Brandon-Evansville’s John Haseman could have pointed fingers or let his body language show some frustration on Tuesday night. A lot of high school athletes would have.
Haseman had just scored 26 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, yet his team still lost by 21 points. The 6’3″ senior forward dominated stretches of the game against Swanville, but the Bulldogs used their depth to run away with things in a 60-39 game.
The Chargers shot just 34 percent as a team. Haseman saw constant double teams and zone defenses directed toward stopping him. His teammates got some good looks as a result, but on this night, none of those shots were falling.
Haseman did what good leaders do as things started to slip away in the second half. He never started to sulk or point any fingers. Instead, he kept going aggressively at the basket or found open teammates when Swanville sent extra defenders his way.
“He’s a determined player,” Chargers head coach John Holsten said. “And he’s a good teammate. He is really looking forward to his teammates’ success too. We just need some guys to start hitting shots.”
Haseman knows he needs to be this team’s primary scorer, but he doesn’t want to talk about that. His focus after the game was more on winning and what he and his teammates need to do to get that first win after falling to 0-2 on the early season.
“We really wanted this game,” Haseman said. “We all wanted this game and just practicing this summer, I was just going to give it my all. We’re a team, so we’re going to go as a team. I just try my best.”
His best was really good through much of the night. He kept his team in the game with those 19 first-half points. He got most of those by being the most aggressive player on the court. He isn’t afraid of contact in the lane and it took a little while for the Bulldogs to adjust to his physicality. Haseman also drained two threes when they left him alone beyond the arc.
“He worked really hard in the weight room,” Holsten said. “Then I think the AAU experience was really good for him. He played a lot of good kids, and he found out basketball isn’t a gentle game sometimes. He really has improved a great deal.”
That doesn’t happen without a good work ethic. Haseman demonstrated that this week after going 0-for-5 from the free throw line against Swanville. He was in the gym the next day at 7 a.m. to get some shots up from the line before school started.
“If your best player has good work ethics, you know you have something going,” Holsten said.
Haseman seems poised to put up double-doubles on a nightly basis this season, but the Chargers need more from the guys around him to get in the win column. Holsten believes he has guys who are capable of producing at a higher level. Now it’s on them to go out and prove that.
“We have other good players too,” he said. “And it’s time for them to show it.”