"Who's the runt?" "When you gonna grow up, sonny?"
West Liberty's Tim Hausfeld has heard them all. A good time to apply the dagger.
Take Wednesday night for instance inside the Hilltoppers' ASRC facility.
"All of a sudden there's a loose ball near the top of the key. It ends up in Tim's hands. That's the last thing (an opposing team) wants to see," smiled WL coach Jim Crutchfield.
Hausfeld, the Hilltoppers' mighty-mite of a guard, heaves home another three-ball then retreats to the other end and seconds later, causes a turnover which WL converts into two more points.
All part of West Liberty's resounding 93-72 victory over valley rival Wheeling Jesuit in front of 500 fans.
For his part, Hausfeld, a Toledo native, finished with 19 points on 7-of-16 shooting. He knocked down 5-of-12 from way downtown where a majority of Hausfeld's rockets are launched.
"(At my size), I have to step back a lot of the time," he noted. It matters little. The kid possesses uncanny range.
How he got here (5 ft. 7), Hausfeld defines by simple math. "My dad is 6-3 and mom is about five foot," he described. "I stopped growing my freshman year of high school."
Still, Hausfeld was a four-year varsity starter at Southview High where he poured in over 1,500 career points.
Offered walk-on options at nearby MAC schools Bowling Green and Toledo, Hausfeld instead responded to an open gym tryout at West Liberty.
"I felt their (WLU) style was a good fit for my game," he related. "I love playing here...especially the team concept coach Crutchfield stresses."
Working fairly well, considering Hausfeld has now nailed 114 career 3-pointers and surpassed 600 points (at WL) during Wednesday's game.
"Tim's a scratch golfer and I also understand he excels at cornhole," laughed Crutchfield. "He's got a gift, no question. And he's a super-competitive little guy to go along with it."
Which is more than can be said for Danny Sancomb's Cardinals who were outplayed in virtually all phases Wednesday night.
West Liberty crushed WJU on the glass, retrieving 20 offensive boards and making the Redbirds pay time and again with key putbacks.
"I can't speak for Wheeling Jesuit but our guys were ready to play," Crutchfield remarked. Junior Alex Falk led WL with 21 points while 6-4 freshman C.J. Hester totaled 16 points and 12 rebounds. Jesuit transfer Cedric Harris hooped 14 points and distributed seven assists.
Cards' leading scorer (21.3) senior Steve Catich was an all-night non-factor, finishing with seven points on 3-of-10 shooting in 29 minutes. The Jesuits' lone shining light was 6-5 senior Marquis Moore who delivered 24 points and 11 boards.
WEST Liberty improved to 11-1 overall and remains spotless (6-0) in Conference play. The Cards drop to 7-5 and 4-3. WL has a Saturday afternoon road test at Glenville while WJU is idle until greeting Charleston one week from tonight.....
FORMER Jesuit head coach and Indiana Pacers' assistant Jay DeFruscio took in a majority of Wednesday's game, but left early for a TV viewing of Temple's upset of Duke. DeFruscio is now a top administrator for the Atlantic 10 Conference which includes the Owls. Working out of A-10 offices at Newport News, Va., DeFruscio informed the A-10 is constructing a new facility in Brooklyn, N.Y. which will serve as A-10 headquarters later this year. DeFruscio is also director for this year's A-10 hoop tournament in Atlantic City....
THE Mountaineers obviously played out of their minds in Wednesday evening's Discover Orange Bowl, executing first-year coach Dana Holgorsen's offense to near-perfection while scoring an incredible 70 points...
WVU has pulled out all the stops in the school's three BCS games - outlasting Georgia in the Sugar Bowl and overwhelming Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl prior to Wednesday's record-setting conquest of Clemson....How sweet will this off-season prove for Holgorsen and Mountaineer fans?
Gibson may be reached at email@example.com