by Eric Clutter | Correspondent
Hudson -- Zack Meder is the model of consistency.
The 5-foot-10 Hudson senior guard has scored at least 10 points in every game this season and is averaging about 25 points an outing for the Explorers.
On Jan. 12 against Suburban League crossover rival Kent Roosevelt, Meder got close to that mark, draining five 3-pointers en route to a 24-point effort that paced the Explorers past the Rough Riders 60-52 in a Suburban League cross-division tilt at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
"He is one of those guys that people underestimate because of his size," Hudson head coach Jeff Brink said of the 150-pounder. "He was the Player of the Year in our conference last season. He is good at reading screens and reading defenders and is a very versatile player.
"Defensively, he has also improved the last couple of years. He is one of the best players in Northeast Ohio and one of the best players that no one knows about. He is just consistent."
After seeing Kent reel off 11 points in the first quarter to take a 15-10 advantage, Meder hammered home a pair of 3-pointers in a 37-second span to give the Explorers (7-3) a lead they didn't relinquish.
Meder finished with eight points in a high-scoring frame as Hudson (7-3) carried a 22-19 lead into the second frame.
In the second period, the Explorers' defense shut out the Rough Riders for the first five minutes and eventually outscored 10-4, yielding just one field goal to take an 11-point lead at the intermission.
Hudson grew the margin to 13 points on an Isaac MacGillis' bucket to open the second half.
But Kent (2-8), which went through a 12-minute span in which it recorded only one bucket, put together its second surge of the night.
The Rough Riders scored the next 10 points to pull within three following a Christian Mehlmann 3 at the 2-minute, 40-second mark of the third quarter.
But once again, it was Meder acting as the steadying force for Hudson with a 3 that ignited what would become a game-defining 21-7 run that pushed the lead all the way out to 17 points with 3:52 to play in the contest.
MacGillis, a 6-9 senior post who has been dealing with the flu in recent days, posted a 16-point, 11-rebound performance that marked his third straight double-double.
He, along with 6-7 senior Dave O'Connor, also drew the praise of Brink for their passing, which helped set up the likes of Meder.
"We didn't know if he could go," Brink said of MacGillis. "And our post players are passing well. That has been a pleasant surprise."
Mehlmann led the Rough Riders with 13 points, including three 3s.
The team's leading scorer, Spencer Neubert, finished with 12, but was held to only three points after the first quarter. Hayden Kegg and Dean Gray each contributed eight points.
The Explorers' junior varsity team earned a 40-33 win. Greg Mailey led Hudson with 11 points.
The Explorers' freshman team improved to 9-0 with a 52-33 victory. Blake Hartline led Hudson with 11 points and teammate Brandon Lal scored 10 points.
The varsity, JV and freshman teams were scheduled to host Suburban League National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights Jan. 15 before heading to Akron to play Kenmore Jan. 16. Results of those games were not available at press time.
They are set to host National Conference foe Nordonia Jan. 22 and then head to Macedonia to play the Knights Jan. 26. Both varsity contests are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.