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by Rob Barrone | Correspondent
Hudson -- Once upon a time, the Streetsboro boys basketball team was the talk of the town.
Sadly, the Rockets still may be.
This time, its for all the wrong reasons.
Streetsboro dropped its fifth consecutive game after losing a 49-47 decision to Chagrin Falls Kenston in the consolation game of the Hudson Holiday Classic Dec. 29 at Hudson High School's Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
Medina won the title with a 63-62 win in the championship game.
Not long ago, the Rockets were 3-0, thanks to their amazing amount of depth. Unfortunately, Streetsboro (3-5) has fallen on hard times since that fast start.
The Rockets' latest setback may have been the toughest to swallow.
With one second left, the Bombers' Bernie Porter sank a one-handed baseline jumper to give Kenston the win. Porter finished with six points.
"We're not playing very well right now," Streetsboro head coach Nick Marcini said. "The good thing is there is a lot of season left. We just have to get back to the drawing board and get ready for the next game."
Peter Rozman led the Bombers with 14 points and Jack Quigley added 12 points for Kenston.
Devin Rencher led the Rockets (3-5) with a game-high 20 points. Jordan Matusik added 16 points for Streetsboro. Kenston pulled away from a 23-23 halftime deadlock with a big third-period run. Outscoring the Rockets 17-2 in a six-minute span, the Bombers took a commanding 40-27 lead late in the quarter.
Quigley spearheaded the surge with four buckets.
But Streetsboro rallied, thanks to Matusik, who was named to the all-tournament team.
The 6-foot-1 senior scored nine points in a short period of time to help close the gap to 43-42 with 2:41 to play.
A fast-break bucket by Rozman built Kenston's lead to 47-42 with 1:19 left, but the Rockets did not go quietly.
Paul Jenkins (five points) hit a three-pointer with 1:10 left and then tied the score with a mid-range jumper from the right wing with 14 seconds to play.
Unfortunately, Streetsboro's first game of the tourney had far less suspense.
The Rockets lost a lopsided 81-48 decision to Hudson Dec. 27.
A total of 15 players scored as the Explorers shot 59 percent from the floor. The Rockets, on the other hand, hit just 39.5 percent of their shots.
Zack Brandy scored nine of his team-high 15 points for Hudson. Kevin Zullo scored eight points in the second quarter for the Explorers and finished with 14 points. Hudson had a 38-20 lead at halftime.
"Obviously, they [the Explorers] are playing pretty darn well right now," Marcini said. "Brandy is a heck of a player. They have a force inside in Ben Gedeon. [Steve] Boslet is energy all over the place and the one kid [Kevin Zullo] came off the bench and hit shots."
A bright spot for the Rockets was the play of Jenkins. The 6-4 junior ended with a game-high 17 points, making 6-of-11 shots and 5-of-9 free throws.
"Paul Jenkins got going again," Marcini said. "We were working all week on getting looks inside against their matchup zone. He did a good job at the high post."
Streetsboro is scheduled to entertain Portage Trail Conference Metro Division rival Field Jan. 4. The Rockets are set to visit Youngstown East Jan. 5 before returning home for a Metro Division showdown with Norton Jan. 8. All three varsity games are set to begin at 7:30 p.m.