Sunday, January 23, 2011

Battle of good friends ends with Hudson beating Stow

Hudson -- Lady Explorers head basketball coach Dennis Lawler won't lie.

There are some opponents he is downright giddy to see.

Stow-Munroe Falls, however, is not one of them.

"This is always a hard game for me," Lawler said. "I've known [Lady Bulldogs head coach] Bob Podges for 16 years and I've known [Stow assistant coach] Jeff Camp for 39 years.

"I talk to Bob once, twice and sometimes three times a week and I consider Jeff a brother and even a father to me."

Nevertheless, Lawler was pleased with the final result against his two close friends Jan. 15 at Ray "Buck" Hyser Gymnasium.

Of course, the game certainly made his heart skip a large number of beats.

Hudson earned its fifth straight victory after posting a 67-57 win over the Lady Bulldogs in a Northeast Ohio Conference showdown.

For the most part, the Lady Explorers had the edge against their former division rivals.

Hudson (9-2) had a double-digit lead for much of the second half.

But the Lady Bulldogs know the game got away from them late in the second quarter.

In fact, Stow trailed by just four (28-24) with a little less than two minutes left.

Unfortunately for the Lady Bulldogs, Hudson scored the last five points in the half.

Four of those points came on uncontested layups as Stow turned the ball over on consecutive possessions.

"I thought we played pretty even with them for three quarters and six minutes," Podges said. "We had that one two-minute stretch in the second quarter. We have a chance to tie the game and the next thing you know, we're down nine."

It would be easy to say the Lady Bulldogs (7-2) didn't give themselves a chance. They missed 12-of-19 free throws.

Of course, Hudson's players also were far from automatic from the foul line.

The Lady Explorers, who have struggled from the charity stripe throughout the season, converted just 17-of-32.

"They [the Lady Explorers] shot around their average," Podges said. "We normally shoot a lot better than that."

In the end, Hudson made a few more shots.

The Lady Explorers also got a quite few more rebounds, thanks to their height advantage in the post.

The height advantage became even more significant when Stow's veteran post player went down with an injury.

Senior forward Jackie Close was forced to leave the game after an awkward fall with a little more than three minutes remaining in the first quarter. Close could be found on crutches later in the game.

"Jackie rolled her ankle," Podges said. "She just rolled her other ankle the other day."

At times, Stow had absolutely no trouble with Hudson's vaunted full-court press. And sometimes, the Lady Bulldogs looked completely lost against it.

Hudson used its defense to build its lead to 15 (48-33) late in the third period. The Lady Explorers forced eight turnovers in the quarter.

But nothing came easy for Hudson on the offensive end. Stow's defense certainly had something to do with it.

"They [the Lady Bulldogs] made a nice run," Lawler said. "They took us out of our offense."

Stow cut the Lady Explorers' advantage to eight (49-41) early in the fourth quarter. Hudson promptly scored the next six points to gain some breathing room.

The Lady Explorers didn't look back the rest of the way.

Hudson senior forward Jessica Monsman, the University of Pennsylvania recruit, did not play her best game of the season.

Even though she was off by her usually elite standards, her presence, as always, elevated her team's play.

Her presence became a huge question mark late in the first quarter. Monsman, who finished with a team-high 18 points, picked up her second foul.

To the dismay of the Lady Bulldogs, she stayed on the floor.

"I trust Jess to make good decisions," Lawler said. "She's a four-year player and captain."

Junior guard Christie Wade finished with 13 points for the Lady Explorers and her teammate, junior forward Laura Mummey, scored 12 points despite her shooting struggles.

Stow junior Alex Shaver might have been the most dangerous player on the floor.

The sweet-shooting guard made a bevy of jumpers and finished with a game-high 20 points.

Senior guard Julie Rooney, who got the crowd's attention with her pretty high-arcing jumpers, scored 17 points for the Lady Bulldogs. Stow senior guard Sarah Parsons added 13 points.

Unlike Lawler, Podges always enjoys playing the Lady Explorers. After all, the two veteran coaches go way back.

"Dennis is one of my best friends," Podges said. "Hudson and Stow have a great tradition. We've opted out of games to play each other."

