June 28, 2016

Mostly cloudy

Explorers’ Zack Brandy is very sweet vs. Grizzlies

HUDSON — It was a case of way too much Brandy in way too short a time.

Sweet-shooting Zack Brandy poured in a career-high 28 points Tuesday night as the Hudson boys basketball team cruised to a 57-44 non-league victory over Wadsworth, which dug itself a crater-sized hole at the outset and never climbed out.

“Every shot felt good,” said the left-handed Brandy, who hit four 3-pointers. “Every shot felt like it was going to go in. The basket felt bigger tonight.”

The Explorers (6-5) raced to a 17-2 lead with 3:31 to play in the first period, at which point Brandy already had 12 points and the Grizzlies (4-4) had eight turnovers.

The 5-foot-10 junior hit a three to put Hudson up 20-5 with 2:51 left in the opening quarter, giving him 15 points before Wadsworth got its first rebound, which came at the 2:40 mark.

“Eight turnovers and Brandy with about 15 points,” Grizzlies coach Mike Schmeltzer Jr. bemoaned. “It was not the type of start you would want on the road.”

The Explorers went up 22-6 late in the period before Wadsworth started to wake up, but the hole was way too deep to get out of.

The Grizzlies were down 30-19 at halftime, with Brandy outscoring the entire Wadsworth team by a point.

“He was marked on our scouting report as their best player,” Schmeltzer said. “He’s obviously got the ability to shoot it.”

Playing against an unconventional 2-3 matchup zone, the Grizzlies did not.

Six-foot-6 center Josh Kipfer, who finished with 13 points on 6-for-17 shooting and 13 of Wadsworth’s paltry 19 rebounds, had nine points at intermission, but the rest of his teammates were 1-for-10 from the field.

“We weren’t moving the basketball,” Schmeltzer said. “It just seemed like everybody was real flat.”

The Grizzlies, who got 14 points and three 3-pointers from Jack Snowball, managed to get within nine with 1:47 left in the third period and were only down 10 at the end of the quarter, but Hudson scored the first seven points of the fourth to all but seal the deal.

“We just wanted to come out and jump on them early and stay on them the rest of the game,” Brandy said.

That was rarely a problem, as Snowball and Kipfer were the only Grizzlies to score more than five points and Kipfer was the only Wadsworth player to grab more than two boards.

Hudson outrebounded the Grizzlies by 14, with Ben Gedeon getting nine, Alex Mushock collecting seven and Steve Boslet grabbing five.

Randall Berkley added nine points and four assists for the Explorers, while Boslet had seven points and Mushock had four assists from the power forward position.

“These kids aren’t going to give up,” Schmeltzer said. “I don’t even look at that as an option right now. We’re going to try to rattle off a few wins.”


The officials incorrectly awarded Wadsworth a timeout when a player called one while in the air and about to go out of bounds. High school rules have been changed and timeouts should no longer be granted in that instance.

• There were 13 turnovers in the first quarter, eight of them by the Grizzlies, who settled down a bit after that to finish the game with 18. Hudson had 22, with both teams making seven in the third period.

• Wadsworth staged a late rally, but dropped the junior varsity game 57-56. Dylan Galford led the Grizzlies with 13 points, while Sam Hayes added 11.

Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com.

Rick Noland About Rick Noland

Rick Noland is the Cavs beat writer for The Gazette and the author of "Over Time," a compilation of stories he's written in more than 30 years as a journalist. He can be reached at 330-721-4061 or rnoland@medina-gazette.com. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.