The temperature outside soared into the 50s, but inside Hudson's Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium both Hudson and Twinsburg boys basketball went through long cold stretches in their Northeast Ohio Conference River Division battle Jan. 11.
The Tigers missed 18 straight shots in the first half but rallied to close strong. Meanwhile, Hudson misfired on 11 in a row in the fourth quarter and into overtime as Twinsburg (8-2, 3-1) came back from as much as 12 points down for a 51-47 overtime victory.
Twinsburg shot 34 percent from the floor on the night (17-50) while the Explorers were 20-60 (33 percent).
"Both teams played real well," Tiger coach Bob Pacsi said. "They [the Explorers] played an exceptional first half. Defensively they took us out of what we want to do. We took too many quick shots. Then, we played a little better defense in the second half and erased their nine-point [22-13 halftime] lead."
"Give them (the Tigers) credit in the third quarter they stepped it up defensively," Hudson coach Jeff Brink said. "We knew that was going to happen; they are a good ball-club. We didn't answer the call well enough in the third quarter. We had to blow three timeouts to get our kids composed."
With the score tied at 44-44, the Explorers held the ball for the final 1:12 and then had two shots at the lead and possibly the win in the final seconds.
Twinsburg's A.J. Edwards, a 6-6 senior who scored eight points and grabbed 11 boards, recorded his fifth blocked shot of the game on the first point-blank attempt and a second mid-range jumper caught iron sending the contest into the extra session.
In overtime, Twinsburg drew first blood when Jalen Washington, who scored a game-high 15 points nailed a three from the right corner 69 seconds into the four-minute period for a 47-44 edge.
After missing the final five shots of regulation, Hudson missed its first six shots of overtime as well.
Still the contest remained a one-possession affair until Cooper Rea (12 points) twice canned pairs of charity tosses; at the 23.2 and 6.3 marks. Hudson's Zack Brandy (13 points) hit an uncontested three with one second left for the final four-point margin.
The winning bucket by Washington came just seconds after a Pacsi timeout but he would not take any credit for the play.
"It wasn't anything specifically that I called," Pacsi said. "We have a couple sets that we run out of the inbound and that was one of them. It wasn't a set specifically for Jalen but he was in the right spot at the right time and he made the right read."
Hudson came out of the gates fast as Brandy hit the game's first two shots. The quick 5-0 lead was soon evened out (at 7-7) when Twinsburg's Tailin Johnson (12 points) hit a trey at the 4:30 mark of the first quarter.
The Tigers would then miss their next 18 shots from the floor.
The Tigers only points in a Hudson 15-3 run came from the foul line where they converted 11-18 for the game to the Explorers 2-7
That closed the gap to 22-13 for the break.
The third quarter belonged to the Tigers and especially Washington. The 6-0 senior scored six points and recorded four of his six steals on the night during the third frame.
The Tigers went on a 20-11 run in the period to pull even; only to see Hudson's Kevin Zullo drill a deep triple at the buzzer for a 36-33 Explorer advantage after three.