by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Hudson -- Back in December, the Hudson girls basketball team finally conquered one its of main rivals that had been a state powerhouse for the last few years.
Not this time.
The host Lady Explorers fell to 7-11 overall and 1-6 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division after losing a 72-58 decision to Twinsburg Feb. 5 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
The Lady Tigers, the 2012-13 state runner-up who won the state title the previous two years, improved to 11-9 overall and 5-3 in the division.
When the two teams met on Dec. 7 in Twinsburg, Hudson scored a 69-56 win over the Lady Tigers.
It was their first victory over Twinsburg since 2006.
Sadly for the Lady Explorers, they have not won a division game since as the Lady Tigers' speed and athleticism were simply too much for Hudson to handle.
"We played hard and I was proud of their effort," Lady Explorers head coach Dennis Lawler said.
"We just have to play like that all the time."
Twinsburg led most of the way, thanks to its speed off the dribble and its quick hands on defense.
But the Lady Explorers, who trailed 30-14 midway through the second quarter, cut their deficit to six (32-26) when Krissy Mummey scored a layup on a post move.
And that's when Aloneet Durden took over for Twinsburg.
Durden knocked down a 3-pointer on her next possession, made a free throw on her next touch and then gave the Lady Tigers a 38-26 advantage with a floater off the dribble.
The Lady Tigers never looked back.
"That was a big 3," Lawler said. "Give those kids credit. They're still a very good team.
"We had a couple of lapses and panicked a little bit, but we hung in there and were pretty resilient."
Twinsburg led by as many as 22 (56-34) when Durden drained a 3-pointer with less than 45 seconds left in the third quarter.
Durden finished with 22 points and knocked down five 3-pointers.
Baleigh Reid led all scorers with 23 points for Twinsburg.
Reid did most of her damage with layups off the dribble and mid-range jumpers.
Jackie Ulmer led Hudson with 21 points.
The Lady Explorers lost a 46-34 decision in the junior varsity game.
Both the varsity and JV teams were scheduled to visit Valley Division rival Stow-Munroe Falls Feb. 8. Results were not available at press time.
They are set to visit Mentor Feb. 10 before returning home for their regular-season finale against Shaker Heights Feb. 12.
Both varsity games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.