CHARLOTTESVILLE — Eastern Hancock’s high-intensity defense did not leave many openings Thursday night, but when it finally did, Hauser took advantage.
The Royals brought the Jets’ offense — the third highest scoring group in the Mid-Hoosier Conference (60.5 ppg) — to a halt in the second quarter, holding them to just five points. But Hauser exploded out of the half, posting 18 points and turning a halftime deficit into a 36-31 lead to heading in the final quarter.
From there, poor shooting and uncharacteristic turnover troubles plagued Eastern Hancock, as its late comeback efforts came up short and doomed it to a 51-45 defeat.
The Royals (8-10, 2-4) protected the ball well in the first half, a key to keeping the game within reach. Despite shooting just 25 percent from the field, Eastern Hancock had just four turnovers, while forcing the Jets (11-8, 7-1) into 15.
The lack of opportunities for the Jets were enough for Cole Fout and company to hold Eastern Hancock close. Fout delivered six points in the first half to the lead the Royals, and Addison True and Logan Splater each chipped in four to give them a 19-18 lead at the break.
“They frustrated us,” Hauser coach Bob Nobbe said. “I could see some of that frustration out on the floor, so at halftime we just talked about confidence and taking good shots. I thought we did a better job of that in the second half.”
The Jets did, and they turned the tables on Eastern Hancock in the turnover battle, giving the ball away just seven times in the second half, while shooting 8-of-12 from the field.
Zach Johnson and Quindon Shipley led the way for the Jets in the quarter with six points apiece. Each only missed one shot.
Johnson finished with 10 points, while Shipley added eight and Rory Thayer finished as the leading scorer with 12 points and picked up four rebounds.
The key to Hauser’s success, Nobbe said, was the pressure it applied to the Royals in the form of a full-court press, which flustered Eastern Hancock and forced it into mistakes.
“It took a while to get acclimated to that press,” Eastern Hancock coach Aaron Spaulding said. “After a while, we got acclimated to it and got some easy baskets, but they had already taken a lead from that, and it was too little too late.”
In the final quarter, the Jets stretched the lead to as many 11, while the Royals went more than three minutes without a bucket.
Panthers rally for win
JEFFERSONVILLE — Trailing by six at halftime, Jennings County outscored Jeffersonville 33-12 in the second half to claim a 59-44 Hoosier Hills Conference win.
The Red Devils led 32-26 at the break, but the Panthers went on a 20-4 run over the third quarter to take control.
Richard McNamee led Jennings (9-10, 4-3) with 16 points and six rebounds. Chase Wilson added 12 points and six rebounds, while Tyler Vogel scored 12 points and Dan Leach had eight points and nine assists.
Lancers nip Woodmen
EDINBURGH — There are no shortage of barns in southern Johnson County, and early in Edinburgh’s boys basketball game against Greenwood the home team couldn’t hit the broad side of any of them.
That changed, however, as the game wore on with the Lancers rallying for a thrilling 59-58 victory.
Bobby Simpson supplied the winning points, the 6-foot junior guard driving the right baseline for a short runner with 11.1 seconds remaining for two of his 14 points.
Greenwood (3-16) worked to get a quality look at a potential game-winner, but a baseline jumper from Jeffrey Reynolds was off the mark.
Kyle Pendleton snagged his team-best seventh rebound for Edinburgh (11-8) as time expired, securing a critical victory if coach Drew Glentzer’s program is to finish with a winning record for a fifth consecutive season.
“I knew this game was going to be a grinder. I knew (Greenwood coach) Bruce (Hensley) was going to have them ready,” said Glentzer, who witnessed only the second Edinburgh win in the nine meetings with Greenwood dating back to the 2004-05 season.
“I thought with this group we’ve had the ability to understand the situation. We hung around. Our kids never really said, ‘We’re not going to win.’”
That includes the game’s opening minutes during which the Woodmen bolted to an 11-0 lead as the Lancers misfired on their first seven field goal attempts.
Sixteen of Reynolds’ 18 points came in the first half on 7-of-8 marksmanship from the floor as the Woodmen settled in with a 33-24 advantage at halftime after once leading by as many as 14 points.
After making only two field goals in 13 first-quarter attempts, Edinburgh finally got on track with 18 second-period points, but was only 10 of 26 shooting (.385) with a second half still to play.
Glentzer’s squad whittled away at the spread, cutting it down to seven on two occasions twice late in the second. Edinburgh had closed to within 45-40 after three quarters, eventually taking the lead for the first time, 48-47, on Christian Burton’s 3-pointer with 5:52 to play in the final period.
The teams battled back and forth until four consecutive free throws from Matt Heagy lifted the Lancers to a 57-53 advantage with 1:15 remaining.
Greenwood’s Alex Rapp buried a trey at 1:05 with the Lancers committing a turnover on the ensuing possession. This led to 6-4 post Spencer Isenthal knocking down two free throws at :26.5 for what would be a short-lived 58-57 Woodmen lead.
“Edinburgh is a good offensive team,” Greenwood coach Bruce Hensley said. “With their ability to shoot the basketball, they spread you out.”
Heagy led the Lancers with 19 points, followed by Simpson’s 14 and Pendleton’s 11.
Neither team shot the ball well. Greenwood made 21 of 45 from the floor (.467), a veritable heat wave compared to the Lancers’ 19 of 46 (.413).
Mohawks down Cougars
GREENSBURG — South Decatur suffered its 13th consecutive loss, a 74-51 MHC setback against Waldron.
Nick Benge led the Cougars (1-16, 0-7) with 16 points.