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Rams show Cobras how far they have to go

Ridgewood completes a season sweep of Hudson with a 65-43 victory.

By JAMAL THALJI, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published January 12, 2002

HUDSON -- Hudson is on the road to respectability this season, bringing a .500 record into Friday night's contest and chasing only its third winning season in 25 years and its first since 1992.

But the road to contention is still blocked by Ridgewood.

The Rams dismantled Hudson in the first half of their 65-43 Class 4A, District 8 victory before the Ridgewood reserves kept the double-digit lead out of Hudson's reach in the second half.

In sweeping the Cobras, the Rams improved to 15-3 overall, 7-1 in 4A-8 and 6-1 in the Sunshine Athletic Conference.

Hudson fell to 8-9 overall, 4-4 in 4A-8 and 3-3 in the SAC.

When the coaches shook hands afterward, Hudson coach Steve Casel said he had one message for Ridgewood coach Gary Anders:

"I said "Thanks for reminding us how far we still have to go,' and he kind of laughed," Casel said.

"I think that's what this game was, a measuring stick. Hudson's getting better, the program's getting better.

"We're building something here that will be very good in a year or two, but we're still a year or two away."

The Rams broke out to a 17-6 lead in the first quarter and bumped it up to 33-18 at halftime.

Casel said the biggest difference between the Ridgewood team his Cobras faced in early December and the one they lost to Friday was new starter Andrew Reed.

The 6-foot-5 sophomore center scored eight first-half points and finished with 15 points, 15 rebounds, two dunks and a block to lead Ridgewood.

Chris Halkitis added 14 points, eight assists and five steals, Nate Bradley had eight points and seven rebounds, and Matt Mirabella had seven points, six rebounds and two blocks. Rob Bethel led Hudson with 16 points -- 10 in the first half -- and six rebounds. Maurice Maisonet scored 10 as all nine Cobras scored.

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