HOPE — Hauser boys basketball coach Bob Nobbe had to be concerned.
He had just watched his Jets play some wonderful basketball in the first quarter against powerful Columbus North. The problem was that Hauser still trailed 22-20.
Then the Bull Dogs showed why they should be considered among the top teams in the state. In just a matter of minutes, North turned a close contest into a rout as they went ahead to a 94-53 victory.
Columbus North simply played above the rim and the smallish Jets were no match. Bull Dogs 6-foot-8 center Tori Jackson finished with 14 points, but he owned the paint whenever he was on the floor. He swatted away five shots that made Hauser wary of going into the middle.
Jackson scored North’s final six points of the first quarter, all inside the paint, Then his teammates put together a 15-0 run to start the second quarter that took the steam out of the Jets, along with a nice crowd for Hauser’s home opener. The Jets didn’t score in the second quarter until Jared Compton hit a basket at the 3:47 mark to close North’s lead to 37-22. Unfortunately for the Jets, they continued to fuel the Bull Dogs’ offense.
Turnovers on five consecutive possessions led to a 12-0 North run and a 49-22 lead.
“You have to give Hauser credit for making the shots that were available to them,” North coach Jason Speer said. “They made their open shots.
“We have to play position defense better and do a better job reacting to the basketball. But I liked our energy, and we had things going in the right direction.”
Leading things in the energy department was North sophomore Josh Speidel, who was the game’s leading scorer with 16 points. When Speidel made up his mind to drive to the basket, nobody wanted to get in his path. He missed only one shot all night.
North also had double-figure scoring from guards Evan Henry and Sawyer Glick, who both scored 14 points, and Clint Cunningham, who had 10.
Hauser’s Rory Thayer (12 points) and Mason Ramsey (11 points) both scored in double figures. The North defense completely shut down forward Trey Shipley, who didn’t have a field goal and finished with two points.
North picked up the tempo after the second quarter and Hauser couldn’t keep pace. “A big key for us is if we can control the glass,” Speer said. “We’ve got to play to our strengths.”
Although his team won big, Speer said he will concentrate on the big picture. “The opportunity is there for us to get better each and every time on the floor,” he said.
Speer said he was impressed with the way Hauser came out. “That early offense and their aggressive play is going to serve them well,” he said.
Nobbe knew his team was in tough. “We were excited to play a cross-town rival in our home-opener,” he said. “I thought we played an excellent first quarter. Defensively we did a good job making sure they didn’t get second shots and we were fundamentally sound on offense with our screens and passes.
“We kind of just got out of our element and therefore we didn’t execute as well. They are a strong, athletic, big basketball team.
“You’re never happy with a loss, but hopefully we will gain experience from this. We have the insight that if we execute and play fundamentally sound, we are going to be tough.”