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Defending state champs Wadsworth crush Hudson girls hoops team

By FRANK ACETO Associate Sports Editor Published: February 12, 2017 12:02 AM
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It scored less than 40 points for the second straight game and suffered its fourth consecutive blowout.

But Hudson head girls basketball coach Dennis Lawler insists that his team took a huge step in the right direction against the defending Division I state champions.

Now if the Lady Explorers can just hang on to the ball, they might be on to something.

Hudson suffered its fourth straight defeat after falling to Suburban League National Conference rival Wadsworth 60-34 Feb. 8 on the road.

The Lady Explorers, who got manhandled on the boards against National Conference foe Stow-Munroe Falls two nights earlier, fared much better on the glass against the Lady Grizzlies (10-10, 9-4).

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Hudson also shot the ball better than it had in recent weeks. Unfortunately for the Lady Explorers, they didn't take a particularly large amount of shots.

That's because Hudson couldn't take care of the basketball.

"I thought we much played much better," Lawler said. "We competed much better in terms of rebounding. We just had way too many turnovers."

"I bet we shot 45 to 50 percent. But they sped us up and we turned it over. We battled and we blocked people out."

Wadsworth stormed out of the gates to a 19-5 lead after one quarter and held a 33-16 advantage at halftime.

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At one point, the Lady Explorers (5-14, 3-10) cut their deficit to 12 (36-24). But the Lady Grizzlies concluded the third period with an 11-0 run to take complete control.

"We had the ball two times and if we converted, we could have cut it to seven," Lawler said. "We ended up turning it over twice. All of their points were off turnovers during that run."

Hudson got solid offensive games from its two leading scorers and not much else.

Sophomore guard Emma Messina made three 3-pointers on her way to a game-high 16 points. Senior guard Ava Cristofoli added 13 points.

(Senior forward) Elle (Marquez) and (junior forward) Traci (Wright) fouled out, so that didn't help us on the inside," Lawler said. "[Junior post player] Lexi Lance and [junior wing] Peyton Banks combined for 19 of their points in the first half. We held them to two points in the second half."

Banks led Wadsworth with 11 points. A total of 11 players scored at least two points for the Lady Grizzlies.

The Lady Explorers' junior varsity squad fell to 11-8 on the season after losing to Wadsworth 48-30.

Hudson was scheduled to host Suburban League crossover rival Highland Feb. 11. Results were not available at press time.

The Lady Explorers are set to visit National Conference foe Brecksville in their regular-season finale Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Hudson received the ninth seed at the Euclid Division I sectional-district tournament. The Lady Explorers are set to entertain 10th-seeded Cleveland John Adams in a sectional semifinal game Feb. 18 at 7 p.m.

Solon received the top seed and Twinsburg, Maple Heights and Shaker Heights earned the second, third and fourth seeds, respectively.

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