TWINSBURG: A.J. Edwards, Jalen Washington and Cooper Rea were not about to lose Tuesday night.
Not on Senior Night.
The three seniors guided host Twinsburg to a 54-52 victory over Archbishop Hoban just four nights after a 71-48 loss to visiting Hudson.
Edwards scored 19 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and blocked four shots, all game highs, Tuesday. He also had three assists and two steals.
“I am glad we got the win because the past two years we have not won on Senior Night,” said Edwards, a 6-foot-5 forward. “I just wanted to go out with a bang and get a win.”
Edwards and Rea both made two free throws in the final minute of the game to lift the Tigers (16-5) over the Knights (16-5), who had a 3-pointer hit off the rim as time expired.
Twinsburg took a 9-0 lead and was ahead 13-7 going in the second quarter. Hoban rallied to tie the score at 23-23 at halftime.
The Knights led 40-34 after the third quarter, but the Tigers forged ahead on the strength of their three seniors.
“They came in 16-4 and we came in at 15-5,” Twinsburg coach Bob Pacsi said. “They are a good team that scores a lot more points than we do. We are a little bit more of a defensive team.
“This was Senior Night and we came out ready to go. We hit some shots and played pretty good defense. They were a little off in the first quarter and we got a lead. Then what do we do with it? The second quarter was like a track meet. During the course of the second quarter, we went seven possessions and had one decent shot. Six of the possessions allowed them to get a pretty good shot and get back into the game.”
Senior Jaelen Hollinger, a 6-2 forward, paced Hoban with 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Saadiq Muhammad, a 6-3 senior forward, added 10 points and four rebounds.
Junior guard Tailin Johnson scored 12 points for Twinsburg.
“Coach kept telling us to keep battling,” said Rea, a 5-11 guard who scored 10 points. “We knew it wasn’t over. We have been in a lot of close games this year. I think the fact that it is Senior Night made this more important to us. We had to get the win.”
Washington, a 5-11 guard, finished with nine points, five rebounds, four assists and four steals.
Junior forward Sean Marable contributed four points and five rebounds.
“With it being Senior Night, there were a lot of emotions going through the locker room before the game and a little bit of emotion with the video on the court,” Washington said. “We just knew that we had to come out and do it for the fans who came to support us and for each other. Copper, A.J. and I knew we could get it done, and we had great support from Tai and the rest of the crew.”
Hoban also got solid contributions from 6-1 senior DeAllen Jackson (nine points, five assists) and 5-10 junior Christian Waite (seven points, six assists and five steals).
“They certainly outplayed us in the second quarter,” Pacsi said. “Boy, they have excellent athletes who can jump.
‘‘They are not real tall, but they have quick jumpers who can attack the basket. We were a little leery of their quickness.”
Pacsi said he was happy to see his team rebound from the Hudson loss.
“We were horrible in that game,” Pacsi said. “I haven’t looked at the tape yet. I know we had 12 field goals. There are games where we shot over 50 percent and there have been games where we have shot 45 to 50 percent.
‘‘That game we shot 19 percent from the field. It was our worst shooting of the year. Hudson is a very good team. Our league is tough.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.