HUDSON–The Hudson boys basketball team celebrated senior night, but it was the visiting Chatham seniors who nearly stole the show before the Bluehawks rallied to top the Panthers 60-59 in overtime.
The Panthers shot out of the gate scoring 21 one points in the opening quarter and building an 11-point lead that Hudson eventually cut to 9 before the half. By the end of the third quarter the Bluehawks had taken a one-point lead and by the final quarter Chatham had to fight back to stay in the game, forcing the overtime.
Things looked like it could get ugly quickly for Chatham as Hudson’s Javel Grant scored on a drive on the opening possession of the game, but the Panthers soon settled in, scoring the next five points. Everton Higgins then scored for Hudson and Chatham responded with five more. Sophomore Kody Skype provided 4 points and some toughness in the opening quarter for Chatham, while senior Rephael Joseph exploded for 10, as the Panthers raced out to an early lead.
An Adam Knights pull-up and an Evan Rugen layup to start the second pushed the Chatham lead to 15, as the game threatened to get out of hand. But the Bluehawks dug in and used a barrage of three-pointers, including one each by Rodney Ivery, Malcolm Scott and Michael Bowes, as they cut their deficit to nine by the half.
Ivery and Chatham’s Travis Overby traded hoops to start the second half before Hudson found its groove. Grant got out in transition to score and Ivery got a bucket inside to get within five and force a timeout. Out of the timeout Overby used his quickness to drive by a quicker defender, but again Hudson had an answer, as Gerell Young scored in transition, Higgins scored inside and Grant scored in transition. With their lead sliced to one, Chatham coach John Brantley called another timeout, but it was not enough to stop Hudson’s momentum. Higgins snagged an offensive and rebound to score to give Hudson the team’s first lead since the opening seconds of the game and Immanuel Folds followed with a hoop of his own on a run out with a minute left in the quarter. Desperately needing a score Joseph got himself to the free throw line and made one of two, but Hudson had a response as Young scored inside. With time winding down Joseph stole a pass at mid-court and raced to the hoop, drawing an intentional foul with nine seconds on the clock. Joseph again knocked down one of two free throws and they retained the ball. With 3.4 seconds Rugen followed up a miss to pull Chatham to within one heading into the fourth quarter.
The Panthers again got off to a quick start in the fourth as Rugen hit a runner in the lane, Knights hit a jumper and Flynn O’Connell hit three free throws between a Higgins hoop for Hudson. With the Panthers up two, the teams traded hoops before Higgins scored inside and knocked down a free throw with 1:11 left. Grant followed that up with two free throws of his own, as Hudson took a 49-48 lead with under a minute left. The Bluehawks then came through on the other end, forcing a shot clock violation and forcing Chatham to foul, but the ensuing free throw was missed. With 6.5 seconds left Knights drove and drew a foul, sending him to the free throw line. He knocked down the first to tie the game, then had his second shot go half way down before rimming out. But Rugen kept the ball alive and with 4.7 seconds left, Chatham would have possession and a chance to win it in regulation. After a timeout the Chatham inbounds went through hands on both teams and shot towards mid court where Hudson’s Addison Cunningham scooped it and raced the other way, but it was knocked out of bounds with 1.6 seconds left and the ensuing lob attempt was knocked away by Chatham to force overtime.
Overby hit an early free throw in the extra time to give Chatham a lead, but Higgins scored twice quickly in transition, before Knights knocked down another free throw for Chatham. Again it was Higgins with the response, scoring inside. Down four with 1:45 on the clock Chatham had a run out opportunity with an open look at a layup that rimmed out essentially sealing their fate. Joseph hit another free throw for Chatham, before Grant scored on a drive to push the Hudson lead back to five. Joseph then drove to the hoop and kicked it out to Rugen for a three pointer with under a minute left, but Higgins again came up big, knocking down a pair of free throws. Overby scored on a drive to cut it back to two before they sent Grant to the free throw line. After hitting the first one, the second attempt also went down, but was quickly waved off on a lane violation, giving Chatham a shot at three to tie. Joseph quickly drove to the hoop for a layup to get within one, leaving just over a second on the clock. Hudson missed both free throw attempts, but there wasn’t enough time left for Chatham to get off an attempt, and the Bluehawks prevailed by one.
Everton Higgins led the Bluehawk attack, finishing with 19 points including 8 in overtime. Javel Grant added 13, while Malcolm Scott, Gerrell Young and senior Rodney Ivery each added 7. Michael Bowes had three while senior Immanuel Folds and Addison Cunningham each added two in the win. The victory improves Hudson to 9-7 in the Patroon Conference as they awaited word on Wednesday night on their sectional match up.
A big-time senior effort led Chatham, as Travis Overby and Rephael Joseph each scored 15, Adam Knights added 11 and Evan Rugen had 10. Flynn O’Connell and Kody Skype each added four as the Panthers ended the season 5-11 in the league.