WADSWORTH — The Hudson boys basketball team has some pretty nice talent and is very experienced.
When the Explorers also play with passion and intelligence, they’re tough to beat, as Wadsworth found out Tuesday night while falling 68-49 in non-league action.
The Explorers (7-2) got 65 points from their starting lineup, with shooting guard Zack Brandy leading the way with 25 and four 3-pointers to go along with five rebounds and two assists. Small forward Steven Boslet added 19 points and five threes, while 6-foot-3, 230-pound center Ben Gedeon, a Michigan football recruit, added 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The Grizzlies (4-5), who started the game 0-for-5 at the line, had no answer for that trio, whose 58 points were nine more than the entire Wadsworth team scored.
“I didn’t think we had much fire tonight,” Grizzlies coach Mike Schmeltzer Jr. said. “Normally, we go out and we compete. I don’t feel like we competed as much as we could have.”
Small forward Austin White hit six 3-pointers and led Wadsworth with 22 points and five steals, while center Kyle Prunty finished with 12 points, 11 boards and four blocks. Power forward Nathan Pound, who normally joins that duo in putting up solid numbers, managed just one point and two boards.
Once again, Wadsworth got virtually no offense from its guards, as starters Patrick Long and Barry Fernholz and reserves Tucker Robinson, Tony Hogan, Martice Jackson and Ryan Sheppard combined for five points.
The Grizzlies’ woes were even bigger on the defensive end. They fell behind 32-18 at halftime while trying to play a 2-3 zone, as they failed miserably when it came to identifying 3-point shooters Boslet and Brandy.
It didn’t get any better when Wadsworth went man to start the second half. The left-handed Brandy, who was coming off a season-high 26-point outing against Stow, exploded for 10 points in an 11-3 run to start the third period to put Hudson up 45-26.
Even when the Grizzlies played solid defense, Gedeon’s relentless play and sudden ability to make mid-range jumpers made the Explorers virtually impossible to stop.
“That’s a very, very experienced and talented ballclub,” Schmeltzer said. “They are tough to defend. Brandy and Boslet, we worked them pretty hard, but they were able to make some tough shots. You throw Gedeon in making 15-footers and (4-of-5) free throws and that makes them even tougher to stop.”
To the Grizzlies’ credit, they didn’t quit. Wadsworth was within 13 when Fernholz made his only bucket of the night to open the fourth quarter and pulled within 12 at 55-43 on a steal and hoop by White with 5:25 to go, but never got any closer.
The Explorers, who made 15-of-18 free throws, had quarters of 16, 16, 17 and 19 points on a night when they were as consistent on the floor as they were in the scorebook.
“They’re very fundamentally sound,” Schmeltzer said. “A lot of that comes with experience. They’re patient and they get their shooters the ball in spots where they can do something with it. They’re where we want to get to.”
White hit his sixth 3-pointer with 6:35 to go in the game, but didn’t make another, meaning the school single-game record of eight held by Ben Vujas and Jeremiah Lawson remains intact.
• Over the last four games, the starting front line of White, Pound and Prunty has scored 192 of Wadsworth’s 248 points (.774).
• The Grizzlies lost the junior varsity game 40-34 despite 14 points from Joel Kipfer.
Contact Rick Noland at (330) 721-4061 or firstname.lastname@example.org.