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Girls capture second consecutive victory

By FRANK ACETO Associate Sports Editor Published: February 19, 2017 12:00 AM
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It's always good to play your best at the end of the season.

While the Hudson girls basketball team has had its share of struggles, it enters postseason play with some confidence, thanks to a two-game winning streak.

The Lady Explorers concluded their regular season with a hard-fought 51-44 victory over Suburban League National Conference rival Brecksville-Broadview Heights Feb. 15 on the road.

With the win, Hudson improved to 7-15 overall and finished 4-10 in the National Conference.

"We made some big baskets in the fourth quarter," Lady Explorers head coach Dennis Lawler said. "Our defensive intensity picked up in the second half. Whenever we play good defense, we play better offense."

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As always, it wasn't a walk in the park for Hudson.

The Lady Bees concluded the first half on a 10-0 run to take a 28-21 lead at halftime.

Brecksville made it 30-21 early in the third quarter, but the Lady Explorers flipped a switch and took control of the game.

Hudson concluded the period with a 14-0 spurt and then held on the rest of the way.

"We turned up the pressure more in the third quarter," Lawler said. "(Lady Bees' senior guards) Stephanie Labas and Sarah Kuhn combined for 21 points in the first half. They only had eight in the second half. (Brecksville senior guard) Natalie Lesesky didn't score. She fouled out in the third quarter."

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Senior guard Ava Cristofoli and junior point guard Elizabeth Hinkle each had 14 points for Hudson and sophomore guard Emma Messina scored 10 points.

"Ava played really well and (junior post player) Traci (Wright) did a great job of rebounding the ball," Lawler said. "Emma had two big threes in the fourth that really helped us."

Kuhn led all scorers with 16 points.

The Lady Explorers' junior varsity team finished 13-8 after posting a 37-28 win. Sophomore guard Dai'Shunai Steward led Hudson with 12 points and sophomore forward Maggie Lehman added 8 points.

The Lady Explorers received the ninth seed in the Euclid Division I sectional-district tournament. Hudson was scheduled to host 10th-seeded Cleveland John Adams in a sectional semifinal game Feb. 18 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium. Results were not available at press time.

The winner of that contest is set to visit top-seeded Solon in a sectional title game Feb. 23. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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