Aurora -- The postseason is right around the corner.
For better or worse, the Aurora girls basketball team got a taste of what its sectional-district tournament will look like.
The Greenmen fell to 11-5 on the season after suffering an 82-55 loss to Hudson on Jan. 30 on the home court.
They then fell to 11-6 after a 46-38 loss to Kenston in a Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division game. AHS is 5-4 in the division, while the Bombers share first place with Chagrin Falls at 8-1.
Hudson, which last week was tied for eighth with Perrysburg in the Associated Press Division I state poll and could meet Aurora again in the Ellet Division I sectional-district tournament, led by double digits most of the way.
Both teams emptied their benches in the fourth quarter as the Explorers built a 70-49 lead heading into the final eight minutes.
"They're a great team," Greenmen coach Erika Schultz said of Hudson. "I think we cut it to eight in the second quarter and then they hit two 3s. That kind of killed the momentum. But I thought we played well. We're just not quite as deep as they are."
Aurora, like many teams throughout the season, had no answer for Hannah Boesinger. The 5-foot-11 Explorers' senior forward finished with a game-high 33 points despite not playing the entire fourth quarter.
The Greenmen could not solve Boesinger as she muscled her way to the basket despite facing multiple Greenmen defenders. If Aurora left her outside, she buried 3-pointers. Boesinger finished with a game-high 6 triples.
"She's a great player," Schultz said of Boesinger. "I think we just got tired in the second half."
Hudson (16-2), winnersof 11 straight games, made the Greenmen leg weary, thanks to its vaunted full-court press.
The Explorers forced 29 turnovers, including 10 in the first quarter to jump out to a 26-11 lead. While Aurora beat Hudson's press on numerous occasions, the Greenmen simply couldn't stop the Explorers.
Hudson buried jumper after jumper and got a number of baskets in transition. The Explorers made 7 trifectas.
"We hit a lot of threes," Explorers head coach Dennis Lawler said. "We had been struggling offensively, so we worked a lot on shooting. We just have to keep working."
Aurora opened the second quarter with a 9-2 run to cuts the deficit to eight (28-20). But the locals never got closer.
The Greenmen got within 11 (46-35) early in the third quarter, but Hudson had a knack for responding when things got a little uneasy.
Both teams were missing their starting point guards. The Explorers were missing senior Kelly Gough, who suffered a concussion during Hudson's game against Stow-Munroe Falls.
Aurora senior point guard Alexa DeBord is out for the season with a back injury. The Greenmen also were missing senior Madelyn Gilley, who is out with an ankle injury. Schultz said the team is hoping Gilley will return before the season ends.
Senior guard/post Allison Howard did play for Aurora, but she wasn't 100 percent by a long shot.
"She's got some kind of a bug," Schultz said. "That's why I took her out in the fourth quarter."
While no coach likes losing, Schultz was pleased with her team's effort.
"I thought we played well in stretches," she said. "It just got a little out of hand at the end. We just ran out of gas."
Senior post Camilla Brown led the Greenmen with 21 points and senior post/guard Erin McNamara added 12 points.
Against Kenston, Howard was back in full form and led the attack with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks, while Brown added 12 points and had 10 blocks.
"We played better this time against them than last time," said Schultz. "We were down by 11 at halftime and ended up being 20 down in the second half, but fought back.
"I was proud of my girls for not giving up and really fighting to get back into the game. If we'd have had a little more time, it would have been a little closer."
The Greenmen are scheduled to travel to Independence tonight (Feb. 6), host Chagrin Falls in the final CVC division game Feb. 9 and travel to Laurel on Feb. 13.
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