By James Pence | For the Tribune
HOPE — Hauser and Trinity Lutheran were in a dogfight throughout much of Tuesday night’s non-conference boys basketball matchup.
It was the free throw shooting down the stretch that sealed the deal for the Jets in a 61-52 victory.
“Credit to Trinity Lutheran, they’re hungry for a win,” Hauser coach Joe Sibbitt said. “We had some matchup issues with them, and can play a 5-out motion and draw our big guys away from the basket defensively, but we ended up finding a way to win.”
The score was 5-4 early in the first quarter until Trinity Lutheran (0-3) went on a 6-2 run that forced a timeout.
Following the timeout, Hauser (2-1) turned up the intensity and a Trey Johnson and a Jackson Paradise 3 tied the game at 11-11. The Jets then forced a couple that lead to four straight points to go ahead 15-11. Paradise then shot a layup just before the buzzer to give Hauser a 17-11 lead after the first quarter.
A Josh Rowe basket ended the Jets 11-0 run, but that didn’t stop the Hauser momentum. Frankie Poole converted a bucket and Paradise converted another 3-pointer to extended the lead to 22-13.
The Cougars then went on a 6-0 run to cut it to 22-19 until Paradise took control and scored five straight Jet points to put them back ahead 27-19.
The Cougars were able to cut it to 29-25 until Caleb Hoover knocked down a triple to put the Jets ahead 32-25, and a Trinity Lutheran free throw made it 32-26 at the half.
Paradise finished with 13 points in the first half to lead Hauser, and Rowe scored eight points to lead Trinity Lutheran.
Bryce Bates and Trey Johnson combined to score all the points in the third quarter, but the Cougars didn’t go away only trailing 44-36 heading into the fourth quarter.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Johnson picked up his fifth foul. It could have changed the momentum, but the Jets weren’t fazed as they were able to fend off every attempt the Cougars had.
Paradise finished with a game-high 20 points. Bates finished with 16 and Johnson added 10.
Rowe finished with 14 points to lead Trinity Lutheran. Hudson Norton finished with 13, Jack Marksberry had 12 and Tyler Goecker added 10.