VERSAILLES — The Hauser boys basketball team bounced back from a tough first-round loss in the South Ripley Invitational by pounding the Brownstown Central junior varsity squad.
The Jets put away the Braves early and coasted the rest of the way to a 71-40 win in the consolation bracket.
“Our effort was there, and we knew they were going to be hard-nosed,” Hauser assistant coach Griff Roth said. “We just had to make sure we matched their intensity.”
Clayton Wilson led the Jets (3-4) with 22 points. Justin Compton had 14 points, and Mason Sherman added 11.
Hauser will play Oldenburg Academy in the fifth-place game at 4 p.m. today.
In its opener, the Jets found themselves trailing East Central by double digits toward the end of the third quarter, and it looked like the Trojans would pull away after completing a 16-5 run. Hauser, however, put up a fourth-quarter charge, going on an 11-2 run to come within striking distance, but the lead East Central built in he third quarter was just enough to hang on for a 64-59 in.
A couple of buckets late in the third quarter gave the Jets the momentum leading into the fourth.
“It really got us going,” said Sherman, who finished with 19 points. “We got another basket after that. We had the fight in us, but we just could not execute.”
Hauser got off to a fast start in the first quarter by jumping out to an 11-5 lead. The Trojans (6-1) came climbing back to take an 18-17 lead at the end of the period.
The Jets’ shooting turned cold in third quarter. East Central took advantage and went on the 16-5 third-quarter run.
The duo of Tyler Koelling and Brady Ewing combined to score 57 of the Trojans’ 64 points. Koelling shot lights out from the field en route to 32 points, while Ewing added 25.
Connor Wilson finished with 17 points for Hauser. Alex Gross added 11.
The Jets have faced some tough competition very early in the season. Their losses come to 4A schools Columbus North, Franklin and East Central and 3A Greensburg.
“Things should be getting better for us,” Connor Wilson said. “We played a lot of 4A teams early, and that competition and experience should help us against the 1A teams.”