SHELBYVILLE — Hauser began the Saturday night basketball contest with plenty of confidence, coming off its first victory of the year and confident in the steady improvement in the team as the season has progressed.
“Every day’s an opportunity to learn,” Hauser coach Bob Nobbe said. “We find positives and successes as we go along.”
But it was Senior Night at Shelbyville, and the Golden Bears celebrated with a 93-56 drubbing of the visitors from Hope.
The Jets (1-19) started the game well, trailing by only one point at 6-5 with 5½ minutes left in the first quarter. Hauser stayed close until it reached 12 points, then the Bears’ press began taking its toll.
“We had bright spots and positive plays,” Nobbe said. “Nick Johnson and Ryan Christy played very well inside. I’m happy with the way we started the game. We matched Shelbyville’s intensity early. But when they increased their intensity, we just couldn’t match it”.
“We showed good spark and stayed with them early on,” said Ryan Christy, who shares the Jets’ post with Johnson and scored nine points. “Our guards really looked for the bigs inside to help us get good looks.”
Johnson was Hauser’s leading scorer with 11.
Shelbyville (6-13) broke away from the Jets in the last 2 minutes of the first quarter and jumped out to a 24-12 first quarter lead mainly by forcing nine turnovers with its suffocating press. Bears Senior center Ethan Runnebohm celebrated his Senior Night by scoring five baskets in a row, contributing 11 points to pace his team in early scoring.
The game was highlighting the post players, as the Golden Bears then went on to outpoint the Jets 25-11 in the second quarter. Sophomore center Cameron Clouse took over for Runnebohm coming off the bench in the second quarter to best his teammate’s five straight with six straight baskets of his own before he missed.
Clouse poured in 13 of his 16 points in the second quarter.
The 49-23 halftime lead was too much for the Jets to overcome. Hauser played better in the second half, but could not mount a serious challenge to the Bears the rest of the way.
Shelbyville had five players scoring double figures, led by Mitchell Orem’s 19.
Hauser was led by Johnson and Christy with 11 and nine points, respectively, followed by Trey and Quindon Shipley, with 9 and 8. All of Trey Shipley’s points originated behind the 3-point line.