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Explorers beat Rough Riders 63-35

By Ryan Lewis
Beacon Journal sports writer

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Hudson's Allison Zullo (center) tries to shoot between Kent Roosevelt's Courtney Olesh (left) and Libby Bradford in the third quarter of a game at Kent Roosevelt High School on Monday in Kent, Ohio. (Michael Chritton/Akron Beacon Journal)
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KENT: Hudson disrupted everything Kent Roosevelt tried to do offensively, opened a sizeable early lead and never looked back in a 63-35 win over the Rough Riders on the road Monday night.

The Explorers scored four seconds into the game and were leading 8-0 soon after. Hudson (5-1, 2-0) also forced 12 turnovers in the first half alone.

The Rough Riders, though, forced seven turnovers of their own in the first quarter to remain within reach of Hudson until the third quarter. It exposed a problem Hudson coach Dennis Lawler will look to remedy.

“I didn’t think we took very good care of the basketball,” he said. “Part of that was Kent, but we gotta get better at doing that.”

Hudson scored from every position, with four girls reaching double figures. Junior Jackie Ulmer led the way with 15 points. Seniors Allison Zullo, Kelly Gough and Hannah Boesinger all added 10 points, respectively. Junior center Kristen Mummey finished with eight points and a flurry of powerful blocks in the second half that sent the Hudson bench to its feet.

“I was really pleased with the balanced scoring,” Lawler said. “We executed some things really well. I was also very pleased with our intensity in the second half. I kind of challenged them to come out and play a little bit harder and I thought we did that. But we have to take care of the ball.”

The Explorers are still dealing with several injuries to key players. Junior Nicole Goodson tore her ACL and is out for the season, and senior Brynne Drohan is out for at least another week or two with a knee issue, according to Lawler. Add that onto a couple of other minor injuries that Hudson has dealt with already this season, and finding the right set of rotations hasn’t been easy.

“It’s been a challenge,” Lawler said. “We had two kids go down in the Wadsworth game and then had only seven varsity players against Brunswick. It’s been a challenge to get kids back but it’s gonna help us in the long run, I think, because kids are getting extra playing time they wouldn’t normally be getting at a lot of spots.”

For Roosevelt (3-4, 2-2), Monday night was about standing up to a great team and playing with intensity. To that end, coach Craig Foreman liked what he saw.

“In years past when we’ve played [Hudson], we played scared,” Foreman said. “Tonight, we didn’t play scared and that’s all I asked of them. We know this is one of the top teams in the area and we had a heartbreaking loss to [Ravenna] on Saturday. They played hard ‘till the very end tonight so we’re definitely gonna take that as a positive.”

Roosevelt sophomore Brianna Rock led the Rough Riders with 10 points. Juniors Justina Fortson and Jenn Doershuk each added seven points. Roosevelt remained close with Hudson for much of the first half, but turnovers eventually became too much to overcome.

“They’re a team that when you’re playing them, it feels like there’s six girls on the floor,” Foreman said. “They’re long and they’re always in the passing lanes. But, we never quit.”

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.