The Lady Bulldogs were scheduled to visit Warren Harding Jan. 20 before returning home to play NOC archrival Cuyahoga Falls Jan. 22. Results of those games were not available at press time.

They are set to host Bedford Jan. 22, before heading to Massillon Jan. 26. Both junior varsity contests are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m.

Stow is set to host NOC River Division foe Medina Jan. 29. JV tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.

Hudson becomes first inductee into Darlington Hall of Fame

Orlando Hudson spends a lot of time giving back to the Darlington community through youth programs and his non-profit C.A.T.C.H. foundation.

On Saturday the community took the opportunity to honor Hudson as the former Falcon three-sport standout was the first person inducted into the Darlington High School Hall of Fame during halftime of the Hartsville-Darlington boys basketball game.

“It feels great,” Hudson said after the ceremony, where he received wild applause from both Darlington and Hartsville fans. “It wasn’t all me. I had some great teammates surrounding me and to be the first one inducted, it means a lot.”

Hudson, who is going into his 10th season in the major leagues and first with the San Diego Padres, was an all-state selection in baseball and was a member of St. John’s High School 1995 Class 3A state championship team. He also was the quarterback and punter on the school’s first football team when Mayo and St. John’s consolidated back in the mid-1990s.

Hudson also played basketball at the school.

“Winning the state championship my junior year, being in the playoffs my senior year, the combining of the schools – I could go down the line. For me this school has so much history behind it. I just had a blast playing here,” he said.

His mother, wife Keisa and two children joined Hudson at the ceremony.

“He truly deserves it,” Keisa said during the game. “He’s really done a lot for this city. He wants the kids for this city to get the best.”

Hudson received a plaque for the induction and his No. 1 Padres jersey will hang in the main lobby of the high school.

Darlington principal Greg Harrison and athletic director Rick Drawdy created the hall of fame as a way to recognize athletes, who played at the school.

“The first person that comes to mind from Darlington High School to be the first inductee was Orlando Hudson,” Harrison said.

A new member will be inducted to the hall yearly, based on votes and discussion by a committee made up of community members, inductees, Harrison and Drawdy.

Hudson took in both basketball games, a 58-43 win by the Hartsville girls and an 81-70 win by the Darlington boys.

“I’m enjoying the games,” Hudson said. “I’m a little disheartened by the girls game, but the boys are doing what they’re supposed to be doing. We’ll get our redemption when we go out to Hartsville.”

Stabbed Jersey City mother and her kids still in hospital

The Jersey City woman and her four children who were stabbed multiple times, allegedly by her husband, all remain hospitalized, Jersey Journal staff writer Michaelangelo Conte reports.

Tasheba Finley, 35, and her 16-, 10- and eight-year-old daughters as well as the couple's six-year-old son, were allegedly stabbed by Jai D. Finley, 41, in the family's Rutgers Avenue home around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, officials said.

Tasheba Finley and her oldest daughter were rushed into surgery at the Jersey City Medical Center and a hospital spokesman said they were stable, doing well and recuperating Thursday. Yesterday, Tasheba was listed in stable condition,while the teen was listed in guarded condition.

See the full update in today's edition of The Jersey Journal.


JC man charged in stabbing of wife and four kids

A Jersey City man was arrested Tuesday night in connection with the stabbings of his wife and his four children inside their Rutgers Avenue apartment, according to Deputy Police Chief Peter Nalbach.

Nalbach said on Wednesday that Jai D. Finley, 41, was charged in the stabbings of his wife, Tasheba Finley, 35, his 16-year-old stepdaughter, and three children, ages 10, 8 and 6. Nalbach said the wife suffered 11 stab wounds and the stepdaughter was suffered four stab wounds and a laceration, with both in serious stable condition at Jersey City Medical Center.

The three younger children were treated for non-life threatening wounds.

Nalbach said Finley faces charges of multiple counts of aggravated assault, unlawful possession of dangerous weapon, and possession of weapon for unlawful purpose, as well as eluding police, assault of police officer(s), and resisting arrest.

