If the Hauser boys basketball team is going to make a bid for a third-consecutive sectional title, it will have to do it with a young and inexperienced team.
Because of graduation and defections, the Jets lost 83 percent of their scoring and 80 percent of their rebounding from a team that went 17-7 and lost to Edinburgh in the regional final.
“We have some young guys, and I think that once we get some games under our belt, and they gain some experience out there on the varsity floor, that we’ll continue to improve, we’ll continue to get better and play better as a team,” Hauser coach Bob Nobbe said.
The Jets opened the season Tuesday with a 62-61 loss at Madison Shawe. Hauser was victimized by 27 turnovers and 1-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line.
“There were several things where we came up short,” Nobbe said. “We had 27 turnovers, and we didn’t rebound the ball as well as we had hoped. But it’s the first game of the year. We have a long road ahead of us.”
Trey Shipley, the lone returning starter, led the Jets with 21 points. The 6-foot-2 junior averaged 8.4 points and 3.3 rebounds a game last season.
Nick Landis, a 5-foot-11 senior, averaged 1.5 points last season and will have a bigger role. The only other returner with much varsity experience is 6-3 junior Ryan Christy, who averaged 1.9 points.
Newcomers to the varsity are 5-foot-9 sophomore Rory Thayer, 6-foot-1 juniors Jared Compton and Aaron Branum, 5-foot-9 junior Brad Bates and 5-foot-9 sophomore Mason Ramsey. Branum scored 12 points in Tuesday’s opener at Shawe.
“I also saw a lot of positive things,” Nobbe said. “I think we pushed the ball well. I saw some great play out of some players out there. We just got really productive minutes out of all of our guys. There are obviously some things to work on, but also some bright spots.”
Hauser won’t have the luxury of gaining experience against weak teams. The Jets play host to Class 4A Columbus North tonight and visit 4A Franklin and 3A No. 1 Greensburg before Christmas.
“I’m excited about the games that are in front of us,” Nobbe said. “I look forward to the weeks to come.”