CHARLOTTESVILLE — The struggles that Hauser has experienced thus far this season continued Thursday in a Mid-Hoosier Conference battle at Eastern Hancock, where the Jets fell 70-44 to the Royals.
Hauser head coach Bob Nobbe emphasized the mental breakdowns that have led to his team’s demise this season.
“The difference in the game was our mental focus,” Nobbe said. “The fundamental things that we have been working on did not translate into tonight’s ball game. We need to be ready to apply what we have worked on all week long into the game.”
In a game that featured two small, yet quick and athletic squads, ball control was key in the first half.
Hauser (0-17) turned the ball over 14 times in that half, and headed into halftime down 26-16 to the Royals.
“We were still in the game after the first half, however turnovers and simple mistakes such as not blocking out and getting to the boards put us in a bit of a hole,” Nobbe said.
That hole only got deeper for the Jets at the start of the third quarter, as Eastern Hancock went on a 12-0 run to start the half.
The run put the Royals up 38-16 on Hauser, a deficit the Jets would not overcome, despite Hauser senior Nick Johnson putting up nine of his 11 points in the third quarter.
“Nick and Ryan (Christy) both gave us some post presence that created an advantage for us and we were able to more effectively utilize that in the second half. However we had dug ourselves too big of a hole, and that is just something we need to start utilizing earlier,” Nobbe said.
Eastern Hancock responded to every spark of momentum from the Jets, hitting 10 3-point goals on the night and enforcing a tight man defense that kept Hauser on its toes.
Trey Shipley led the Jets with 13 points, while Rory Thayer added six and Mason Ramsey had five.
The Royals were led by Shane McCormick with 22 points, while Isaiah McCormick had 14 and Garrett Lee and Cody Wallace each added 11.
Nobbe is hopeful that his team can be competitive in the sectional run.
“We have talked about the remaining games that we can be competitive in,” Nobbe said. “We have had moments of great basketball this season, and if we can be more mentally tough and play that game for four quarters, we can be competitive in the sectional. Tonight, we just were not there.”