MARTINSVILLE — Hauser senior Connor Wilson said he and his basketball teammates knew they could do great things coming into this season.
The Jets won a sectional title and were planning on continuing their success in the first round of the Martinsville Regional, but Wilson said Hauser did not play its best game against Indianapolis Lutheran. The Saints ended the Jets’ season Saturday with a 66-60 win.
Hauser (16-10) had trouble guarding Lutheran (12-12) from behind the arc. The Saints knocked down eight 3-pointers in the game.
Lutheran’s double team on Hauser’s big man, Alex Gross, kept him from scoring a single field goal in the first half and the Saints opened a 26-21 halftime lead.
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Gross did not stay quiet for long, scoring nine of his 15 points in the third quarter to help the Jets pull within two after trailing by as many as seven. Lutheran extended its lead back to eight after going on a 9-3 run with two 3-pointers and a three-point play.
Hauser’s Andrew Titus forced a crucial steal with 1:30 left in the game, but missed the layup that would have cut the lead to three. The Saints went up by seven, but a 3-pointer with 40 seconds left pulled the Jets back to within four.
Lutheran hit 10 of 12 fourth quarter free throws to help keep Hauser from coming back in the end.
Mason Sherman tied Gross for the team high with 15 points, while Conner Wilson added 11. The Saints were a two-man team, with seniors Brandon Perry and Zach White accounting for 46 of the team’s points.
“They are never going to give up. They’re competitors” Roth said of his team. “We just didn’t have a shot go down or a free throw go down when we needed it and we have to give (Lutheran) credit. They shot the ball very very well today.”
Roth said this year’s success is a stepping stone for a team that will be returning most key players from this year including its leading scorer in Gross. The Jets lose twins Connor and Clayton Wilson, along with reserves Pete Trotter and Owen Green.
“I feel sorry for the seniors, being their last game,” Hauser coach Griff Roth said. “But I’m real happy with our guys all season long.”