HUDSON — A week after it snapped a five-game losing streak with a monster night offensively, the Hudson boys basketball team fell back into a rut it has spent too much time in as of late.
That rut has been poor shooting over an extended period of time.
The host Explorers missed 15 of 16 shots during a 12-minute stretch as it suffered a 64-53 defeat North Royalton Friday at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
The Bears improved to 11-5 overall and 6-4 in the Suburban League National Conference. Hudson, which seemed to fix its shooting woes when it smashed Nordonia 69-40 in its previous game, fell to 8-7 overall and 4-6 in the National Conference.
As the Explorers kept misfiring, North Royalton took control with a 16-4 spurt that ended in the third quarter.
"It’s not a lack of effort," Hudson head coach Jeff Brink said. "We just aren’t making shots. It has unfortunately been a bugaboo for our team over the last month.
"There is one stretch of every game where we can’t put the ball in the basket. The rest of the game, we put ourselves in a position to win the game, but the bottom line is, it’s a 32-minute game. You can’t have a stretch where you play eight minutes and can’t make a field goal."
Ironically, such shooting misery seemed nonexistent during the early stages of the game. The Explorers lead 17-9 after making eight of their first 12 shots from the floor.
However, the Bears were just as lethal.
North Royalton canned seven of its first 13 shots and started the game with five 3-pointers on five attempts.
Christian Limer was particularly impressive for the Bears. Limer, who scored a game-high 19 points, knocked down his first three triples in the opening quarter.
The momentum switched hands rather abruptly in the second period when North Royalton scored 12 straight points to eventually take a double-digit lead.
Hudson kept coming, though.
A deflection by William Wallace led to a steal and finished tied the game at 44 early in the fourth.
But Omar Abuhamdeh answered with a triple 11 seconds later and the Bears didn’t lose their advantage the rest of the way.
"Our kids fought back and gave us a chance," Brink said. "We have to fight through it. The response in the third was tremendous. We answered the bell. We got back into the game."
The Explorers had chances to make some noise down the stretch.
Unfortunately, they couldn’t buy a basket when they desperately needed it.
Trailing 54-51, Hudson missed three straight shots and turned the ball over twice in a row. North Royalton finished things from there by making 8 of 9 free throws in the final 80 seconds.
"Our work ethic gave us a chance to get back into the game," Brink said. "(Peyton) Koscho was an animal. He played hard. William Wallace gave a great effort. He fought, diving for loose balls, scrapping.
"That’s what got us back in the game. When we got more aggressive in terms of competitiveness, it started to open up some shots. We didn’t make enough, but we did make a few. Brad McCormick gave us some good quality minutes and Anthony (Chokenea) had a huge three for us."
Wallace led the Explorers with 16 points and Ganaway contributed 10 points. McCormick tied his career-high with nine points. Jack Bunsey added 12 points for the Bears.
Hudson’s junior varsity team lost 53-43 to fall to 9-6 overall and 5-5 in the conference. Tyler Miller led the Explorers with 16 points.
The freshman team fell to the Bears 32-30 on a last-second layup by Zaden Abuhamdeh.