by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
They couldn't make a shot.
Their usually vaunted full-court pressure looked downright ordinary.
In the end, none of that mattered.
The Lady Explorers' winning streak lived another day.
The Hudson girls basketball team won its ninth consecutive game after posting a 59-48 victory over Rocky River Magnificat Jan. 21 at St. Edward High School in Lakewood. With the win, the Lady Explorers improved to 14-2. The Lady Blue Streaks fell to 11-6.
Oddly enough, Hudson looked like a shadow of its usual self in the first two quarters.
The Lady Explorers missed 16 of their first 18 shots as Magnificat built a 27-20 halftime lead.
While the offense was a major issue, Hudson head coach Dennis Lawler believes the bigger problems took place on the other end of the floor.
"Our offense comes from our defense and I don't think we brought a lot of energy on the defensive end," he said. "We were a step behind where we wanted to be the whole time. Offensively, the shots we normally make weren't falling."
Thankfully, the Lady Explorers still had 16 minutes to right the ship.
Did they ever.
Hudson outscored the Lady Blue Streaks 23-11 in the third quarter and never looked back.
"They finally decided among themselves to pick it up," Lawler said.
Once the Lady Explorers returned to the floor, they looked more like one of the top teams in Northeast Ohio.
Hudson got a steal that resulted in a putback of a missed layup by guard Brynne Drohan and then point guard Kelly Gough completed a three-point play after getting a steal. Those points gave the Lady Explorers the lead for good.
"The run in the third quarter carried us," Lawler said. "We made some pretty good decisions and took some time off the clock in the fourth quarter. We hit some free throws in the end."
As usual, Hudson forward Hannah Boesinger led the way.
The standout senior finished with 22 points, 16 rebounds, four steals and four rebounds.
Gough continued her strong play with 17 points and five assists.
Also contributing for the Lady Explorers were Drohan (seven points and four rebounds), Allison Zullo (five steals) and Krissy Mummey (three blocks). Hudson made 18-of-29 free throws.
The Lady Explorers were scheduled to host Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division rival Stow-Munroe Falls Jan. 26. Results were not available at press time.
They are set to visit Aurora Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m.
"Every night is going to be a challenge," Lawler said. "We know we're going to have our hands full. We're still trying to find our best game.
"Sometimes, our offense clicks and our defense is OK and sometimes, our defense doesn't play well and our offense carries us. We still haven't put everything together."