Hauser girls fall short in comeback attempt

SHELBYVILLE — The first half was one of the slowest starts of the season for the Hauser girls basketball team.

The Jets managed only two field goals in the first half against Shelbyville on Thursday night, but the good news was they earned themselves plenty of trips to the line, attempting 26 free throws in the first 16 minutes. It turned bad news again when they converted on only 11 of the 26.

Hauser made a big comeback in the second half, but the huge hole it dug proved to be too much in a 47-43 loss. The Jets finished a 21 of 41 from the line.

“We had every chance to win that game, but we can’t miss 20 free throws,” Hauser coach Brad Hamilton said. “We can’t have that. We did the right things by getting ourselves to the free-throw line, but we have to finish.”

The Jets (13-8) took the lead for the first time since they led 2-0 after Tori Chandler knocked down a pair of free throws for a 41-40 lead. The Golden Bears’ top player, Alexis Tackett, went down with a knee injury with  1:22 left on the foul to Chandler.

Cora Reinhart then scored the next six points for Shelbyville (5-17), including four straight from the line for a 46-41 lead. After Chandler hit a layup with seven seconds left, Rylie Stephens hit one of two free throws to ice it.

The comeback started in the third quarter trailing 27-15, but Chandler and Mykenzie Ault led the charge by scoring the next 11 Hauser points. The Jets trailed only 31-28 after the third quarter.

“We could have gotten the ‘W,’ but things just did not turn out that way,” said Chandler, who finished with a team-high 16 points. “Coach Hamilton got us fired up in the second half, and we wanted to catch back up to them. We did, but we were a little short.”

Now the focus turns to the sectional where the Jets face South Decatur in the Jac-Cen-Del Sectional on Tuesday.

“We are going to have to work on hitting our shots,” said Ault, who scored eight points off the bench. “We will practicing a lot of free throws at practice and working on hustling at both ends of the floor.”