Trinity Lutheran scored the first eight points of Tuesday’s game against Hauser to lead all the way and register a 60-50 win in the Bollinger Athletic Complex.
The Cougars held a 31-24 lead at halftime, and a 42-34 advantage entering the fourth period.
The Jets scored the first five points of the fourth period to close to 42-39 on a basket from Quindon Shipley with seven minutes remaining, but that was as close as the visitors could get.
Hauser coach Bob Nobbe said Trinity’s size, with 6-foot-7 Toby VanLiew and 6-5 Daniel Horton, was one of the differences in the game as Horton had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and VanLiew had 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Nobbe said Trinity’s balance was another factor.
“Trinity has a really nice combination of young men who can shoot the ball really well, and those two big men on the inside, so you put that combination out there on the floor and I thought it served them well on both ends,” he said. “When we tried to pack our defense down and take some of the middle away, they hit some big from the outside, and there at the end we were spread out and tried to put some pressure on them and I think came up a few shots short — but we were unfortunate to not get all those rebounds we needed and those were all big ones.”
The Jets coach praised the development of Zach Johnson, a 6-0 junior guard who topped all players with 20 points: including eight in the fourth period.
“I was really happy with the play of Zach Johnson,” Nobbe said. “That’s the tempo we want to play at, the effort we want to see out of him and all our guys. I thought he took it to the rim and used what Trinity was giving us in terms of offensive opportunities.
In the winding minutes, the Jets played with a sense of urgency.
“I would expand that and say for the last quarter and a half, all the guys we put out there played with a little more intensity,” Nobbe said. “We talked in the locker room, It’s difficult but we need that for four quarters. I think we can get there, we just have to work to raise our level and raise our intensity for four quarters and I think we’ll be better.”
Zach Gearhart added 12 points and topped the Jets (1-2) with seven rebounds.
The Cougars focused on their defense in Tuesday’s matchup.
“We had our focus tonight on defense, and really just contain their guards,” Cougars coach Aaron Rudzinski said. “They have a lot of quick guards, and we were looking to make sure that we didn’t give up anything easy. We weren’t able to stick with that plan throughout. They had a couple opportunities with a guy inside, but for the most part I thought we played good defense and pressured their shots.”
Keegan Rebber was high scorer for Trinity (2-0) with 18 points.