TWINSBURG — Tale of two halves?
When Hudson traveled to Twinsburg for a Suburban League National Conference boys basketball showdown Friday, the contest turned out to be the epitome of that often used cliché.
The Explorers did nearly everything right and the Tigers did nearly everything wrong in the first half.
The final 24 minutes, on the other hand, completely flip-flopped.
In the end, Hudson got back on track with a 64-57 victory over Twinsburg.
The Explorers, who improved to 4-6 overall and 3-4 in the conference, led 43-18 early in the second half.
And then, in an instant, the Tigers took over the game in a blur.
Thanks mainly to the hot shooting of Joey Plantner, Twinsburg went on a rampage to cut its deficit to just a bucket (53-51) with a little more than three minutes to play.
In the end, Hudson made nine of its 12 foul shots down the stretch to put it away. The Tigers, who got 32 points and eight 3-pointers from Plantner, dropped to 6-5 overall and 4-3 in the conference.
"He [Plantner] was the key to their run to get back into the ballgame," Explorers head coach Jeff Brink said. "They [the Tigers] did a great job of finding him when he was open.
"He is obviously a good shooter and he got into the zone. It’s tough to stop a guy once he gets on a roll like that. We had to change up the D a little bit and we did a much better job the last two or three minutes."
In the first half, Hudson came out on fire as it solved the Tigers’ full-court press and scored with relative ease, thanks to some deft passing.
The Explorers hit five triples in the first quarter. Senior guard Damani Ganaway scord 10 of his team-high 19 points for Hudson.
"We got contributions throughout the lineup," Brink said. "Damani was fantastic. [It was] his best game of the season. He not only shot it well, but his decision-making was tremendous."
The hot perimeter shooting cooled off a bit in the second period, but the Explorers dominated the boards. Hudson had an 11-4 edge in rebounding in the second quarter.
That changed rather significantly in the second half, though.
Hudson committed 10 turnovers after halftime and went nearly six minutes without scoring a point.
Not surprisingly, Plantner took advantage of the Explorers’ offensive woes. In fact, the sweet-shooting guard outscored Hudson 13-6 in the third period.
But Plantner wasn’t much of a factor in the final three-plus minutes, thanks to Hudson’s Brad McCormick. The senior guard stayed close to Plantner the rest of the way as the Explorers put it away at the line.
Leading the way was senior forward Peyton Koscho, who made four consecutive free throws late in the game. Koscho finished with a career-high eight points.
"Peyton Kosho was phenomenal," Brink said. "His energy level and effort was off the charts. He was money at the free throw line. He stepped to the line and was able to close the door."
Junior forward David Gentry added 13 points for Hudson and senior center Jack Burdett finished 12 rebounds and six assists.