HUDSON — On Senior Night at Hudson High School, it was a junior that stole the show.
Isaiah Maines buried a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded in overtime to give the Bluehawks a thrilling 58-57 victory over Maple Hill.
Hudson’s senior players were honored before the game and each contributed to the victory, including Noah Hedgepeth, who nailed a clutch game-tying three-pointer with 18 seconds remaining in regulation.
“Wow, what a movie-script ending for our seniors,” Hudson coach Shawn Briscoe said. “You could not ask for a better ending for our seniors on their final home game.”
“What a battle as it always is with Maple Hill and I am proud of the way our guys fought all night long played great defend and made some timely shots,” Briscoe said. “Jordan Cunningham hit a huge three to put us up late in the fourth quarter from the corner and then we executed perfectly on our our of bounds play to get Noah a three to tie with 18 seconds left and then we played great defense on the last possession to send to overtime.”
The game was close throughout, with Maple Hill gaining the upper hand early, going up 14-9 after one quarter of play and holding onto a 22-20 edge at halftime. Hudson (4-2) seized the momentum in the third quarter, outscoring the Wildcats, 19-12, to take a 39-34 advantage into the final stanza.
Maple Hill regained the momentum in the fourth, surging ahead, 43-41, before Cunningham nailed his clutch three to put Hudson in front by one with 3:09 remaining.
The Wildcats then reeled off the next six points to take a 49-44 closing minutes. Once again, Hudson battled back as Maines hit a bucket and Hedgepeth nailed his clutch three to even the score. Maple Hill had a chance to win it in regulation, but couldn’t get a shot to drop in the final seconds.
In overtime, the Maple Hill seemed to be on the verge of victory when with 4.3 seconds left and the Wildcats in front, 57-55, Davin Sherwood was sent to the line to shoot a one and one. Sherwood missed the front end, Hedgepeth grabbed the rebound, sent an outlet pass to Nate Johnson, who in turn, got the ball to Maines, who elevated over Ben Marra and drained his clutch three at the buzzer to give Hudson the victory.
“The guys really paid attention to detail when it mattered and trusted the coaches to put them in the right positions,” Brisicoe said. “And the biggest shot of the night with textbook out letting up the floor, huge rebound by Noah to outlet it out to Nate to find Isaiah for the storybook finish and buzzer-beater.
“What a huge clutch shot that he will remember forever and was his only three attempt of the game. He sure made it count.”
Briscoe was especially pleased that his senior players got to go out with a win in their final home game.
“To my seniors, I am so happy we got to have a season for them and that their parents/family could be there to witness this in person!”