HUDSON -- Dennis Lawler is fully aware of what his team signed up for two years ago.
"It's a tough league," the Hudson head girls basketball coach said. "I told the girls, 'Twinsburg, Stow and Wadsworth are not going away.' We have to play them every year."
Unfortunately for Lawler and his players, those aforementioned teams are still light years ahead of the Lady Explorers.
Host Hudson suffered a lopsided 67-30 defeat to Suburban League National Conference rival Twinsburg Feb. 1 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
The Lady Tigers have not lost to the Lady Explorers in several years.
In all fairness, Twinsburg has been a state power in recent years and has sent several players to the Division I collegiate level. The Lady Explorers (5-13, 3-8) have not had a winning season since the 2012-13 season.
The Lady Tigers (13-5, 11-1) went on a 19-0 run during the first and second quarters to take a 24-6 lead.
Twinsburg relied on stellar defense, which forced 11 turnovers, a relentless attack on the glass and good ball movement.
The Lady Tigers were able to get a number of baskets in the paint, thanks to their offensive rebounding and ability to find open players in transition.
All told, Twinsburg had a 45-22 edge on the glass, including 17 offensive rebounds, and they forced 28 turnovers.
"They're a good team," Lawler said. "We have to compete better with their physicality. We did in the beginning and then we didn't. I thought we fought in the second half, but it's a four-quarter game."
Much like Lawler, Lady Tigers head coach Julie Solis felt her team hadn't put everything together for the full 32 minutes.
It's still a work in progress, but Solis felt much better Feb. 1.
"We've been inconsistent all year," she said. "Truthfully, we haven't been playing hard. We started off slow [Feb. 1] as well. And then things started to run smoothly."
Three players reached double figures in scoring for Twinsburg. Senior guard/forward Dasja Anderson led all scorers with 19 points and senior guard/forward Jasmine Bishop had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Junior guard Shaundrea Butler also was an extremely difficult matchup for Hudson.
The left-handed shooting Butler scored 11 points and dished out several assists. Sophomore guard Nya Bussey led Twinsburg's defense with 4 steals.
Thanks to the Lady Tigers' strong defense, the Lady Explorers had trouble scoring both inside and outside. Twinsburg was particularly strong defending the 3-point line as Hudson struggled to get open looks from beyond the arc. Both teams made two 3-pointers.
"We just have to find a way to compete better," Lawler said. "Things kind of snowballed on us. We have to hang in there. I think we did lose a little bit of confidence when they made their run."
Junior point guard Elizabeth Hinkle led Hudson with 8 points and younger sister Sarah Hinkle, a freshman guard, contributed 7 points.
The Lady Tigers converted 13-of-24 shots from the free throw line. The Lady Explorers, who missed a number of shots from point-blank range, were just 8-of-17 from the charity stripe.
Twinsburg also earned a 40-35 win in the junior varsity contest.
Sophomore Abby Wickerham and freshman guard Audrey Kirkhope-Moss each led Hudson with 9 points.
The Lady Explorers are scheduled to entertain National Conference foe Stow-Munroe Falls Feb. 6. Play is set to begin at 7 p.m.
Hudson is scheduled to visit National Conference rival Wadsworth Feb. 8 at 7:30 p.m.