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BROADVIEW HEIGHTS -- Exciting basketball? Yes.
Despite three thrilling games, the Hudson basketball team finished 0-3 Jan. 20 at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.
The varsity team dropped to 4-8 overall and 1-5 in the Suburban League National Conference after losing to the Bees 45-42. The junior varsity squad lost 56-54 in overtime and the freshman team lost 55-47 in overtime.
"There were some great games," Explorers' varsity head coach Jeff Brink said. "People who paid their five or six bucks got their money's worth. It was some good stuff.
"We took some steps forward. Look at the positives. The game plan was pretty efficient. We got the shots we thought we could get. We just didn't make them. We have to do a better job than that.
"We were very effective in the first half breaking pressure. The first half was one of the better halves we've played. They (the Bees) are one of the favorites in the league. We are not here for moral victories, so the bottom line is we didn't get it done."
In the varsity game, Hudson had a chance to win on the final possession, but the Explorers didn't get a shot off.
Trailing 43-42 with less than 30 seconds to play, the Explorers patiently worked the ball for an all-or-nothing last shot. Unfortunately a traveling call with 8.7 seconds left put Hudson in a bind.
The Explorers were forced to foul Brecksville standout guard Matt Dimitrijevs with 6.6 seconds left. Dimitrijevs, who led the Bees with 16 points, swished both shots. Hudson needed three points and had to go the length of the court against a team that had one foul to give. Two fouls would have put the Explorers at the line, shooting a one and one.
The first inbound pass was knocked out of bounds and with 3.8 seconds left, the task was even tougher. This time, a toss across midcourt was knocked around and finally corralled by Dimitrijevs and the clock ran out on Hudson's upset hopes.
Greg Mailey converted six 3-pointers and finished with a tame-high 19 points for the Explorers.
"Greg shot it well," Brink said. "When he gets going, he can shoot the ball. He has had some big games already for us this year.
"The thing that was kind of underrated was he shot it well, but he was pretty solid on the defensive end, too. It was one of our best defensive games in terms of rotation and contested shots."
Hudson led 12-5 at one point and after Brecksville tied the game at 19, the Explorers scored the last six points to take a 25-19 lead into halftime.
The third quarter ultimately did Hudson in as it turned the ball over six times and was outscored 18-7.
The Explorers converted 15-of-47 shots and were 8-of-17 from behind the 3-point arc. Brecksville made 14-of-42 shots and was just 5-of-20 from behind the arc. Hudson had a 28-26 edge on the glass.
Adam Mehelic finished with 7 points and 5 rebounds and Jackson Parker had a team-high 9 rebounds for Hudson.
In the JV game, Alec Jackson led the way with 12 points. Aaron Martin's shot at the buzzer fell short. Martin scored 9 points.
All three teams were scheduled to entertain Youngstown Boardman Jan. 24. Results were not available at press time.
They are set to host National Conference rival Nordonia Jan. 27. Varsity tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.