking the shot.
The Jets were much better shooting the ball in the second half. So were the Cubs.
Hauser appeared to have the game in its favor with a three-point lead 65-62 with 1:35 left in regulation. A short spurt by Franklin cut that lead, but the Jets’ Alex Gross hit two clutch free throws with 17.2 seconds left to give the Jets 69-66 lead.
That set up Richards’ heroics.
Gross led all scorers with 27 points. Connor Wilson added 18 for Hauser, while Mason Sherman had 15 and Justin Compton 11.