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Rally by Braves not enough to down Jets

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The Hauser girls basketball team had a defensive wall that crippled Indian Creek in the first half, allowing only 11 points.

But the Braves made sure coming out of the locker room in the second half they weren’t going to be counted out just yet.

Indian Creek scored more than double the points from the first half in the third quarter to make the game close, but it was the Jets’ strong defense that limited the Braves to a four-point fourth quarter to give Hauser a 49-32 Mid-Hoosier Conference victory.

“That was possibly the best defensive effort we have had all season,” Hauser coach Brad Hamilton said. “We worked together and were able to provide offensive opportunities with our defensive approach.”

The Jets (4-3, 2-0) made their offensive presence felt early and often, outscoring Indian Creek (2-6, 0-3) 11-4 in the first quarter, with forward Erynn Shaw scoring five of the 11 points.

A big 3-pointer by Braves guard Candace Danz to start the next period cut the lead to four, but Hauser responded in dominating fashion, going on an 8-2 run with a pair of steals from guard Leslie Sims that resulted in points to take a 27-11 lead going into halftime.

“(Sims) surprised (Indian Creek) with some solid steals,” Hamilton said.” She goes 110 percent and is incredibly comfortable with the way she plays.”

The Braves came out of the half putting up an impressive performance early, scoring 17 points in the third quarter with Danz leading the charge with seven points to put the Braves within 35-32 with less than six minutes left in the game.

“We got away from our defensive strategy in the third quarter,” Hamilton said. “We were in such a rhythm in the first half, and we started to get a little gassed.”

But what the Jets didn’t provide in the third quarter they made up with in the final minutes, scoring 14 straight points to outscore Indian Creek 14-4.

Danz said the team lost its confidence against the Hauser offense.

“We had a great third quarter,” Danz said. “We thought we were where we needed to be, but (Hauser) came back with an offensive attack, and we couldn’t bounce back.”

Hamilton said the Jets were able to get their confidence back in the final minutes.

“All we had to do was put up some good points in the fourth and get us back in our rhythm,” Hamilton said. “The girls worked together and provided a huge run in the end.”

Sims, who led the Jets with 12 points, said Hamilton’s confidence in the team kept the group positive.

“Coach told us to stay calm in the fourth quarter,” Sims said. “We relaxed, did what we did best and put up big points.”

Indian Creek coach Dan Burkman said the team lost its composure in the fourth quarter.

“We weren’t as focused as we needed to be tonight,” Burkman said. “We had an opportunity to get close in the final minutes, but we struggled like we did in the first half.

“The girls need to figure out if they are here to participate, or if they are here to compete,” he said.

“Everybody wants to win, but we need to get into every game with every player willing to compete for the win.”

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