by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Stow -- She missed some shots from close range and had to deal with foul problems.
None of those things mattered to the Hudson girls basketball team.
The Lady Explorers' star is back on the court.
Thanks to Hannah Boesinger's 20 points, 16 rebounds and three steals, the Lady Explorers improved to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division after posting a 52-41 victory over Stow-Munroe Falls in Stow.
Boesinger, a senior forward, returned to the lineup after missing the previous game with concussion symptoms. Boesinger suffered the injury during Hudson's loss to Wadsworth in its season opener.
While there was some rust, it was a strong effort from Boesinger, who recently signed a national letter of intent to continue her academic and basketball careers at Youngstown State University.
"I feel great," Boesinger said. "I don't have any symptoms or anything like that. I wasn't sharp the first few practices, but it was great to be back."
Boesinger was a problem for the Lady Bulldogs (3-1, 0-1) everywhere on the floor.
If she had some room on the perimeter, she was knocking down jump shots. Boesinger finished with four three-pointers on the evening.
If she was anywhere near the basket, a number of missed shots from both teams ended up in her hands.
With Boesinger leading the way, the Lady Explorers had a 34-27 edge on the glass.
"You can't keep her out," Hudson head coach Dennis Lawler said of Boesinger. "That just shows the type of competitor she is. She wants to be there with her teammates. She gave us a big lift."
The Lady Explorers, who have had Stow's number in recent years, scored 10 of the first 12 points in the third quarter to take a 30-19 lead.
Boesinger concluded the run with a three-pointer from the left side.
The Lady Bulldogs countered with a 6-0 run of their own, but three-pointers by point guard Kelly Gough and Boesinger put Hudson up 39-27 with less than three minutes to go in the period.
Even when the Lady Explorers missed, Hudson had the advantage because of its dominance on the glass.
"They [the Lady Explorers] were extremely aggressive," Stow head coach Bob Podges said. "They did a great job of going after the basketball.
"It's nice to have a player [Boesinger] who can get rebounds and shoot from the outside."
Boesinger was unable to play the entire game.
She was forced to the bench in the second quarter after picking up her second foul and she got whistled for her fourth foul late in the third period.
But Boesinger stayed on the perimeter much of the fourth quarter to avoid picking up a fifth foul.
That may have limited her effectiveness as a scorer, but it allowed her to get the ball to her teammates.
Her teammates didn't let her down.
Forward Allison Zullo made her presence known in the paint with 11 points and eight rebounds. Zullo did most of her scoring off the dribble.
Gough also showed her ability to drain floaters on drives to the basket. She finished with nine points.
"Allison is one of our four senior captains and each one of them brings something different to the team," Lawler said. "With Hannah, she brings a calming influence."
Guard Sam Shaver led Stow with 14 points and guard Abbie Lawson added eight points for the Lady Bulldogs.
Neither team appeared to be anywhere close to being in midseason form.
Both teams struggled to take care of the ball and both teams missed open shots.
And despite Boesinger's return, Hudson is still short-handed.
Senior Brynne Drohan, the team's starting shooting guard last season, has yet to see action because of a knee injury.
Nicole Goodson, who is one of the Hudson girls golf team's standout players, tore her anterior crucial ligament after falling to the floor against Wadsworth.
Goodson is out for the season.
"We're hoping Brynne can be back December 27th or 29th or January 3rd or 5th," Lawler said. "I feel terrible for Nicole. She's sticking it out. We're hoping we can teach her life lessons and eventually get her back on the golf course."
The Lady Explorers also earned a 35-20 win in the junior varsity contest.
Hannah Monsman led Hudson with 13 points and Megan Monsman had nine points.
The varsity squad is scheduled to entertain Valley Division rival Shaker Heights Dec. 12 at 7:30 p.m.