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by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
It took nearly two months for the Hudson girls basketball team to lose a game.
Now, some might be wondering if the Lady Explorers' highly successful season is in serious jeopardy.
Hudson lost their third consecutive game after suffering a 64-52 setback to Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division rival Mentor Feb. 13 on the road.
With the loss, the Lady Explorers fell to 17-5 overall and finished a third-place 6-4 in the Valley Division. Twinsburg won the Valley Division title and Solon finished second.
Not long ago, Hudson had a 12-game winning streak that lasted nearly two months.
Unfortunately, those days seemed like years ago.
The Lady Explorers have struggled with their shooting and defense.
Such problems have caused some concern with the postseason right around the corner.
But there is a flip side to that coin.
All three of Hudson's losses came to teams that are the top seed in their respective sectional-district tournaments.
Nevertheless, there seems to be a lot more than a chink in the Lady Explorers' once impenetrable armor.
Against the Lady Cardinals (14-8), Hudson made just 18-of-82 shots. The Lady Explorers missed 20 of their first 22 shots as Mentor outscored Hudson 15-6 in the first quarter.
"We didn't play very well," Lady Explorers head coach Dennis Lawler said. "We didn't shoot very well at all. We forced the action sometimes instead of working for an easier shot. We need to push the ball more."
Hudson committed just 11 turnovers and finished with 36 rebounds. But those rebounds aren't much of a factor if you miss 64 shots.
"We did OK on the boards, but I think we got outrebounded," Lawler said. "It's not the best way to end our season, but I think the kids can pull together and get through this."
Allison Zullo led the Lady Explorers with 15 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals and Brynne Drohan added 10 for Hudson. Hannah Boesinger also had eight rebounds.
Lauren Stefancin led the Lady Cardinals (14-8) with a game-high 17 points and Kayla Gabor added 16 points. Mentor, which led the whole way, outscored the Lady Explorers 15-9 in the third period.
Hudson lost a 46-34 decision in the junior varsity contest. The JV squad finished 16-6 and the freshman squad finished 12-1.
The varsity team got the second seed in the Akron Ellet Division I sectional-district tournament. The Lady Explorers are scheduled to play Warren Howland in a sectional semifinal contest Feb. 20 at 7:45 p.m.