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Boys basketball squad rolls past state-ranked Boardman

By ROB BARRONE Correspondent Published: January 29, 2017 12:00 AM
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HUDSON -- Its 45-42 loss at Brecksville-Broadview Heights Jan. 20 hurt, but the Hudson boys basketball team was able to carry over some of the positives from that game into its next outing.

As a result, the Explorers got back on the winning track.

Host Hudson improved to 5-8 after earning a convincing 48-32 victory over Youngstown Boardman Jan. 24 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.

The Spartans (11-3) came into the game ranked 10th in the Associated Press Division I state poll.

The Explorers certainly weren't intimidated.

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In fact, Hudson, which snapped a three-game losing streak, was in control for much of the way.

Seniors Spencer McClure and Jackson Parker, along with junior Greg Mailey, were major contributors for the Explorers. All three reached double figures in scoring.

That marked the third time this season that three Hudson players hit for double digits. The Explorers are 3-0 when that happen. McClure led the effort with 13 points, Mailey hit four 3-pointers for 12 points and Parker had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

"Parker was tremendous," Hudson head coach Jeff Brink said. "His effort was awesome. Spencer was coming off illness. He was out [Jan. 23] with the flu. We had to be careful with him. His stamina was down a bit. Mailey shot the heck out of it."

For Parker, it was his second double-double of the season.

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"It felt good," he said. "We were kind of in a dry spell for a while. I think Brecksville was one of our best games, but we just couldn't finish it out. We just built on it and had a great game."

Mailey and McClure, who made 5-of-9 shots from the floor, got the Explorers off to a nice start combining for all of their first-quarter points to take a 13-7 lead.

Hudson took a 26-15 lead at halftime, but it struggled on offense in the third quarter.

The Explorers scored just two points in the period. Fortunately, Boardman scored just seven points and Hudson was up 30-24.

But a 3-pointer by Mailey early in the fourth quarter sparked and the Explorers and they didn't look back.

"This was a great victory," McClure said. "This could definitely change our season. We all worked together and we all did our job. That's what we have to do. We are usually not the most athletic team, I guess, so we have to defend everything and play hard every second of the game."

McClure also had 7 steals and 4 assists. Hudson committed just 9 turnovers. The Spartans lost the ball 16 times.

The Explorers made just 17-of-44 shots and had a 28-26 edge on the glass. Boardman made just 13-of-40 shots.

The win was a little bittersweet for Brink, who coached against one of his former players and assistant, Pat Birch.

"It's kind of cool," Brink said. "I think like 23 or 24 of my former assistants or players became head coaches. It gives you a little pride when you see them having success, but it's never easy. You don't want to beat somebody that you have respect for but obviously, you want to get the win. I'm really proud of what he has done at Boardman."

Hudson was scheduled to entertain Suburban League National Conference rival Nordonia Jan. 27. Results were not available at press time.

The Explorers are set to host National Conference foe North Royalton Jan. 31 at 7:30 p.m.

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