HUDSON — For a majority of the afternoon, a Suburban League National Conference contest between two longtime rivals was highly competitive.
Unfortunately for one of those teams, the last 12 minutes of game action was not.
The opponent didn’t seem to mind, though. This particular nemesis has enjoyed tormenting one of its main rivals for quite some time.
The host Hudson girls basketball team suffered a convincing 61-35 defeat to Stow-Munroe Falls Saturday at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.
Thanks to a pair of long 3-pointers from the right side by guards Ali Menendez and Anastasia Lawler, the Explorers cut their deficit to three midway through the third quarter.
Sadly for Hudson, it wasn’t able to dial long distance again.
As for the Bulldogs (9-1, 6-0), they found their sense of urgency after a massive wake-up call from the Explorers.
And just like that, Stow dominated the rest of the way.
The Bulldogs scored the next nine points that paved the way toward a brutal rampage.
When the damage was done, the maroon-and-gold massacre looked like this: Stow 31, Hudson 8.
"We lost our aggressiveness on offense," Hudson head coach Dennis Lawler said. "I thought we attacked better in the first half than we did in the second half. We’re a growing team."
Junior guard Lilee Carlson proved to be quite a gifted conductor of the Bulldogs’ second-half orchestra. She scored all 13 of her points after the break and controlled the game when Stow put matters to rest.
While Carlson, who thrived despite playing with a thumb injury, was the lead singer, the Bulldogs’ Northeast Ohio tour has looked more like Santana rather than the White Stripes.
This large and talented band got contributions from just about everyone.
Junior guard Faith Kyer also scored 13 points and sophomore guard Kristin Chmielewski finished with 11 points for Stow. Despite some first-half foul trouble, senior post player Kira Philpot scored 10 points for the Bulldogs. Philpot’s sweet-shooting teammate, senior guard Ellie Petit, added nine points.
Stow pulled off this impressive finish despite some health issues. The Bulldogs were missing junior guard Bella Adams. Junior guard Ellie McCoy, on the other hand, played a number of minutes despite flu-like symptoms.
Senior guard Sarah Hinkle led the Explorers (5-6, 2-4) with 12 points and Menendez finished with eight points.
"I’m proud of our effort," Lawler said. "We had a great week of practice. We just have to pick ourselves up and learn from it.
"We’re trying to get there. We’re still pretty young still. We’re just trying to hang in there and see what we can do."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.