Joey Mingione is known more for his golf game than his skills on the basketball court. So it wasn't surprising to see the Shawe senior bring his driver to the Hilltoppers' season opener.

Mingione scored a career-high 25 points to lead Class A No. 16 Shawe to a 62-61 win over Class A No. 14 Hauser Tuesday at home. All of Mingione's points came on drives to the basket, most of them while navigating around Jet defenders.

"I put up a couple of shots in the first quarter and they weren't falling so (Hauser) was laying back wanting me to shoot it," Mingione said. "They tried to take me to the left so I started driving and made some layups."

Mingione wasn't the only Hilltopper with a big scoring game as fellow senior Luke Higgins added 18 points. But as impressive as the two Shawe guards were, it was defense that carried the Hilltoppers to the win.

Shawe's aggressive man-to-man defense forced Hauser into 28 turnovers on the night - 20 of which came on Hilltopper steals - and Shawe converted those miscues into 23 points.

But the Jets also shot themselves in the foot. Despite shooting 55.6 percent from the floor (25-for-45), Hauser was an abysmal 1-of-9 from the free-throw line and missed three out of four freebies from the line in the final 29 seconds in what ended up being a one-point Shawe win.

"With the type of defense that we play we have to concede some baskets and layups that the kids might not want to concede as much as I do," Shawe coach Matt Traylor said. "But the payoff was the 28 turnovers. And we got a lot of points off those turnovers. Our guards were really active and we had a couple of bigs that really played well."

Hauser (0-1) led most of the first half and held its biggest lead at 26-19 with just under four minutes left before halftime. But the Hilltoppers regrouped to tie the game 32-32 at the break.

One of the keys to Shawe climbing back into the game was the defensive effort it placed on Hauser's Trey Shipley. The 6-foot-2 junior forward hit nearly every shot he took, going 8-for-13 from the floor and 5-for-10 from long range for 21 points.

After Shipley knocked down a pair of 3-pointers early in the third quarter Traylor challenged his team to step up, especially Higgins.

"I asked Luke if he could guard the kid or whether we should try something else," Traylor said. "He said he could do it and he did a great job. Sometimes all it takes is to challenge a kid and they respond."

Shawe took its first lead of the game on a Mingione three-point play with 2:34 left in the third quarter and the Hilltoppers built that advantage to four (51-47) by the end of the quarter.

But Hauser wasn't ready to back down.

Rory Thayer knocked down a 3-pointer early in the fourth to cut the lead to one and moments later Nick Landis hit a layup to put the Jets back on top by one at 52-51.

Shawe's Jesse Ball hit a free throw to tie the game 52-52 but an Aaron Branum layup off an offensive rebound but Hauser back on top with 2:45 left to play.

Shawe answered with back-to-back steals that led to runout baskets that changed the course of the game. The first came by Mingione at the 2:15 mark and six seconds later Higgins picked off a Hauser pass and went the length of the floor to put the Hilltoppers up 58-54.

Landis bombed a 3-pointer to pull Hauser to within one with 1:18 left but Mingione wasted little time answering with another drive to the hoop just seconds later.

Trailing by three, Hauser had a chance to cut into the lead but Thayer missed two free throws with 29 seconds left. Higgins hit his free throws on the other end moments later to give Shawe its biggest lead of the game.

Mason Ramsey hit a free throw to cut Shawe's lead to four and Branum knocked down a 3-pointer with eight seconds left for the final margin. With no timeouts remaining, Hauser was unable to stop the clock and Shawe never inbounded the ball.

"We wanted to stay aggressive but we didn't want to take any stupid shots," Mingione said of the game plan in the fourth quarter. "We wanted to play great defense. Play smart, but still be aggressive. And we didn't want to take any long shots but get layups and put the game away."

Mingione was far from perfect from the floor. He was just 11-for-26 overall and 3-for-7 from the free-throw line. But what impressed Traylor the most was not his senior's shooting percentage but his tenacity.

"I don't know how many layups he missed in the first half but we can probably count them on both hands," Traylor smiled. "But he does an incredible job of getting to the rim and it's even easier for him when he's knocking shots down. He was relentless at times tonight and he got his payoff from continually going to the basket. And all of the other kids did a great job of looking for him, too. He didn't have a shortage of opportunities tonight and that's a credit to his teammates."

Shawe now has the Thanksgiving Week off and won't return to action until a week from Friday when the Hilltoppers travel to Southwestern for a boys-girls doubleheader.


Tuesday's Shawe Boxscore

at Madison

CLASS 1A No. 16 SHAWE 62,


HAUSER 15 17 15 14 - 61

SHAWE 11 21 19 11 - 62

HAUSER (0-1) - (f)Shipley 21, Branum 12, (g)Ramsey 8, Landis 7, (g)Thayer 5, (c)Christy 4, Hull 2, (f)Compton 2, Bates 0.

SHAWE (1-0) - (g)Mingione 25, (g)Higgins 18, Rhoten 8, (g)Grote 5, Rios 2, (f)Ball 2, (f)Fry 2.

3-Point Goals - Hauser 10 (Shipley 5, Branum 2, Thayer 1, Landis 1, Ramsey 1), Shawe 2 (Grote 1, Higgins 1). Rebounds - Hauser 36 (Compton 6, Shipley 6, Christy 6), Shawe 39 (Ball 11). Assists - Hauser 17 (Thayer 8), Shawe 7 (Higgins 3). Turnovers - Hauser 28, Shawe 15. Total Fouls - Hauser 18, Shawe 14. Free Throws - Hauser 1-9, Shawe 12-24. Fouled Out - Shawe: Ball. Next Game - Hauser hosts Columbus North Saturday. Shawe visits Southwestern Nov. 30.