Jets win conference crown

SHELBYVILLE — Hauser wrapped up a perfect Mid-Hoosier Conference season in clinching the outright conference title with a 64-33 win at Southwestern (Shelby) on Thursday, despite missing one of its senior captains in Mason Sherman.

Sherman set out because of a minor knee injury that Hauser coach Griff Roth said should be fine in a couple of days. The Jets still didn’t have trouble scoring, with four other players in double digits.

“I think the guys off the bench did a great job and a good job of running the team,” Roth said. “That’s what we need. They’re seniors. They need to step up and do their job.”

The Jets (11-6, 6-0) jumped on the Spartans (8-10, 2-3) early with a 21-7 first-quarter lead behind Justin Compton and Alex Gross’ combined 13 points. Compton ended with a game-high 14 points, and Gross added 13. Gross also grabbed 12 rebounds and recorded five blocked shots.

Defense was a major part of Hauser’s second-half effort. The Jets forced 11 turnovers in the final two quarters. They also outrebounded Southwestern 24-14 with six offensive rebounds.

“We were putting a lot of ball pressure on them, trying to speed them up,” Compton said. “I think that worked because we were picking them up at half court, just pushing their tempo. They don’t really like to get out and run.”

The 6-foot-9 Gross did a solid job of scoring inside, but he also racked up a handful of assists by dishing it back out that helped Hauser score on eight 3-point shots. The Jets created a 31-16 lead by halftime, and they kept on creating distance.

Will Trotter led the bench with 11 points, including scored eight in final quarter. He helped the team go on a 15-3 run to close the game. Sam Meek added 10 points.

“We didn’t win (the MHC) last year, so that was one of our goals,” Gross said. “Just a milestone along the way for the regular season, so it was great to get it done.”

Author photo
Frank Bonner is a sports writer for The Republic. He can be reached at fbonner@therepublic.com or 812-379-5632.