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Hudson spreads the wealth

Coaches love to tell their players there is no "I" in team. That rings especially true at Hudson.

Six of Hudson's 11 players average between 8 and 12 points per game. There's no superstar, no go-to guy. Whoever is open gets the ball.

"This is the consummate team," coach Steve Casel said. "In a coach's dream world, this is the team you would have."

Hudson, which is 2-8 entering today's first-round game of the Jesuit Invitational, allows everyone a chance to contribute.

"We give everybody a chance to do what they can," forward Billy Moksay said. "If you're open, you get the ball."

Hudson runs a motion offense against man-to-man coverage and follows the four-pass rule. The ball must change hands four times before a player can take a shot, especially against zone coverage.

"We try to share the ball. We try to make the other team work on defense," Casel said. "And that seems to spread it out."

Junior John Bethel leads the team in scoring, averaging 12 points per game, while seniors Moksay, Brian Lacy, Ryan Sayer, junior Ryan Roath and sophomore Maurice Maisonet average between 8 and 10 points.

"We've actually been unselfish to a fault at times on this team," Casel said. "These guys will share the ball. They'll make the extra pass, and oftentimes, that has led to dunks. We've given up a wide-open layup and given it to somebody else so they can showboat a little bit and get some of the glory. They seem to revel in that.

"They enjoy that; watching each other have success."

Hudson also is unselfish in other aspects. Roath, the leading rebounder, averages about six per game while Moksay and Lacy pull down about four.

"You notice that the person who scores gets back on defense and plays harder defense," Roath said. "So if everyone scores, everyone gets back and plays defense."

However, at 2-8, not everything has gone smoothly.

"You'd like to think you'd have consistent offense every night (with so many scorers)," Casel said. "We really haven't shot the ball as well as we're capable of.

"This is a team that can score. There's no doubt about it. The question is, when is it going to happen?"

Hudson's biggest downside is experience, Casel said. Only one player, Lacy, has significant varsity experience while the remainder are new starters.

"You can point your finger in a lot of different directions with that," Casel said. "We've had problems with our ball-handling a little bit, but I think the inexperience would be the main thing."

Hudson plays East Lake in the first round of the two-day tournament but hopes to get a shot at Gulf, which faces Jesuit in the other semifinal. The Bucs won the earlier meeting between the teams by three points.

Hudson's biggest goal, however, is to get past the Class 4A, District 8 tournament. Since its first season in 1974, the Cobras have never advanced to the regional tournament.

One of Hudson's two wins came against Zephyrhills, a district rival. The Cobras have lost close ones to district foes Tarpon Springs and Hernando, and Casel said he believes come tournament time, his team will be ready to win.

"There's no one in our district that you'd look at and say, "We can't play with those guys,' " Casel said.

"We can beat everybody."

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