STOW -- It was a complete blowout the last time the two rivals took the floor.
This time it was much closer.
Unfortunately for the Explorers, the outcome didn't change.
The Hudson boys basketball team fell to 8-10 overall and 3-7 in the Suburban League National Conference after losing to host Stow-Munroe Falls 49-38 Feb. 10 at James G. Tyree Gymnasium.
With the win, the Bulldogs improved to 13-4 overall and 10-1 in the conference.
Hudson, which was blitzed by Stow 62-28 earlier in the season, decided to slow the game down considerably to thwart the Bulldogs' potent offense.
"It's not fun for the fans and its not fun for the players," Explorers' head coach Jeff Brink said. "But they (the Bulldogs) have got a great team.
"My job is to put our kids in the best position to win. Our kids understand that all you have to do is look at the mathematics.
"They are a team that shoots close to fifty percent from the 3-point line. We shoot in the thirties as a team with the possessions multiplied, we can't compete at that level.
"You have to shorten the game by lengthening possessions. We are not holding the ball. We are trying to get them to come out to create backdoor opportunities."
The game plan kept things more interesting as Hudson, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end, led early in the second quarter (11-10) and trailed by just single digits 39-30 early in the fourth quarter.
In the first go-around back in early, the Explorers fell behind by double digits early in the second period and never recovered.
Despite Hudson's tactics to shorten the game, the Explorers were able to take control, thanks to some stellar shooting.
Hudson shot 45 percent from the floor, including 9-of-22 from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Explorers shot 40 percent (13-of-32) from the floor and made 3-of-10 3-pointers.
Leading the way for the Bulldogs was junior Mason McMurray. The 6-foot-8 forward pumped in a game-high 20 points and grabbed 7 rebounds, making 6-of-8 shots from the floor, including a fine 4-of-5 effort outside the 3-point arc.
Senior guard Logan Lindsay added 11 points for Stow.
Sophomore guard William Wallace made two 3-pointers and finished with 9 points and 3 steals for Hudson.
"William took a step forward," Brink said. "He was very solid. He had a great game. The game wasn't too big for him."
Senior point guard Spencer McClure led the Explorers with 13 points.
"Our compete level was tremendous," Brink said. "The kids did a solid job with the game plan. They are a tough team to defend.
"We had it to single digits in the fourth quarter. We're thrilled with the effort, but the bottom line there is no moral victories. We came to win, so it's still a little disheartening."
The Bulldogs avenged a 62-60 triple overtime loss earlier in the season after posting a 47-42 victory in the junior varsity contest.
Bryce Harvey scored the final six points of the game and finished with 8 points for Stow.
Brian Cartwright led the Explorers (13-5, 6-4) with 16 points and teammate Connor Gynn contributed 11 points. The loss ended Hudson's five-game winning streak.
Hudson was scheduled to visit National Conference rival Twinsburg Feb. 14. Results were not available at press time.
The Explorers are set to entertain National Conference foe Wadsworth Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Hudson received the eighth seed in the Copley Division I sectional-district tournament. Akron Archbishop Hoban got the top seed and Medina, Brunswick and Stow-Munroe Falls earned the second, third and fourth seeds, respectively.