HUDSON — William Wallace outscored the entire Wadsworth boys basketball team over the first 23 minutes of their Suburban League National Conference game.
Obviously, Friday was not a good night for the Grizzlies.
Starting small forward Wallace made his first seven shots and finished with a game-high 22 points and three assists as Hudson celebrated its senior night with a 53-34 Suburban League National Conference victory.
“The first piece in our game plan was to take away William Wallace from their offense — and you saw how well that worked,” Grizzlies coach Mike Moser said. “He’s obviously a great player and an explosive scorer, and we didn’t do a good job on him at all.”
The 6-foot senior scored 13 of the Explorers’ 15 points in the first quarter as they built an 11-point lead. Wallace later gave Hudson its largest advantage at 28-8 when he buried a 3-pointer for his 16th, 17th and 18th points early in the third.
Wadsworth (9-12, 6-8) finally surpassed his scoring total in the final minute of the third at 20-18, but the Explorers (13-8, 6-7) maintained at least a 12-point lead the rest of the way as junior center Jack Burdett thwarted each rally attempt.
Burdett, who stands 6-6 and appears more muscular than the 200 pounds he is listed at, had 10 points in a reserve role, along with game highs of 11 rebounds, five assists and three blocks in a terrific all-around outing.
“When Wallace got hot, we had to commit other guys to guarding him, so we took some of the pressure off Burdett,” Moser said. “He took advantage of it right away, and both of them seized every opportunity they had to be aggressive.”
Senior power forward Jack Simmons paced the Grizzlies with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while senior point guard Carson Risher had 10 points and two assists.
Simmons scored eight points in the third to spearhead Wadsworth’s 12-5 run to end the period, pulling it within 33-20. A three by Risher midway through the fourth cut Hudson’s advantage to 43-31, but Burdett answered with a driving layup and a resounding slam dunk on a dish from Wallace.
“Once Wallace scored eight straight points early in the first, they were all hyped up about it and just ate us up,” Simmons said. “Their student section was phenomenal and when they had all the music playing before the game (with a live DJ and his professional sound system), we weren’t prepared to come out and deal with all of that. They made the most of their senior night, for sure, with the atmosphere and the way they played.”
Wadsworth will have several days to wash the foul taste of this loss out of its mouths before hosting Kent Roosevelt in the first round of the Barberton Division I Sectional on Wednesday.
“It’s tournament time,” Simmons said. “This is what it’s all about as a player. We have to put this one behind us and start focusing on Kent — and we’ll do that bright and early in the morning. We’ll get a good lift in and start watching their film right away.”
Former Wadsworth boys and girls basketball coach John Martin was in the crowd. He was accompanied by his wife Lynn and their daughter Stephanie, whose Medina County season 3-point record was recently broken by Brunswick’s Natalie Galaida.
The junior varsity Explorers edged the Grizzlies 32-31. Freshman guard Alex Risher led Wadsworth with eight points.
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Hudson 53, Wadsworth 34
WADSWORTH 4 4 12 14 — 34
HUDSON 15 10 8 20 — 53
Wadsworth — T.J. Lockwood 0-1-1, Jack Simmons 4-2-11, Beau Casey 1-0-2, Brendan Merhar 3-0-7, Carson Risher 4-1-10, Mitchell Evans 0-0-0, Jacob McDermitt 1-0-3, Lance Steward 0-0-0, Stanley Bingham 0-0-0, Trevor Smith 0-0-0, Chris Callahan 0-0-0, Carter Link 0-0-0, Jaydon Lucas 0-0-0. TOTALS: 13-4-34.
Hudson — William Wallace 9-2-22, Brandon Lal 2-0-4, Liam Brennan 0-0-0, Anthony Chokenea 1-0-3, Aaron Martin 2-4-8, Jack Burdett 5-0-10, Brad McCormick 0-0-0, Damani Ganaway 0-0-0, David Gentry 2-0-4, J.D. Taylor 0-0-0, Aiden Lal 0-0-0, Tyler Miller 1-0-2. TOTALS: 22-6-53.
3-point goals — Simmons, Merhar, Risher, McDermitt, Wallace 2, Chokenea. Rebounds — Wadsworth 23 (Simmons 10), Hudson 26 (Burdett 11). Assists — Wadsworth 8 (Merhar, Casey, Risher 2), Hudson 13 (Burdett 5). Records — Wadsworth (9-12, 6-8), Hudson (13-8, 6-7). Junior varsity — Hudson 32, Wadsworth 31.