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Basketball: Girls win Big Rivers Conference opener

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Basketball: Girls win Big Rivers Conference opener
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The Raider girls' basketball team kicked off the Big Rivers Conference of its 2009-10 schedule in style with a big road win at Eau Claire Memorial Friday night.

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Hudson jumped out to a 13-4 first quarter lead and held the Old Abes to single-digit scoring in each quarter on its way to a 45-25 victory.

Saturday night the Raiders dropped their second nonconference game of the season, 44-42 at Osceola. They return to BRC action at 7:30 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 11, at Menomonie before another nonconference game at home against Red Wing on Tuesday, Dec. 15, also at 7:30 p.m.

Hudson head coach Beth Graskewicz said the Raiders looked strong in their win over Eau Claire Memorial.

"A great start to our conference run," she said. "The girls played with a lot of energy and it all started with a great week of practice. For us to beat a team by 20 points is such a big improvement for our program."

After opening a nine-point first quarter lead, the Raiders extended the gap to 26-11 at halftime and 36-19 at the end of three on their way to the 20-point win.

Junior Jamie Lindstrom led a balanced Raider scoring attack with 10 points while Maddie Drewiske added 7 points and Kindra Witthus, Jessie Kirkwood and Kait Haag finished with 6 each. Haag pulled own a team-high six rebounds while Witthus grabbed five.

Things didn't go as well the following night at Osceola as the Raiders dropped a two-point decision to the Chieftains.

Graskewicz called the loss disappointing.

"We, as a team, have to be more focused and come every game with a winning attitude," the coach said. "I think we had a letdown from the night before, and hopefully as we grow throughout the season we can sustain an effort in back-to-back games."

Graskewicz said turnovers and missed opportunities plagued the team in the loss.

"We have to protect the ball and put our easy baskets in," she said. "That is a lack of concentration and being focused every time we step on the floor.

"We will continue to work hard," she added. "It's still early and we just need to progress instead of having one good game and the having a letdown. Hopefully, as the season moves on, we'll fix that."

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Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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