By Staff Reports
HOPE — It was a frenetic pace and it was obvious that Hauser head basketball coach Bob Nobbe was waiting to see which team would blink first.
That blink came in the third quarter, from visiting South Decatur.
With both teams racing the floor at every opportunity in a wild Mid-Hoosier Conference game, the Cougars suffered through a lull in the third quarter with four straight turnovers and a missed shot feeding an 11-0 run by the Jets.
That keyed Hauser’s 87-71 victory.
Hauser held 43-41 lead at halftime after the up-and-down the court pace exciting for the fans and tough on the players. Nobbe probably had a little more depth and kept rotating fresh players into the game.
In that key third quarter stretch, Hauser got 3-point baskets from Trey Shipley, Zach Johnson and Mason Ramsey. Ramsey also hit a two-point bucket during the 11-0 run.
The run gave Hauser a 54-43 lead and the strategy seemed to change at that point. Nobbe’s offense turned more
patient, waiting for the right moment to work the ball inside.
Hauser sophomore center Zach Gearhart scored seven of nine Hauser points late in the quarter and South Decatur couldn’t keep him out of the paint. Gearhart finished with 15 points, including a 5 for 6 effort from the line.
Gearhart’s shooting at the free-throw line was of note since the Jets didn’t help themselves by missing 12 of their 30 charity-stripe shots on the night.
Hauser point guard Zach Johnson scored 16 points, 12 coming in the second half. Johnson would dribble patiently at the top of the key, then when he would see an opening, would slash for buckets.
Senior Trey Shipley aided his team’s cause with 14 points.
South Decatur tried to stay in the game behind Andrew
Wullenweber, who scored 16 points, and Devin Taylor, who was an inside force with 14 points.
Taylor tried to get the Cougars (3-9, 0-3) back into the game with an offensive rebound and put-back to start the final quarter, then a 3-pointer to close the deficit to 67-60. However, Johnson righted Hauser’s ship with a three-point play and the Jets (6-6, 3-2) took off from there.