by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Hudson -- When sophomore guard Emmy Klemencic converted right before the halftime buzzer, it seemed like the Hudson girls basketball team had all the momentum.
Sadly for the Lady Explorers, it turned out to be quite the contrary.
Host Hudson girls basketball team fell to 7-10 overall and 1-5 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division after losing a 69-51 decision to Mentor Feb. 1 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
The Lady Explorers took a 35-32 halftime lead, thanks to a buzzer-beating running jump shot by Klemencic.
It was all Lady Cardinals (13-4, 4-3) after that.
Mentor opened the second half with a 16-0 run, which included four 3-pointers.
The Lady Cardinals also forced several turnovers and had a 16-7 edge on the boards in the final 16 minutes.
"I think we panicked a little bit," Hudson head coach Dennis Lawler said. "We didn't take care of the ball and the kids we wanted to score weren't looking to score."
The first half was a bit more pleasant for the Lady Explorers.
Hudson forced 12 turnovers in the first 16 minutes and made its share of shots.
"I was proud of the way the kids played in the first half," Lawler said.
Four players reached double digits in scoring for Mentor.
Senior guard Kayla Gabor led all scorers with 18 points and freshman guard/forward Nicole Heffington finished with 17 points.
Senior forward/center Christine Dawson and freshman guard/forward Madeline Moyer added 15 and 13 points, respectively, for the Cardinals.
Senior guard Margo Camp led Hudson with 14 points and senior Jackie Ulmer scored nine points for the Lady Explorers.
Hudson also lost a 33-32 decision in the junior varsity contest.
The Lady Explorers received the eighth seed in the Kenston Division I sectional-district tournament. Hudson earned a first-round bye and is scheduled to play the Nordonia-Bedford winner Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
If sixth-seeded Nordonia, which is set to host Bedford Feb. 15, wins, the Hudson-Nordonia game will be played in Macedonia. If 15th-seeded Bedford wins, the Hudson-Bedford game will take place at Hyser Gymnasium.
The Lady Explorers are scheduled to host River Division rival Twinsburg Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. They are set to visit Stow-Munroe Falls Feb. 8 at 7 p.m.