by Rob Barrone | Correspondent
Hudson -- In their 13 years together in the old Suburban League, the Wadsworth boys basketball team had Hudson's number.
The Grizzlies had a 17-9 record against Explorers from 1984 to 1997.
But that's ancient history.
Host Hudson improved to 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the Suburban League National Conference after posting a 51-34 victory over Wadsworth Jan. 8 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
The Grizzlies fell to 3-7 overall and 2-4 in the conference.
At one point, Wadsworth had a 27-22 lead early in the third quarter.
However, the Explorers put the game away rather suddenly with a 20-0 run in a span of 9 minutes, 32 seconds.
"We were down five points right off the bat, so we changed it up defensively," Hudson head coach Jeff Brink said. "We ended up giving up just seven points the rest of the game.
"That is probably the best defensive half we have had this year. Alex Beck did a nice job tagging [Tony] Hewitt."
Hewitt, a sophomore guard, led the Grizzlies with 14 points.
He had all eight of Wadsworth's points during an 8-0 run that gave the Grizzlies a 27-22 advantage.
But the Explorers had 6-foot-9 senior forward Isaac MacGillis on their side.
MacGillis scored 17 of his career-high 25 points in the second half and added 12 rebounds.
"Isaac has really stepped up," Brink said. "He has had 20-plus points and 12 rebounds two games in a row.
"In the second half, we did a better job getting the ball in the paint.
"What makes him so difficult to guard is he is so versatile. He can step out and make a three. When teams try to take away Zack Meder [14 points], we can go inside."
MacGillis made two 3-pointers and converted 7-of-8 shots inside the 3-point line.
He also made 5-of-6 free throws.
"Coach has been focusing on me getting the ball in the paint more and not always stepping out for threes," MacGillis said.
MacGillis was able to get some easy baskets inside thanks to the passing of senior 6-7 forward David O'Connor.
Hewitt, on the other hand, was unable to score again against Beck and the Hudson defense.
The Explorers led 12-5 after the first eight minutes, but Wadsworth took advantage of six Hudson turnovers in the second quarter to get back in the game with an 8-2 spurt.
"The second quarter got ugly quickly, but we cranked up the intensity in the second half," Brink said.
The Explorers' junior varsity team dropped to 5-4 on the season after losing 49-40. William Wallace led Hudson with 10 points. The Explorers' freshmen lost 44-37.
The varsity squad was scheduled to host Suburban League crossover rival Kent Roosevelt Jan. 12. Results were not available at press time.
Hudson is set to entertain National Conference foe Brecksville-Broadview Heights Jan. 15 before heading to Akron to play Kenmore Jan. 16.
Both varsity contests are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.