Nalbach said the incident took place around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday and was the result of a marital dispute. Nalbach said Finley was caught within minutes of the stabbing after he crashed his car into the gates of an electrical substation on Garfield Avenue, but only after leading police officers on a brief chase and a struggle with police. Nalbach said the suspect told police he crashed his car because he was trying to kill himself.

Finley made an appearance in court Wednesday afternoon and a judge placed a $1 million bail.

Police arrest five for attacking JC man as part of knockout game

Police charged five males Monday night with attacking a Jersey City man near the Journal Square PATH station, according to police spokesperson Lt. Edgar Martinez.

Martinez said the five - an adult and four juveniles - attacked the victim because of what one of the suspects claimed to police was part of a ‘knockout’ game, where they hit people to knock them out.

Martinez said the suspects arrested were Jesus Montalvo, 19, of Hoboken, and 12 year-old from Irvington, and 13-, 14- and 15-year-old, all from Jersey City. Montalvo was arrested on robbery charges and the four juveniles were each charged with assault and robbery.

Martinez said the 25-year-old victim told police he was walking to the PATH station around 9:20 p.m. when the five males shoved him to the ground, then snatched his phone from his hand and began kicking and punching him. The victim suffered some cuts but did not require medical attention, Martinez said.

He said the police then caught the suspects on Pavonia and Chestnut avenues within minutes of the attack after the victim pointed them out.

Annual Homeless Count coming this Wednesday

The 2011 Point-in-Time Count (PIT) of the Homeless is occurring this Wednesday, Jan. 26 starting at 7:30 p.m. It is the annual street count of unsheltered homeless individuals & families.

Volunteers for the count should meet up at the Jersey City Episcopal Community Development Corp. Social Services Office, 118 Summit Ave. in Jersey City (between Jewett & Belmont avenues).

After orientation & training (7:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.), count teams led by social services professionals will head out together to do the county (8 p.m. to11:30 p.m.)

Christie announces new charter schools including two in JC

Gov. Christopher Christie announced last week the approval of 23 new charter schools in New Jersey for the 2011-2012 school year. Two of those schools will open in Jersey City.

Mathematics, Engineering, Technology and Science Charter School (METS) will be a sixth to 12th grade school with 320 students in the first year. The school’s location has not been determined, although there is talk of opening the school in the Beacon Condominiums on Montgomery Street. The application for the school presented a plan for a program that will have a strong mathematics, engineering, technology and science curriculum. METS is planning to partner with Liberty Science Center to implement the curriculum.

The other school is the Dr. Lena Edwards Charter School, a K-8 facility with 354 students to open on Bramhall Avenue between Grand and Clerk streets. The school will offer a classical education program with a focus on character education.

‘Christmas in January’ event to benefit disabled

The Abre Lata Social Club, together with the Honor Guards of the Department of Corrections of Hudson County, is hosting a benefiting The Club of Uniquely Able.

The event will be held this Sunday, Jan. 23 at the Abre Lata Social Club, 656 Grand St. in Jersey City from 1 to 6 p.m.

The Club of Uniquely Able consists of children and young adults with many different disabilities.

Another dognapping in Jersey City?

Last year, a Jersey City resident tied her dog up outside a bodega in the middle of the night when she went to buy groceries – and her beloved pet was stolen in front of her eyes. While the police were unable to find the dog, a man reading media coverage of the dognapping was able to buy the dog in Journal Square from a man who was selling it, and return it to its rightful owner.

Now, another man has lost his beloved pooch in a similar situation.

Eleven years ago, Jack Murray adopted “Sweetie” from a rescue group in Minnesota, near where he was taking classes at the time. Four years later, the pair moved to Jersey City.

“She was six months old and she had been badly abused,” said Murray on Friday. “You could barely look at her without her [urinating] on the floor.”

Sweetie gradually became used to Murray. The two became a familiar sight near India Square and Journal Square in Jersey City when they moved here seven years ago.

“The kids all love her,” he said. “She’s a great dog. She barks about once a year and that’s it.”

This past week, Murray tied the border collie mix up outside a bodega near White Castle, as he often does. When he came out, Sweetie was gone.