HUDSON -- They gave up the first seven points of the third quarter.

Sadly, it looked like the Lady Explorers were about to suffer an inevitable meltdown.

Not this time.

The Hudson girls basketball team ended a three-game losing streak with a 69-59 victory over Suburban League crossover rival Copley Jan. 18 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.

With the win, the Lady Explorers improved to 4-11 on the season. The Indians dropped to 5-9.

Hudson, which forced 40 turnovers with its persistent full-court pressure, led 42-28 at halftime.

Considering the Lady Explorers' struggles in the third quarter in recent weeks, such a lead didn't feel too terribly comfortable.

It looked like the third-quarter issues would continue as Copley scored the first seven points of the second half.

But Hudson closed the third on a 9-2 run and dominated the rest of the way.

"We were rushing shots," Lady Explorers head coach Dennis Lawler said. "We picked up the intensity on defense. We talked at halftime about making adjustments to their (the Indians') half-court trap and three-quarter press. We got that fixed and were able to take it away. I was proud of the way they responded in the third quarter."

Hudson led much of the night and was up by as many as 20 (67-47) in the fourth quarter.

The Lady Explorers utilized their full-court pressure to get a number of steals and fast-break points. Hudson forced 15 turnovers in the first quarter and raced out to a 21-10 lead. The Lady Explorers tied their season high for points at halftime and were up 42-28.

"They had fun and they played hard," Lawler said. "I was impressed with their defensive intensity."

Junior guard Elizabeth Hinkle finished with 17 points. The left-handed shooter was on the attack all evening long and made things happen just about every time she touched the ball.

"Elizabeth is our quarterback," Hinkle said. "She's a tough kid. She has really picked up her scoring. She is crafty. She's not afraid to get in there and mix it up. She goes nonstop."

Sophomore guard Emma Messina and senior guard Ava Cristofoli contributed 16 and 15 points, respectively, for the Lady Explorers, who knocked down nine 3-pointers.

Sophomore guards Anastasha Janos and Paige Brenner each had 11 points for Copley, which is led by head girls and boys basketball coach Mark Dente. Junior forward Maya Elias finished with 9 points for the Indians.

Hudson cruised to a convincing 61-28 win in the junior varsity game. Freshman guard Audrey Kirkhope-Moss led the way with 16 points and sophomore guard Abby Wickerham had 10 points for the Lady Explorers.

Both the varsity and JV squads were scheduled to host Suburban League National Conference rival North Royalton Jan. 21. Results were not available at press time.

They are set to visit National Conference foe Cuyahoga Falls Jan. 25 at 7:30 p.m.

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