by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
The last 14 minutes was everything Hudson head girls basketball coach Dennis Lawler could have possibly wanted from his team.
Unfortunately for Lawler, the first 18 minutes overshadowed the big finish.
The Lady Explorers fell to 5-7 overall and 1-3 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division after losing a 55-52 decision to Shaker Heights Jan. 11 on the road.
Hudson, which lost its fourth consecutive game, found its rhythm late in the game.
But it was too little, too late.
"We didn't do the things I thought we needed to do in the beginning of the game," Lawler said. "We were lacking energy to start the game.
"We were still only down four at halftime [28-24] and then we got down 11.
"After that, we caught fire and played like we were supposed to play."
The Lady Explorers had their chances to tie or take the lead down the stretch. But it was not to be.
Hudson's chances of a comeback took a major downward spiral when its two leading scorers, guard Jackie Ulmer and post Krissy Mummey, fouled out of the game.
"I took a chance there and left them in the game even though they had four fouls," Lawler said. "I thought we could get a turnover.
"We didn't and ended up having to foul. It certainly hurt not having them in there."
Ulmer led all scorers with 25 points and added four steals and Mummey finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots. Olivia Poole led the Lady Raiders with 16 points.
The Lady Explorers made 22 of 33 shots from the foul line and was just 15 of 39 from the floor. Hudson also finished 0 for 3 from beyond the three-point arc and committed 21 turnovers.
"The last 12 to 14 minutes of the game is the way I thought we should have played the whole way," Lawler said.
"We're hoping that we can play like those last 12 to 14 minutes in every game down the road."
The Lady Explorers' junior varsity squad improved to 8-4 with a 53-35 win.
The JV and varsity teams are scheduled to visit Valley Division rival Solon Jan. 16. Varsity tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.
Hudson is scheduled to compete at the Pickerington Prep Shootout this weekend at Pickerington Central High School.
The Lady Explorers are set to play Ironton Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. and Pickerington Central Jan. 19 at 4:15 p.m