by Rob Barrone | Correspondent
Youngstown -- The Hudson boys basketball team improved to 9-4 on the season after posting a 52-48 victory over Youngstown East (10-5) Jan. 21 at the Covelli Centre in Youngstown.
Steve Boslet led the Explorers with 17 points and Zack Brandy added 16 points.
Hudson improved to 3-2 in the Northeast Ohio Conference River Division after posting a 61-43 win over Solon Jan. 18 on the road.
Against the Comets, Boslet and Alex Mushock, who are team captains, were both key contributors. Mushock had his second straight game with a double-figure rebounding effort. He had a game-high 13 rebounds to go with his eight points.
Boslet added 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.
It was a tough night for the Explorers' third captain, Zack Brandy.
As usual, the team's leading scorer was harassed all night and banged around like a pinball. The shots didn't fall for him as they usually do and he finished 4-of-7 from the foul line and 7-of-19 from the floor. Brandy kept at it and still led all scorers with 20 points despite an off-shooting night.
Brandy and his teammates got off to slow start, falling behind 7-0 early to the Comets (3-9, 0-5). John Zuccaro (nine points) ended Hudson's 0-for-5 start, hitting a three-pointer from the right corner nearly three minutes into the game.
Although he missed three of his first four free throw attempts, Brandy scored the Explorers' next 10 points. The 6-foot guard brought his squad even with Solon with 19.2 seconds left in the first quarter when he drew a charging call on a Comet player who was subsequently given a technical foul as well. Brandy hit the two free shots to tie the score at 13-13.
Falling behind 17-13, Hudson regrouped to outscore Solon 16-1 in the next five-plus minutes and 30-10 over the game's next 13:39. Ben Gedeon scored four of his six points on the night with back-to-back scores inside just 17 seconds apart. With the score knotted at 17-17 Hudson took the lead for the first time on an inbound play. Mitch Guadagni hit Kevin Zullo, with the inbound pass, in the left corner and the junior drilled the triple for a 20-17 lead with 5:58 left in the first half.
The Explorers never lost their advantage the rest of the way.
Boslet converted a one-handed shot to give Hudson a 31-21 halftime lead. The Explorers promptly put away with an 8-0 run to start the third quarter.
"We got off to a slow start," Hudson head coach Jeff Brink said. "We were settling for threes that were not the best shots available. We stressed, 'Win the second quarter and let's get a lead,' which we did. At the half, we talked about being more patient. Those middle two quarters, 34-13, that's what we want to do."
The Explorers made seven three-pointers in the win.
Hudson is scheduled to entertain NOC rival Shaker Heights Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m.