Jets down Royals in regular-season finale

HOPE — The Hauser boys basketball team had its final tuneup Tuesday night as it prepares for next week’s South Decatur Sectional.

It ended up being the Jets’ best start to date.

With the game tied at 8-8, Hauser went on a hot streak and finished the first quarter on a 13-0 run and went on to post a 74-53 victory to close the regular season.

“We knew if we came out slow, they would get us down and it would be tough to come back,” Hauser junior Mason Sherman said. “They were a good team, but we came out hot and we kept on hitting. Everyone was passing the ball around and playing unselfish basketball.”

The engines cooled a bit for the Jets (14-9) to start the second quarter, and that allowed the Royals (12-9) to climb back to cut it to 23-15. Hauser’s offense warmed back up, and the Jets finished the first half outscoring the Royals 7-1 to lead 30-16.

“I think Hauser came out with a better energy level,” Eastern Hancock coach Aaron Spaulding said. “I did not feel like we were ready to match their energy in the game, which put us in a hole. We have to do a better job at being ready to go from the get-go.”

Hauser’s unselfishness showed in the final boxscore. Alex Gross led the Jets with 19 points, while Sherman had 16 and Clayton Wilson and Connor Wilson finished with 13 and 12, respectively.

For the Royals, Brycen Napier led with 12 points. Duncan Cherry and A.J. Muegge each had 11.

Eastern Hancock closed the gap to 34-25, but a Connor Wilson 3, and later an Alex Gross 3- pointer extended the lead to 42-27. Hauser then closed out the third quarter on an 11-6 run.

The Jets made sure no fourth-quarter comeback was in store for the Royals when they went on a 17-7 to put away the game.

“The guys came out ready to play,” Hauser coach Griff Roth said. “We moved the ball well and executed well at the beginning of the game.”

The Jets now have 10 days off before they face the winner of Tuesday’s matchup between Southwestern (Shelby) or Waldron on March 3.

“We just have to keep working hard in practice,” Sherman said. “Some of the guys are coming back to practice with us and scrimmage a little bit and keep us in shape.”