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by Rob Barrone | Correspondent
Cuyahoga Falls -- When the Hudson boys basketball team took the floor against Brush Dec. 14 in Lyndhurst, the Explorers made a furious rally in the fourth quarter from a huge deficit.
Those final eight minutes proved to be vital for the Explorers Dec. 18.
Hudson improved to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division after posting a 72-60 victory over Cuyahoga Falls on the road.
With the loss, the Black Tigers dropped to 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the division.
Against the Arcs, the Explorers made things interesting with a 25-6 surge in the fourth quarter.
That hot surge continued against Falls.
With Ben Gedeon, who missed the game after a college visit to the University of Michigan, and Boslet, who missed the last game with concussion symptoms, Hudson cruised.
The Explorers raced out to a 24-point lead midway through the fourth quarter en route to the win.
"They [the Black Tigers] are a very good team," Hudson head coach Jeff Brink said. "They were coming off a huge win at Stow [35-34 Dec. 14]. We wanted to come in here and stand toe to toe. Up to the final couple minutes, we played a pretty solid ballgame."
The Explorers drained 11 three-pointers on the night, including seven in the first half as they battled their way to a 42-32 lead at intermission. Seniors Zack Brandy (a game-high 24 points) and Boslet (17 points) each hit four triples for the game, while classmate Alex Albright (nine points) came off the bench to hit three more.
"The fourth quarter from Brush really carried over," Brandy said. "And then with having Steve [Boslet] being questionable and coming in and knocking down four threes -- that helped. We were patient on offense and knocked down the shots we had to."
"We built on that momentum," Brink said. "We battled back from adversity and we didn't quit.
"That's a trademark of our program. The kids were excited about the game."
Hudson's experience helped matters too, according to Black Tigers head coach Rob Slone.
"Those kids are seniors and have played a lot together," he said. "I don't know how many games Brandy, Boslet and Gedeon have on the varsity basketball court, but they know how to play. They run their system -- you give hem wide open shots and they are going to bury them.
"Our game plan was supposed to push them off the spot and make them make them beat us off the dribble. My kids knew what was coming. They just didn't to adjust to it defensively."
The game started out with all the signs of a barnburner. The first quarter was a seesaw affair with three ties and nine lead changes.
Brandy came out on fire, hitting a trio of three-pointers in the period (13 points), but Falls countered with a trio of three-point possessions of its own. The first quarter ended in a 19-19 tie.
There were three lead changes in the first three minutes of the second quarter until Boslet found his shot.
Boslet's first three gave the Explorers a 27-25 lead -- a lead Hudson didn't relinquish the rest of the way. Boslet scored 13 points in a span of 3 minutes, 48 seconds and the Explorers had a 42-32 lead at halftime.
Hudson cooled down a bit early in the third quarter, but the Black Tigers didn't gain an inch.
Albright hit back-to-back three pointers to close out an 11-0 run late in the period. The Explorers had a comfortable 57-36 advantage heading into the final eight minutes."
"Those two threes by Alex Albright were daggers," Brink said. "They were pivotal to keeping the momentum in our direction."
Forward Henry Shaw led the Black Tigers with 16 points and guard Jacob Slone added nine points.
Hudson was scheduled to entertain Aurora Dec. 21. Results were not available at press time.
The Explorers are set to host the Hudson Holiday Tournament Dec. 27 and 29. The action is set to begin at 6 p.m. both days.
Chagrin Falls Kenston, Medina and Streetsboro are expected to participate.