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home : hope-area news : sports July 23, 2017

3/8/2017 4:21:00 AM
Jets prepare for regional play without long-time coach
Sam Simmermaker at News Talk 1010 WCSI reports that the Hauser Athletic Office has Martinsville Regional tickets. They are $10 for the two sessions. Or $7 single session tickets are available at the door.

By Chuck Grimes
For HSJ Online

The accomplishments of the current Hauser boys' basketball team will surely be remembered for a long time.

In winning last week's South Decatur Class A Sectional, the Jets brought home tourney hardware for the first time since 2012. They will take a 16-9 record into the Martinsville Regional this Saturday where the Jets will face off with Indianapolis Lutheran at noon. Indianapolis Tindley will play Shakamak in the tourney's 10:30 a.m. opener.

The Jets carved out their niche in the history book without long-time coach Bob Nobbe. The veteran started the season on medical leave, and while returning to the classroom in early January, Nobbe officially resigned from the varsity basketball position. Junior varsity coach Griff Roth, who had doubled as the interim coach since the start of the season, has held the coaching reins of both J-V and V teams throughout the 2016-17 campaign.

Under normal circumstances, Hauser's 16-9 record would be considered successful. Factor in the coaching uncertainties in combination with a difficult schedule, the current edition of Jets have been borderline amazing.

On the eve of possible greater accomplishments, Roth is very optimistic.

"We are playing as well as we've played all year," said Roth. "We've been at the top of our game recently."

"Recently" may go back several weeks.

Hauser has won 10 of its last 13 games. The losses - to Southwestern Shelby, Morristown and Indian Creek - were all in overtime. Indian Creek and Morristown finished the season with glossy records. Southwestern was the Mid-Hoosier Conference champ.

Drawing conclusions and/or making a prediction after comparing records of future opponents can be dangerous and confusing.

For what it's worth...

Lutheran won last week's Edinburgh Sectional by defeating Morristown in the final. That victory avenged a 17-point loss the Yellowjackets in the season opener. The Jets lost their 3-point OT encounter to Morristown on February 4. Lutheran defeated Seymour's Trinity Lutheran twice by a combined margin of 34 points. The Jets prevailed once over Trinity by 12 points.

Indy Lutheran lost to Edinburgh at home during the regular season by a scant 2. Hauser drilled the Lancers by 22.

Hauser vs. Indy Lutheran? Go figure. A toss-up?

Roth doesn't believe in comparing records.

"I know two things," he said. "Their record is deceiving. And it's that time of year when records don't matter."

But it's undeniable that the strength of Hauser's schedule has helped prepare the Jets for the tournament.

Included in 1A Hauser's regular season games were losses to 4A schools Columbus North, Franklin and East Central. The Jets also dropped games to Indian Creek, Greensburg and Lawrenceburg, all 3A schools. Hauser defeated 3A Batesville. Indy Lutheran's schedule included only one 4A school.

On the court, both Hauser and Indy Lutheran play similar styles.

"I think they like to get up and down the court like us," said Roth.

Lutheran enters the regional with an offensive average of 60.2 points per game. The Jets are scoring at 64.4. The bigger difference may lay on the defensive end. Hauser has surrendered an average of 55.9 while Lutheran has given up 62.1.

According to Roth, the game regional will be all about defense.

"The key for us is always our defense," he said. "Our pressure has to be good and we have to keep guys in front of us."

Led by the starting five of Alex Gross, Justin Compton, Clayton Wilson, Mason Sherman and leading scorer Conner Wilson - points have not been a problem for the Jets.

"We have plenty who can score," said Roth.

If successful in the early afternoon encounter, Hauser would likely face slight tourney favorite (20-5) Indianapolis Tindley at 8 p.m. for the title. The Tigers cruised to the University Sectional championship with an 18-point victory over the hosts and 22-point wins over Indiana Math and Science and Bethesda Christian.

Shakamak (15-10) earned regional rights by winning its sectional title with wins over Eminence and Bloomfield, both sub .500 teams.

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