HUDSON — The historian in Jason Vetter knows Hudson's past struggles against Ridgewood.
The Cobras coach mentioned before tip-off Tuesday that Hudson had not defeated Ridgewood since 1998, and had done so just four times in program history.
So Vetter exploded in the fourth quarter with his team trailing by 14. He called on his players to pick up the intensity. In the face of one, eyes bulging out of his bright red face, Vetter yelled, "This is intense!"
Ridgewood held off Hudson 75-63, but not before Hudson cut the Rams' lead to four with almost five minutes remaining.
Asked about climbing back into contention afterward, Vetter maintained his intensity.
"If we showed up in the first half it wouldn't have mattered," Vetter said. "There's no moral victories against these guys, I'm sick of that. For us to come out and play like this, I don't know what it takes.
"You come out against a good team and you're asleep. … There's no intensity. Ridgewood deserved to win this game, bottom line."
The Rams (4-2, 2-2) had their struggles early but outmuscled Hudson (2-3, 2-1) in the paint, where the size advantage was evident. Ridgewood took the lead on a shot from Emrah Hamzic in the first quarter for two of his game-high 21 points.
The Rams would put together a 17-2 run to end the second quarter up 40-22.
"We felt we had to get to the rim to make them guard us or foul us," Ridgewood coach Gary Anders said of more inside penetration against a smaller Hudson lineup. "… We did get to the rim and we were in good position."
Hudson countered with strong perimeter play and speed, wearing out Ridgewood in transition. In all, the Cobras knocked down 10 3-pointers.
After Vetter's blowup, Hudson outscored Ridgewood 11-2 to cut the deficit to four.
But Ridgewood ended the game on a 16-3 run before the Cobras scored five consecutive points to end the game.
Ridgewood got 20 points from Jacob Rauh and 13 from Charles Jones.
The Cobras were led by Richard Williams' 18 points, 16 from Kenny Flores and 12 from Jamal Branco.
Izzy Gould can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 421-3886.