BY DEREK TREPANIER
For The Republic
HOPE — Just three days after a heartbreaking one-point loss to Class 4A Columbus North, the Hauser boys basketball team made sure not to let the low emotions get the best of it.
Returning home to face Trinity Lutheran on Tuesday night, the Jets carried over the same aggressive play from the weekend, overwhelming the Cougars for a 101-66 victory.
“We talked about it after the Columbus North game, about not trying to have a letdown after playing at that level,” Hauser coach Griff Roth said. “We worked on it mentally, trying to make sure that we were ready for this game.”
The Jets (2-1) stormed out of the gates to open the game on a 27-11 run, led by the dominant play of seniors Justin Compton and Alex Gross under the basket. Gross collected seven of his 12 rebounds in the first quarter, while Compton poured in 13 of his team high 22 points.
“With our size, we definitely want to take that advantage. Anytime we can get it down to Gross and Compton we are going to try and do that,” Roth said.
Leading 83-44 after the third quarter and its starters on the bench in the fourth, Hauser struggled to find consistent scoring, but was able to capitalize at the free-throw line, sinking seven free throws in the quarter. The Jets attempted 26 free throws as a team and were able to convert on 20.
With a little over a minute remaining in the game, senior guard Joe Sweet found an opening in the Cougars 2-3 zone and flipped a layup for two of his 14 points to put Hauser over the century mark.
Gross finished with 18 points. Mason Sherman chipped in 14 for the Jets.
The Cougars’ Jacob Rowe led all scorers with 22 points.