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by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Stow -- At one point, they got their hands on an opponent's pass and knocked it away from its intended path.
Alas, the pass wound up going to another opposing player, who eventually scored a bucket.
Yes, it has been that kind of season for the Lady Explorers.
The Hudson girls basketball team fell to 7-13 overall and 1-7 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division after losing a 51-38 decision to Stow-Munroe Falls.
The game took place Feb. 8 at Stow-Munroe Falls High School's James G. Tyree Gymnasium.
With the win, the Lady Bulldogs improved to 16-5 overall and 5-4 in the Valley Division.
It was the first time Stow swept its rivals to the north since the 2006-07 season.
"It just doesn't seem like the ball is bouncing our way this season," Lady Explorers head coach Dennis Lawler said.
"They [the Lady Bulldogs] switched things on defense and got us flustered a little bit. We know they [the Lady Bulldogs] take pride in their defense."
Stow scored the first seven points of the game and led 20-9 after one quarter of play.
Both teams struggled offensively in the second quarter and the Lady Bulldogs' lead was 27-18 at halftime.
Stow started to pull away in the third quarter and when Madison Baer got a loose ball and drained a jumper early in the fourth quarter, the Lady Bulldogs' advantage increased to 22 (44-22).
Hudson made things interesting in the fourth quarter, thanks to Ally Prosser.
Prosser made three consecutive 3-pointers and when Jackie Ulmer converted a layup, Stow's lead was cut to 11 (44-33).
"Ally kept us in the game," Lawler said. "We're trying to get her to shoot more because she's capable of doing that more often. I'm proud of her. We need other kids to shoot since we're having trouble scoring."
The Lady Bulldogs put the contest away with an 8-0 run that was capped by a 3-point play by Baer with 2 minutes, 58 seconds left in the game.
Baer led Stow with a game-high 16 points and Morgan Thompson added nine points.
Ulmer led the Lady Explorers with 12 points and Prosser and Krissy Mummey added nine points apiece.
Hudson, which earned a 43-37 win in the junior varsity contest, was scheduled to visit Valley Division rival Mentor Feb. 10. Results were not available at press time.
The Lady Explorers are set to conclude the regular season against Valley Division foe Shaker Heights Feb. 12 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium. Varsity tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Hudson earned a first-round bye in the Chagrin Falls Kenston Division I sectional-district tournament.
The eighth-seeded Lady Explorers are set to play the Nordonia-Bedford winner in a sectional title game Feb. 20 at 7 p.m.
If sixth-seeded Nordonia wins, the game is scheduled to take place in Macedonia. If 15th-seeded Bedford wins, the game is set to take place at Hyser Gymnasium. Nordonia is scheduled to host Bedford Feb. 15 at 1 p.m.
"We're trying to get the kids to understand that there is another season," Lawler said. "We're just trying to gain some confidence."