HUDSON — Hudson's close victory over Gulf on Friday evening didn't seem to satisfy Cobras coach Jason Vetter one bit.
Hudson, coming off an emotional loss Tuesday night to Mitchell, came out sluggish. But with eight blocks and several big plays from junior point guard Jamal Branco down the stretch, the Cobras squeezed by Gulf 59-58 in a key 4A-7 district matchup.
"We got lucky," Vetter said. "This was not acceptable. We played stupid, and the guys could tell by halftime that I was ticked. I know the guys are not happy about this one.
"We did not play well. We were lucky to come out of here with a win."
Down 31-30 at halftime, the Cobras (7-3, 5-1) opened the third quarter with back-to-back baskets to give themselves a four-point cushion over a feisty Gulf squad. The Buccaneers (4-3, 3-3) though, would not go away and got a spark from freshman Rohan Blackwood, who scored 13 in the second half.
Blackwood's floater with 3:40 left in the fourth quarter put Gulf up 53-48, but Branco (12 points, 11 assists) scored on back-to-back layups to put the Cobras back up by one. That was just enough to hold off the Buccaneers as Hudson fought off Gulf's final rally.
Hudson guard Richey Williams scored a game-high 23 and center Andrew Disanto had five blocks and eight rebounds.
"I think we played bad in the second, third and fourth quarter," Branco said. "I felt like I could have done better. Missed some layups, but I did just enough for us to win.
"That loss to Mitchell earlier in the week hurt and I thought we were going to come out hot tonight, but we didn't."