by Rob Barrone | Correspondent
Hudson -- Basketball is a simple sport.
The objective is to get the ball through the hoop more often than the opponent.
The Twinsburg boys basketball team learned a hard lesson about that fact Feb. 12.
Thanks to Hudson's swarming defense, the Tigers, who missed 75 percent of their shots, were soundly defeated 54-30 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
Meanwhile, the Explorers were still in the hunt for the Suburban League National Conference championship.
The win was Hudson's 12th in its past 13 games. The Explorers improved to 16-4 overall and 9-3 in the National Conference.
Brecksville-Broadview Heights clinched at least a tie for the National Conference championship after squeaking past Wadsworth 58-56 to improve to 11-1.
Stow-Munroe Falls and Hudson were both two game behind the Bees in the National Conference standings.
The Bulldogs had a date with Brecksville Feb. 16 in Stow. Results were not available at press time. The Explorers are scheduled to visit the Bees Feb. 19 in their regular-season finale at 7:30 p.m.
Against the Tigers, Hudson made 22-of-45 shots from the floor, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range.
Twinsburg, on the other hand, couldn't buy a basket.
The Tigers (5-14, 2-10) made just 11-of-44 shots from the floor, including 2-of-19 from 3-point range.
After suffering a 68-50 loss to the Explorers Jan. 5 in Twinsburg, the Tigers did everything they could to take Zack Meder out of the game. The senior guard had 25 points in the first game against Twinsburg.
Meder converted his only field goal of the first half with 36 seconds left in the second quarter. Despite, the constant attention, Meder still finished with a game-high 15 points.
Fortunately, Hudson head coach Jeff Brink was just fine with the Tigers' focus on Meder.
The Explorers still had a significant height advantage over Twinsburg with 6-foot-9 senior Isaac MacGillis, 6-7 senior David O'Connor, 6-5 senior Ryan Martin and 6-4 junior Jackson Parker.
"We had a huge size advantage inside so we ran several sets to utilize the height and get mismatches in the paint," Brink said.
"That was part of the game plan. We went to Isaac, Dave, Martin and those guys early. We know Zack is going to get his. If we need him to score, he's going to score."
Six different Hudson players scored in the opening period to give the Explorers a 12-9 led.
The Tigers made just 4-of-21 shots from the floor in the middle two quarters. As a result, Hudson outscored Twinsburg 36-9 during that 16-minute period.
The Explorers had a 33-18 advantage on the glass. Martin led the way with a career-high 9 rebounds.
Besides Meder, MacGillis, O'Connor and Martin, classmates Peter Funk and Mike Piekarski also were honored on senior night.
"Our seniors have been tremendous young men throughout their careers," Brink said. "Senior night is kind of the pinnacle of the achievements and time that you have spent together pursuing the goals. It's kind of your last chance to savor the moment in the Buck and to savor what you have accomplished together.
"It was nice to get Peter and Ryan a start. They have done a great job off the bench. Ryan had a super game again."
Martin, who also finished with a team-high 4 assists, enjoyed getting the rare start.
"It was good having me and Peter start," he said. "That was nice. We haven't started a varsity game ever. It was good having all the seniors out there playing one last time at home in Ray Buck.
"All season, I have been out there to rebound and play defense. I did that again.
"I did my job on defense and looked for Isaac and Meder to pass the ball to get assists. It's all about getting Meder and Isaac buckets."
MacGillis contributed 14 points for Hudson. Meder found his stroke in the fourth quarter when he knocked down three 3-pointers in a span of a little more than three minutes during a 16-0 run by the Explorers.
Senior King Goss came off the bench to score six of his team-high 10 points in the fourth quarter for Twinsburg.
Hudson was scheduled to visit National Conference foe Wadsworth Feb. 16. Results were not available at press time.
The fourth-seeded Explorers are set to entertain the Stow-Wadsworth winner in a Copley Division I sectional-district tournament sectional title game Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.