HOPE — A sloppy first half turned in to an efficient second half for Hauser Thursday night.
As a result, the Jets scored twice as many points over the final two quarters than they did in the first two, and that enabled them to pull away for a 48-31 Mid-Hoosier Conference win against Southwestern (Shelby).
“I thought we played pretty good the second half,” sophomore Alex Cord said. “The first half was kind of rough, but the second half, we were more aggressive and smart whenever we took it to the rim. We were aggressive and just better with the ball the second half.”
Cord scored a career-high 19 points to lead Hauser (8-9, 3-2). He was 8 for 9 from the field, hitting his lone 3-point attempt, and 2 for 4 from the free-throw line.
“It was great to see him be so aggressive taking the ball to the rim,” Hauser coach Trent Moorhead said. “I think Alex sometimes doesn’t realize how good he is because he can do that often, and he really showed tonight the player he can be, and it was great to see. I’m proud of him.”
After an 11-11 tie through one quarter, the Jets and Spartans (2-15, 0-5) combined for 10 turnovers and only eight points in the second quarter. Hauser had five of those points and led 16-14 at halftime.
Southwestern tied the game at 16-16 and 19-19 early in the third quarter before the Jets went on a 17-3 run to take control.
“It was a clunky first half,” Moorhead said. “We had some troubles. Credit to Southwestern. They did a good job with their half-court defense, but I’m really pleased with the third quarter and the intensity we came out with. If we play with that kind of intensity and energy the first half, it might have been a different story for us, but I’m glad that we could figure out what it takes the third quarter to get us going.”
Hauser forced seven Spartans turnovers in the third quarter.
“We talked about wanting to pick up the pace and the intensity on the defensive side,” Moorhead said. “Pressing a little bit in the third quarter kind of got our energy going. I think the defense created the offense there in the third quarter. We talked about that at halftime — making sure we picked up where we needed to on the defensive end, and that would make our offense come a lot easier.”
Meanwhile, after committing 11 turnovers in the first half, the Jets played error-free basketball in the third quarter and had only two turnovers in the entire second half.
“We really tightened up the ballhandling,” Moorhead said. “We got comfortable with the game. Our defense kind of made our offense a little smoother there in the third quarter, and I think that settled us down in the second half to really start playing the way that we’re capable on the offensive end.”
Ledger Gelfius added nine points, and Gavin Keller grabbed seven rebounds for Hauser, which bounced back from a 58-49 loss at Batesville on Saturday.
“I was pleased with the way we played at Batesville,” Moorhead said. “It was nice to come back and get a home conference win. We get the traveling trophy. I was really pleased across the board with a lot of guys contributing.”
Hauser 48, Southwestern (Shelby) 31
Southwestern (2-15, 0-5): Benjamin Kahler 2 1-2 5, Matthew Clements 1 4-4 6, Eli Stone 0 0-0 0, Michael Clements 1 0-0 2, Carter Snepp 3 0-0 8, Conner Jewell2 0-0 6, Jonah DeArmitt 2 0-0 4. Totals: 11 5-6 31.
Hauser (8-9, 3-2): Alex Cord 8 2-4 19, Alex Bower 0 0-0 0, Ledger Gelfius 4 0-0 9, Stryker Gill 0 0-0 0, Gavin Keller 1 1-2 4, Kam Blair 0 0-0 0, Jake Barriger 3 0-0 7, Taeshaun Tungate 2 3-3 7, Owen McIntyre 0 2-2 2, Jentzen Bechtel 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 8-11 48.
3-point goals: Southwestern 4 (Snepp 2, Jewell 2); Hauser 4 (Cord, Gelfius, Keller, Barriger).