After restarting season, Hudson girls basketball gets three wins

Roger Gordon
Hudson guard Ali Menendez tries to get around Chardon's Emma McCartney during Explorers' 40-35 overtime win Monday at home. Menendez led Hudson with 12 points.

The Hudson girls basketball team began the week with a defeat but then reeled off three straight wins to improve to 5-3 overall.

All four games were against Cleveland-area teams.

First came a 51-44 defeat Jan. 7 at Chagrin Falls Kenston. That was followed by a pair of heart-stopping triumphs – 44-43 Jan. 9 at Painesville Riverside and 40-35 in overtime Jan. 11 at home against Chardon.

Finally, on Jan. 13, the Explorers enjoyed a breather, a 58-39 victory at Mayfield.

In the win over Riverside Hudson led 15-12 after one quarter, 24-19 at halftime and 38-36 after three quarters.

“Riverside had the ball at the end of the game to try to get a shot off to win the game,” Hudson head coach Dennis Lawler said. “Kate Orazen, our senior center, blocked a shot, the ball went towards the basket and Delaney DiGeronimo, our junior forward, knocked the ball out of bounds. Then, with 1.9 seconds to go, Riverside took the ball out underneath the basket, and they didn’t get a shot off.

“We did not shoot overly well, but I thought we played hard. Our press was pretty good. We got up a couple times by six or eight points, but Riverside kind of pecked away and we just couldn’t quite pull away.”

Junior forward Constance Loring and guard Ali Menendez, her classmate, each scored 14 points. Loring also had 10 rebounds.

“Constance has been doing really well,” said Lawler. “She’s an unselfish kid. We’d like to see her shoot a little more. She’s both our second-leading scorer and rebounder and is second on the team in steals. She does a lot for us.

“Ali has been playing really well, scoring the ball well. She’s been leading us in a lot of different areas.”

In the win over Chardon Hudson was up 7-5 after the first quarter, 16-14 at the half and 23-21 after three quarters before the Hilltoppers tied the score at 34 after regulation.

“Chardon had the ball towards the end of regulation to try to win the game,” Lawler said. “We forced them to take a tough shot, though, that didn’t go in. Then we held them to a single point in the overtime.

“I thought we had a very good performance. It was a close game the whole way. We did get a couple six-point leads, but Chardon chipped away and came back. We hit seven three-pointers. Half of our field goals were three-pointers.”

Menendez paced Hudson with 12 points.

“Ali hit a couple three-pointers and then hit three big free throws in the overtime and made some really good decisions with the ball,” said the coach.

In the win over Mayfield, Hudson exploded for a 26-11 lead after one quarter and a 40-18 advantage at halftime. The Explorers were up 47-29 after three quarters.

“We had six three-pointers in the first half and our press really hurt Mayfield. We really got on a good run,” Lawler said. “We had eight kids score in the first half and 11 for the whole game.”

Menendez scored 20 points and DiGeronimo added 10 points.

“Ali just had a great floor game,” said Lawler. “She really shot the ball well, too. She had two three-pointers and was 6-of-8 from the free throw line. She finished around the basket, got some steals and made a couple really nice transition passes for layups.”

In the loss to Kenston Hudson trailed 14-13 after one quarter, 24-19 at halftime and 30-24 after three quarters.

“It was pretty close pretty much the whole way,” the coach said. “Kenston kept its distance the whole time and made some free throws toward the end.”

DiGeronimo scored 15 points.

Hudson is scheduled to North Royalton Jan. 19 and Brecksville-Broadview Heights Jan. 20. Both games at set for 7 p.m. starts/

The Explorers are scheduled to play Shaker Heights Hathaway Brown Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. The game is set to be played at Ursuline College in Pepper Pike.