Difference Maker: Sophomore point guard has led Jets to turnaround season

Batesville’s Emma Weiler, left, leaps to defend a shot by Hauser’s Madelyn Poe during a basketball game at Hauser Jr./Sr. High School in Hope, Ind., Friday, Nov. 5, 2021. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

The Republic file photo

HOPE — When Hauser’s girls basketball takes the court Tuesday night at Crothersville, the Jets will have a chance to equal their win total from all of last season.

A few key factors have figured into that improvement, but perhaps none moreso than the addition of point guard Madelyn Poe. The sophomore has provided a spark all season for Hauser since transferring from Center Grove.

“Madelyn has been a very good addition to the team this year,” Hauser coach Chad Evans said. “She’s stepped up and been that true point guard we’ve been missing for the last couple years. Madelyn is one of the more excellent point guards I’ve ever dealt with in coaching. She’s a great fit, and the kids have really surrounded her and picked her up, and she’s doing a really good job for us.”

Poe was the sixth player, the first off the bench, as a freshman at Center Grove last season. She helped the Trojans to a 15-11 record, a Johnson County Tournament title and sectional runner-up finish.

Poe’s mother Jessica is the principal at Hope Elementary school, and Madelyn decided to accompany her on her drive from Greenwood and attend Hauser this year. She played volleyball in the fall with a lot of the same teammates that she now has on the basketball team.

“The competition is a lot different, but it’s obviously still basketball,” Poe said. “Either way, it’s going to be good competition. It’s not that different. I think that we’ve played really well as a team, and I’ve had coach and other people behind me to support me, and I think that I’m finally loving basketball again, which is what’s most important, and that’s the reason I’m succeeding and playing well.”

The 5-foot-5 Poe, who played mostly shooting guard in Center Grove’s motion offense, has played point guard for the Jets. She does have some experience playing the point in previous years on her travel teams.

“I really like how I can create for myself and also others, and I like the leader aspect of it a lot,” Poe said.

Not only is Poe is leading the team with 4.2 assists a game, she is averaging a team-high 17.6 points.

“That’s a double bonus for you from a coaching aspect,” Evans said. “At any level, a lot of times, point guards just distribute the basketball and are making plays. Madelyn is one of those type of kids that can do both, and thta’s just an extra bonus for not only her but her teammates because they’re going to start keying on her, and Madelyn is doing a very good job of finding other kids.”

That includes junior guard Kyliegh Parrott, who was Hauser’s leading scorer the past two years.

“They kind of fed off each other last game,” Evans said. “They both hit their other teammates when we had set plays and got them open, as well. We’re kind of a two-headed monster. Hopefully, we can get them to score more points here going down the stretch for us. That’s going to be a big bonus for us.”

Poe also leads the Jets with 2.1 steals a game and with her 43 percent shooting from the field and 37 percent shooting from 3-point range. She is second on the team with 5.0 rebounds a game and 63 percent free-throw shooting.

More importantly, Hauser is 7-5 after going 7-17 and 8-15 the past two years. The Jets are seeking their first winning season since 2016-17.

“I think we’ve had a really strong start,” Poe said. “We’ve lost some games we easily could have won, some close ones especially, where we just had some off nights. So just moving forward, if we can just keep playing our plan, it will be good. We want to win a sectional and have a winning record.”