Hudson boys basketball rolls past Falls

Rob Barrone
Correspondent
Hudson's David Gentry puts back a rebound during a game against Mayfield Wednesday.

Just five days after a boys’ basketball barn burner that saw Hudson beat Cuyahoga Falls 49-47 in overtime, the two Suburban League rivals met up in a Monday matinée on Falls' Tom Jones Court.

The early tip-off wasn’t the only thing different in the second meeting. It turned into a complete flip-flop of the first encounter.

Hudson hit on 46.5 percent of its shots to just 22.5 percent (9-40) for Falls as the visitors pulled away to a 52-29 win. The Explorers have now won three straight to move to 8-10 while the Black Tigers dipped to 2-9.

Aside from the final score the biggest flip-flop came in the team’s two top scorers: Hudson's Dave Gentry and Falls' Kyler Tepus.

The pair had dueled to the finish five nights ago with Tepus scoring 27 and Gentry hitting for 26.

“We basically said; were going to make somebody else beat us. We also tried to take Trinny (Henderson) out of the penetration and make him give up the ball. We wanted to take him out of his element and make sure Tepus didn’t get catch and shoot threes. I thought we were pretty successful at that,” Hudson Coach Jeff Brink said.

Meanwhile,  Falls threw everything but the kitchen sink at Gentry.

Falls coach Todd Taylor said it best when he talked about the halftime scoreboard which had Hudson on top 21-7.

“We lined up (to start the second half) and I go 'Trinny and Kyler haven’t scored' and our assistant Nick (Greenwood) goes; well either has Gentry,” Taylor said. “I’m a little superstitious, so I said don’t say that. He (Gentry) did get 15 (in the second half).”

“In the first half we came out pretty well defensively,” Taylor said. “The key thing is Gentry didn’t score in the first half and Miller had two points. Defensively our kids competed and did exactly what we wanted them to do. In the second half things got away from us. I was very pleased with our defensive effort in the first half.”

With the Tigers double and triple teaming Gentry on every touch the Explorers found other weapons. Senior starters Jack Whitman and JD Taylor found their shooting touches outside the three-point arc.

Whitman, who had a career high 11 points, hit the first of his three triples to give Hudson the early lead (3-2) after Falls senior Brennan Guerin hit a pair of free throws to start the scoring. The hosts would struggle at the foul stripe the rest of the night ending 4-13 on charity tosses.

Whitman and Taylor (seven Points) each had treys in both the first and second quarters. Hudson led 11-5 after the first period and then rallied from a quick Falls start in the second period with the two guards hitting from deep just 24 seconds apart.

The Hudson pair’s threes broke an 11-11 tie created by the shooting of the Black Tigers’ Jayden Hillier. The Falls junior knocked down two threes early in the frame and went on to hit five bombs for a game-high tying 15 points.

The second quarter became a three-point shooting contest. The two teams’ only shot triples for the first five minutes of the period before Isaiah Powell hit a pair of in-close buckets late in the stanza.

At intermission, with Hudson on top 21-14, the Tigers top two threats (Tepus and Henderson) had zero points and Hudson’s Gentry and Tyler Miller combined for two points. By games end Gentry had 15 points and 14 rebounds while

Miller added six points and ten boards. Henderson ended with two points and Tepus could never beat the Explorers hounding man defense.

“Falls did a nice job defensively making sledding tough for David (Gentry) inside. We tried to make a few adjustments in the second half to get him a little bit more open space. He responded with a pretty solid game, with all of the traffic he was facing, to give us with fifteen (points),” Brink said.

Both offenses tried to get their stars going to start the second half but Gentry and Tepus both missed three tries on the first two possessions. Early in the third Gentry finally got into the scorebook rolling in the second of two free throws and the cork was popped. With Ryan Evans getting a three-point play in the paint and Whitman hitting his third from downtown the lead was quickly 28-14.

Hillier stopped the bleeding with his third three, but the Explorers ran off six more in a row and then after a Tim Mitchell triple for the hosts Gentry got a steal in close to the visitor’s basket and slammed home a hoop with the harm as he was fouled to boot. The three-point play made the score 37-20 as Gentry and the Explorers were in high gear.

Gentry had eight points in the third quarter, which ended with Hudson on top 39-22, and added seven more in the fourth. Hillier closed out the matinée hitting his last two three-pointers.

Hudson controlled the glass 39-19 this time after a 36-10 advantage five nights before.

In the end the shooting numbers all favored Hudson; 6-8 from the foul to Falls 4-13, 6-13 on threes to the hosts 7-32 and 14-20 on two-point shots to the Tigers 2-8. Falls did win the turnover battle creating 12 miscues to just seven of their own.