The Indianapolis Lutheran team that Hauser will play in today’s boys basketball regional has a losing record.
The Jets, however, realize that record is not indicative of the type of team the Saints have.
Lutheran comes into today’s noon semifinal at Martinsville at only 11-12, but against a solid schedule.
“Their record is deceiving because they play a really tough schedule,” Hauser coach Griff Roth said.
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The Saints are led by senior Brandon Perry, who averages team-highs of 16.2 points, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals a game. Senior Zach White adds 11.9 points and 6.0 rebounds, and senior Tyler Johnson averages 8.6 points.
The Jets (16-9) have four players scoring in double figures. Junior Alex Gross leads the way with 15.5 points and 8.9 rebounds; while senior Connor Wilson adds 15.2 points; junior Mason Sherman averages 11.0 points, 4.0 assists and 2.6 steals and junior Justin Compton chips in 10.9 points. Senior Clayton Wilson and junior Andrew Titus usually draw top defensive assignments.
“They have a lot of quickness and will be hard to guard,” Roth said. “We’re going to have to rely on our defense to get the job done.”
Hauser (against Class A No. 6 Oldenburg Academy) and Lutheran (against Morristown) both avenged early-season losses in winning their sectional final games. The Saints also lost to Oldenburg 55-50, and the Jets also fell to Morristown 67-64 in overtime.
Among other common opponents, both Hauser and Lutheran beat Trinity Lutheran and Waldron. The Jets lost to Southwestern (Shelby) in overtime and beat Edinburgh, while the Saints beat Southwestern and lost to Edinburgh.
Of Hauser’s nine losses, three have come against 4A schools. Four, including one at 4A Franklin, have been in overtime. One came by one-point on a last-second shot, and another was to Oldenburg, a loss the Jets avenged last week.
Hauser has won 10 of its past 13 games, with all three of those losses coming in overtime.
“I believe we have improved all season long, and I do think we are getting better and better,” Roth said. “Hopefully, we’ll continue to get better with the (opponents) getting a lot better, as well.”
That likely will have to be the case if the Jets get past Lutheran and advance to tonight’s regional final. Awaiting them will be the winner to today’s 10 a.m. semifinal between Class A No. 3 Indianapolis Tindley (20-5) and Shakamak (15-10).
Like Hauser and Lutheran, Tindley has played a rigorous schedule. Three of the Tigers’ losses have been against 4A schools, and two have been in overtime. Tindley spent most of this season ranked No. 1 in Class A.
“I know they have a couple of really good kids,” Roth said. “At this point, everybody is going to be good. The challenge is going to be pretty big.”
Shakamak, meanwhile, won a pair of sectional games last week after dropping its final four regular-season contests by an average of 27.3 points.
If the Jets do get to play two games today, it won’t be the first time this season they’ve done that. Hauser lost to East Central and beat the Brownstown Central junior varsity Dec. 22 in the South Ripley Tournament.
“I’m sure that had to help us,” Roth said. “We know we have to focus on the first one, but of we are fortunate enough to get past the first game, we’ll have time to rest and get focused for that game.”
The Jets, which won their first sectional title since 2012, are seeking their first regional since 2006. That year, they captured the Class A state championship.
10 a.m.: Indianapolis Tindley (20-5) vs. Shakamak (15-10)
Noon: Hauser (16-9) vs. Indianapolis Lutheran (11-12)
8 p.m.: Championship