Notaro Jr. era of Hudson basketball begins with win over Northbridge

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Notaro Jr. era of Hudson basketball begins with win over Northbridge
Mike Notaro Jr. communicates with players during his first game as head coach. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

HUDSON – The Notaro Jr. era of Hudson boys basketball has officially begun.

The Hudson Hawks on Friday night soundly defeated the Northbridge Rams, 68-48, to start the season 1-0 and secure Mike Notaro Jr.’s first win as the program’s head coach.

“It feels good. Busy night, busy crowd,” Notaro Jr. told the Community Advocate after the game. “Obviously, I had the nerves coming in, but those go away right when we start. It was right back to normal. These kids make it really easy, I don’t have a group of kids that play harder than them. When they bring that intensity, it’s easy to coach them.”

Hudson started hot and never relinquished the lead. The Hawks led 13-9 after the first quarter, 34-23 at halftime, and 51-32 at the end of the third quarter. Jackson O’Brien led Hudson with 17 points; Nico Giorgi Woodford added 13, including three 3-point makes.

Notaro Jr. era of Hudson basketball begins with win over Northbridge
Hudson’s Ben Hillis tries to rip the ball out of a Northbridge player’s hands. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

“From the beginning, they showed a ton of effort, a ton of intensity. They’ve had it for the last two weeks in practice, they’ve been dying to get out there,” Notaro Jr. explained. We emphasize digging in on defense, playing good defense. They start off doing that, and that leads to the offense.”

The Hudson team is young and relatively inexperienced – 11 players left the team after last season, casting several former junior-varsity players into the spotlight – but the team was cohesive from the start.

“We have basically a whole new group… These kids came in here knowing that it’s their time to shine. The younger kids that are coming up from [junior varsity], I told them that ‘This is your time. You’ve worked for it, you’ve got the big stage, you’ve got the fans, go out there and give them a show,’ ” Notaro Jr. said.

With the season’s first game in the books, Notaro Jr. liked the effort he saw from his squad. Though the season is still young, and Notaro Jr. didn’t offer any predictions, he promised one thing: his team will compete every night.

“We’re going to play hard – you saw that tonight. It’s the first game… but I know these kids every night will show up to play, and play hard,” he said.

Notaro Jr. era of Hudson basketball begins with win over Northbridge
The Hudson Hawks’ fan section was filled for the first game. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

 

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