Hudson 70, Walsh Jesuit 64
Senior forward Hannah Boesinger led the Explorers with 27 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and two steals in an Akron Division I district semifinal victory over the Warriors at Ellet High School on Thursday night.
“She’s not going to Youngstown State for nothing,” Hudson coach Dennis Lawler said. “She’s our best player and she took over when she had to.”
Boesinger helped the Explorers (20-5) get off to 17-10 advantage in the first quarter, making three 3-pointers.
Junior center Kristen Mummey then took over the scoring duties in the second quarter, scoring 10 of her team’s 16 points.
Mummey finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
Trailing 33-25 at halftime, the Warriors (17-8) came out of the locker room strong, going on a 10-2 run to cut the deficit to two.
“They took charge in the locker room,” Walsh coach Pete Zaccari said. “I didn’t need to tell them anything.”
Boesinger and the Explorers quickly responded, using an 11-3 run of their own, led by Boesinger, who scored nine during the stretch.
“We’ve been a very resilient team all year,” Lawler said. “The schedule we’ve played has prepared us for games like this.”
The teams continued to trade baskets throughout the rest of the second half, but solid free-throw shooting down the stretch led the Explorers to victory.
Boesinger, who started the game 1-for-6 from the line, made her last five attempts in the fourth quarter.
“She was an 80 percent free-throw shooter during the regular season,” Lawler said. “She did a nice job pulling herself back together.”
The Warriors outrebounded the Explorers 43-26, led by the efforts of sophomore forward Lilli Piper (16) and senior center Sophia Simone (10).
They were often unable to capitalize on those opportunities, however.
“It was just one of those games where the ball didn’t bounce our way,” Zaccari said.
Simone led the Warriors in scoring with 20 points.
Hudson has a tough task ahead in the district final, taking on a Twinsburg team that hasn’t lost in its past 69 games against Ohio opponents at 1 p.m. Saturday at Ellet.
“It’s going to be a challenge, no question,” Lawler said. “But that’s why these kids put the uniforms on. Twinsburg is the benchmark for girls basketball in Ohio. We’ll have our hands full but we’ll give it a shot.”
Twinsburg 72, Aurora 29
The top-ranked and two-time defending state champion Tigers made it 39 wins in a row in the other district semifinal.
The Tigers (25-0) grabbed 13 of the first 15 rebounds and forced 10 first-quarter turnovers to get out to a 19-8 lead.
The Greenmen (16-8) cut the deficit to four in the second quarter and had several easy opportunities to score but failed to convert.
Purdue recruit Ashley Morrissette paced the Tigers with 21 points, seven rebounds, five steals and a block.
“She’s that big-shot kid,” Twinsburg coach Julie Solis said. “Whenever we struggle, she puts it in her hands and does something good. That’s what big-time players do.”
Fellow senior guard and Cleveland State recruit Brooke Smith led the Tigers in scoring with 22 points.
Despite not having a significant size advantage, the Tigers more than doubled the Greenmen in rebounding (43-20).
“They fight for every loose ball,” Solis said.
Senior forward Camilla Brown led the Greenmen with 14 points and five rebounds.
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