HUDSON: In what has become the norm in Northeast Ohio Conference boys basketball, Hudson edged visiting Stow 39-37 in three overtimes Tuesday at Hyser Gymnasium.
Senior Steven Boslet’s tip-in as time expired in the third extra session lifted the Explorers (15-4, 6-2) to their eighth consecutive win.
“We’ve been in tough situations and we keep finding a way to get wins,” Hudson coach Jeff Brink said. “I thought our guys did a fantastic job defensively.”
Boslet’s put-back came after senior guard Zack Brandy put up an off-balance shot from the right side.
“It came right to me and I took the opportunity,” Boslet said.
Throughout the game, Brandy, who came in averaging 18.0 points per game, had a difficult time shaking Stow senior point guard Tyler DeVitis and finished with five points.
“We’ve been playing against each other since the fourth grade and he’s honestly one of the best defenders I’ve ever played against,” Brandy said.
Hudson had to overcome a miserable start, due in large measure to Stow’s sticky defense. The Explorers did not score in the first quarter and were 0-for-12 from the floor with five turnovers and two missed free throws when junior guard John Zuccaro’s short jumper in the lane ended the drought at 4:25 of the second quarter.
Stow (9-11, 2-6), on the strength of three 3-pointers by junior Jacob Williams, had a 13-0 lead when Hudson got on the board.
The Bulldogs led 15-7 at half.
“When you are sitting there in the first quarter and you have no points on the board, it’s kind of demoralizing,” Boslet said.
But the Explorers persevered and managed to turn the tables on Stow in the second half, yielding just 12 points.
“They [Hudson] were very physical in the second half,” Stow coach Dave Close said. “They hurt us on the offensive board after halftime.”
Stow’s only scorers in the third and fourth quarters were junior power forward Matt Beech (eight points) and freshman guard Nathan Bower (four), who hit a clutch 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left in regulation to force overtime.
“He’s got a very tremendous feel for the game and is a very confident basketball player for a young man,” Close said about Bower.
Hudson had the final shot to win at the end of the first and second overtimes, but could not convert.
Zuccaro and sophomore Mitch Guadagni each had eight points for Hudson, which was without senior Ben Gedeon (shoulder).
Beech had a game-high 19 points for Stow. Williams finished with nine and Bower seven for the Bulldogs.
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