In the Southwestern (Shelbyville) sectional first round March 4, "the Twisters faced the (Hauser) Jets for the second time in as many weeks — except this time it was win or go home," pointed out Oldenburg Academy athletic director Patrick Kolks.
The Twisters got the best of the Jets, beating them 42-39; however, it didn’t go as planned. The last time the OA faced off against the Jets, it was at Hauser and the Twisters won that game handily, 66-34.
The Jets decided to approach this game very differently — spread the Twisters out, and use as much clock as possible. The Jets led by 1 after the first quarter 17-16. Through the majority of the second quarter, the Twisters and Jets would trade buckets going back and forth, leading by a single point. With 3 minutes remaining, the Jets were able to swell their lead to 5, 27-22. The Twisters fought back to cut their deficit down to 1, going into halftime 27-26. That would be the last quarter that either team would score 10+ points.
Matching point for point, and using as much clock as they could, the Jets held the Twisters at bay, leading 35-34. It seemed as though Hauser was going to pull the upset and advance to the next round. However, the Twisters would not go down without a fight, according to Kolks.
Down 38-34, the OA players started pressuring the Jets into bad shots, and turnovers — and the Twisters capitalized on that. With 1:56 left, the Twisters were down 39-38. That’s when junior Wil Freeland saw an opening down the lane and drove it and converting the acrobatic layup to give the Twisters a 40-39 lead. After a Jets timeout, OA had to not let Hauser get any easy baskets. The Jets came out and spread the Twisters, and with 46 seconds left, Hauser's Jackson Paradise threw up a 3-point attempt that hit off the rim, and OA’s Jake Johnson came down with the rebound. As the Twisters advanced the ball up the floor, Johnson was fouled.
On the ensuing inbounds, the Twisters threw it into the backcourt, where the Jets stole the ball. With 12 seconds to go, the Jets attempted another 3-point field goal and it bounced off the back iron into the hands of Freeland. The Twisters were able to inbound the ball to Johnson, who was immediately fouled. Johnson went to the free-throw line and knocked down both shots to extend the Twisters lead to 42-39. The Jets were able to get one more shot up as senior Trey Johnson heaved a desperation 3 that banked off the backboard and rattled in and out of the rim.
The Twisters were led by Johnson with 16 points, followed by his fellow senior teammate Zach Wegman, who added 12. The Twisters shot 40% (16/40) from the field, and the battle on the glass was even with each team grabbing down 23 rebounds. The Twisters advance to play Jac-Cen-Del in the second round on March 6 at 7:30 p.m.