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Jets turn up ’D‘ in win


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HOPE — A drastic second-quarter for Trinity Lutheran was the turning point for Hauser as the hosts capitalized on it to propel themselves to a 62-47 victory.

Trailing 13-12 after the opening period, the Jets outscored the Cougars 18-1 in the second and then answered their counterpart’s challenges throughout the rest of the contest.

Trinity Lutheran (1-1) rallied late in the first quarter to take the lead, but either misfired from all angles or mishandled the ball against a scrappy Hauser (2-1) squad, to fall behind 30-14 at halftime. A lone free throw by Craig Stuckwisch was the only thing that prevented the guests from being shut out.

“That was kind of our demise tonight,” Trinity coach Aaron Rudzinski said. “You can’t have a quarter like that and expect to completely recover.”

A driving layup by Zach Johnson 70 seconds into the second period pushed the Jets in front 14-13, and back-to-back buckets by teammate Trey Shipley quickly expanded the lead.

Stuckwisch’s charity toss at the 3:38 mark, which came from a technical foul, finally put the Cougars in the scoring book, but he and his teammates would go cold again as Hauser turned up the intensity and battled for seemingly every possession.

“Hauser beats us to the loose balls and outhustled us,” Rudzinski said. “Their effort opened our eyes on what we have to do to be more prepared and better conditioned.”

A three-point play by Ryan Christy pushed the Jets’ lead to 26-14 at the 2:02 mark, and then Mason Ramsey picked up a loose ball and buried it from long range to make things 29-14.

Ramsey and Christy finished as the Jets’ top scoring tandem with 14 and 13 points, respectively, while Christy also ripped down seven rebounds.

“I was very pleased with the way the boys played in that second quarter, as well as the third,” Hauser coach Bob Nobbe said. “They were hustling hard and pushing the action.”

Nobbe said he was also happy to see his crew regain its focus late in the contest after Trinity had reeled off nine consecutive points midway through the fourth period to cut Hauser’s 52-31 lead almost in half.

“I was glad to see them be able to calm things down when (the Cougars) were making a run,” Nobbe said. “They got back their focus and regained control of the game.”

Toby VanLiew came alive for Trinity in the third period as the guests worked hard to feed the ball into the 6-foot-6 lanky junior. He scored nine of his team-high 18 points in the first four minutes following halftime before Hauser regrouped to slow him down.

VanLiew also grabbed 16 rebounds, but he failed to get enough help from his teammates against the balanced attack of the Jets, who had nine players make the scorebook for the third straight game.

“We like having that,” Nobbe said. “Having 10 players, all with the ability to score and with a variety of strengths, allows us to face different situations.”

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