HOPE — Hauser’s boys basketball players would produce a terrific burst of defensive energy Saturday night, frustrating Batesville into nearly turning over the ball.
Then, often in a wild scramble, the visiting Bulldogs would somehow kick the ball out to the 3-point line.
And Batesville would hit that shot. Over, and over, and over.
When Hauser coach Bob Nobbe looks at videotape of the game, he is likely to be pleased with many aspects of his team’s game. Unfortunately, those 3-pointers were the difference in a 73-65 loss.
Batesville buried 11 3-pointers to six for the Jets while the rest of the game was played about dead even.
Sure, Batesville had a huge height advantage with 6-foot-6 Blake Walsman (26 points) and 6-6 Matt Dennis, thus having a rebounding edge.
But Hauser countered with crisp ball movement and a whole lot of unselfish play. Nine different Hauser players scored, and no one topped Quindon Shipley’s 14 points. Batesville really never knew who was going to hurt them.
But, oh, those 3-point shots.
In the first half, when Batesville was building a 33-26 lead, it was Batesville senior Jacob Vogelsang who couldn’t miss. Vogelsang hit four treys and scored all 14 of his points in the first half.
Then in the final 16 minutes, it was sophomore guard Garrett Burkhart who was on the money. Burkhart hit four 3-pointers and scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half.
Despite their marksmanship, the Bulldogs almost let the game slip away.
Down 59-46 three minutes into the final quarter, Hauser caught fire, going on a 9-0 run that cut the Batesville lead to 59-55 with 2:58 left. Four different Jets scored during the run that was fueled by three Batesville missed shots and an offensive foul that resulted in a turnover.
The teams swapped a pair of free throws before a Bulldogs’ turnover gave Hauser a chance to draw even closer. However, a short Shipley shot bounced all around the rim and fell out, and Batesville was able to rebound.
Again the two teams swapped free throws before Walsman opened the lead to 65-59 by hitting one of charity tosses. But Hauser’s Aaron Sweet, who was money on his jumpers all night and finished with 11 points, buried a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 65-52 with 45 seconds remaining.
Hauser, however, didn’t score on its next four possessions as the Bulldogs put the game away by making their final eight consecutive free throws. Hauser guard Zach Johnson (13 points) made the game aesthetically more pleasing by sinking a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Thayer had 10 points despite spending most of the second half on the bench after picking up his second foul at the 3:06 mark of the first quarter.
Both teams are 8-8.