Shooting woes cost Hudson boys basketball vs. Bees

Rob Barrone
Correspondent
Hudson's Tyler Miller puts up a shot over Brecksville-Broadview Heights' Eli Skajac during the Explorers' home loss to the Bees Tuesday.

Hudson boy’s basketball finally got to play a home game Tuesday.

After three games on the road to begin their beleaguered 2020-21 season, the Explorers were playing in the friendly confines of Ray “Buck” Hyser Gymnasium.

Unfortunately the challenger was Brecksville=Broadview Heights.

The Bees, who had a 10-game win streak versus Hudson snapped last year, got back on track downing the hosts 52-39.

Brecksville improved to 8-1 overall and 4-0 in the shortened Suburban League campaign. The Explorers fell to 2-2 and 1-2.

In nearly every major category Hudson played good enough to win except the most important one: Scoring.

The Explorers continued to struggle with their outside shooting making just four of 25 three point shots (16 percent) on the night while Brecksville connected on 9 of 23 (39 percent).

Through four games the locals are (unofficially) shooting threes at a 17.2 percent rate (11-64).

While disappointed in the results from outside, coach Jeff Brink is expecting his club to come out of its funk.

“Our effort was good. We were in the game and had an opportunity if we had been able to convert on the offensive side. It just comes down to shooting,” Brink said. “When you shoot that badly; it’s an unavoidable flaw that you can’t overcome against a good basketball team.”

Going into the year the mentor felt outside shooting was a strength of the team.

“We’ve seen them make them in practice, we’ve seen them make them in drills. We’re definitely going through a dry spell,” Brink said. “We have some kids who devoted a big chunk of their off-season to improving their shooting."

In all other areas, Hudson played pretty well.

The turnover margin was a stalemate at nine each and Hudson out-rebounded Brecksville 38-30. Hudson was 7-10 from the foul line with all three misses coming in the final minutes.

The inside shooting also suffered with just ten buckets in 32 attempts.

Brecksville came out of the gates hot hitting four of eight triples in the first quarter. The Explorers were still in the game despite three turnovers.

Dave Gentry hit two three-balls in the final three minutes. His first (at the 3:08 mark) gave Hudson a 9-7 lead but an Eli Skaljac trey at the other end gave the visitors the lead for good 26 seconds later. The Bees led 18-12 after one.

Hudson turned the ball over four more times early in the second period before setting in to having just two turnovers over the game’s final 20:24.

The Explorers kept pace and an old-fashioned three-point play by Aiden Lal and a late triple by Tyler Miller made the score 33-24 in the visitors favor at the half.

The defense stepped up big in the third quarter forcing four miscues by the Bees. They held Brecksville to 2-10 shooting in the third frame and just seven points.

However, Hudson made just one shot in 18 tries. Brecksville expanded its lead to 40-28 after three.

The Explorers could not get the deficit to single digits late and Brecksville held on to remain unbeaten in league play.

“Giving up 52 to a really strong offensive team is not bad. We were happy with the effort on the glass. They are the best shooting team in our league top to bottom. The effort on the defensive end was pretty good,” Brink said.

Scoring depth was a huge problem in the game as only four started scored a point. Gentry led all scorers with a season high 17 points along with eight rebounds.

Miller added nine points and seven boards. Lal chipped in with seven points and Michael Klein added six points and a team high nine rebounds.

“Aiden Lal played awesome on defensive, his work ethic was tremendous. He worked very hard and he scrapped and fought,” Brink said. “Dave (Gentry) played really hard in the second half, he had a good game. Michael (Klein) did a great job on the glass early in the game. His effort was solid; we just need our supporting cast to be better.”

Brecksville had five players scoring between eight and 11 points and six with at least one trey. Skaljac hit three deep balls for nine points. Sophomore center Chase Garito hit two threes and had a double-double with 10 points and 10 ricochets.

Luke Ganim led the Bees with 11 points. Matt Rose added nine points and eight boards while Tyler Ganley had eight points.