Defense allows Hudson girls basketball to get past Bears

Roger Gordon

A poor shooting night by the Hudson girls basketball team was overshadowed by a stellar defensive performance Monday in a 34-29 victory at home over Suburban League National Conference rival North Royalton.

The Explorers improved to 6-4 overall and 2-2 in the National Conference.

Hudson trailed 11-5 after one quarter and 22-17 at halftime before forging ahead 27-26 after three quarters.

Hudson center Kate Orazen boxes out North Roylaton's Tierney Mailey during the Explorers' 34-29 home win over the Bears Monday.

“We shot 24 percent from the field,” Hudson head coach Dennis Lawler said. “Holding North Royalton to 29 points, and only seven in the second half, though, was an excellent defensive effort on our part. We guarded the ball really well. We made some adjustments with our defensive scheme a little bit in the second half. That helped us with rebounding. We limited North Royalton to one shot per possession, which is important.

“It was close all game. I think having two close games earlier this season helped us. I don’t think we really panicked that much during the game even though it was close.”

Junior guard Ali Menendez scored seven points, while senior center Kate Orazen and junior forward Constance Loring each tallied six points. Orazen added 11 rebounds.

“Ali has been playing a really good floor game for us,” said Lawler. “She’s struggled shooting the last couple of games, so hopefully the next couple of days in practice we can turn that around. She gets the ball late in these tight games, though, because she’s been shooting well from the free throw line in the last four or five games.

“Kate did an excellent job helping to limit North Royalton to one shot per possession. Of her 11 rebounds, eight were on the defensive side.”

Hudson began the week Jan. 16 with a 58-35 loss at home to National Conference rival Nordonia. The Explorers were down 10-7 after the first quarter, 25-10 at the half and 37-24 after the third quarter.

“We actually were ahead early, but then Nordonia went on a run starting with the second half of the first quarter and into the second quarter,” Lawler said. “Hallie Majoros came up big for them with three three-pointers in the second quarter. We just didn’t shoot the ball very well. We have to find a way to put the ball in the hole.”

Junior forward Delaney DiGeronimo scored 13 points, while Loring had six points and 10 rebounds.

“In the last three or four games, we’ve been really excited because Delaney is starting to look a little better offensively,” said the coach. “We need her to help pick up some of the scoring slack, and she’s been doing a great job of that. She’s been shooting the ball well.

“Constance has been doing the same things we’ve been asking her to do. She’s second in scoring and second in rebounding on the team.”

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

The Explorers are set to travel to North Royalton for a rematch Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. before hosting conference rival Cuyahoga Falls Jan. 30 at 7 p.m.