HOPE — A lot was at stake in Thursday’s Mid-Hoosier Conference showdown between Hauser and Southwestern (Shelby), with the winner earning at least a share of the title.
Unfortunately for the Jets, the Spartans were able to squeak by to hand them a 64-60 overtime loss.
Hauser (11-7, 4-1) still has a small chance of earning a share of the conference title with a win against Morristown on Saturday and a Southwestern loss against North Decatur on Feb. 17.
“We cannot let someone else dictate the basketball game and play Hauser basketball,” Hauser coach Griff Roth said. “If we do that, we are pretty good.”
The Jets found themselves trailing most of the game, but took a 48-46 lead with 2:20 left in the game after an Alex Gross basket. They never saw the lead again from that point forward.
Hauser trailed 55-54 with 9.4 seconds left, but the Spartans’ top player, Steffen Shackleford, converted only one of two free throws. That left the door open for the Jets, and they took advantage when Mason Sherman hit an off-balance jumper from the right side to tie the game with 2.5 seconds left to force overtime.
In the overtime, Eirik Shackleford hit a basket and then a 3-pointer to virtually seal the game for Southwestern (8-9, 5-0).
Hauser’s Justin Compton had a monster game in the second half, scoring 21 of his game-high 25 points.
“Alex is a big body, and when he gets in the post, teams usually double or triple team him,” Compton said. “My team is able to kick it out to me to find me open. I was fortunate to get some open layups off of it.”
Roth praised Compton’s performance.
“Justin is a very good basketball player and a smart basketball player,” Roth said, “(He was) being in the open spot when we needed him too when they were focused on Alex.”
The Jets now have to regroup for their big game against Morristown.
“We got to keep doing the same things we have been doing in practice,” Compton said. “We got off to a bit of a slow start and that seems to be a thing this year. We just have to get past that and focus on what we need to do in order to win.”