Late Husky run quelled for win by boy cagersThe Raider boys basketball team withstood a late charge by Eau Claire North for a vital 47-44 win in Big Rivers Conference play. The Raider victory gave them at least a two-game lead over other all others in the BRC.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Raider boys basketball team withstood a late charge by Eau Claire North for a vital 47-44 win in Big Rivers Conference play.
Hudson had a double-digit lead at times during the second half, before it shrank and led to some late drama. The Raider victory gave them at least a two-game lead over other all others in the BRC. North’s cross-town rival, Eau Claire Memorial, is in second place.
The game went down to the wire with the difference being a pair of made free throws by Connor Wenzel with eight seconds left, and a missed three pointer by North that followed a few ticks later. The shot that would have tied it fell short and Hudson grabbed the rebound as time expired.
The North coach credited Hudson’s skill at knocking down its threes early for the win in this hard-fought game.
Hudson did well in containing the Huskies center, Tyler Brown, who has more height and weight than any of the local players. Raider defenders, especially Seth Stanchik, who is no small man himself, put a body on brown to challenge short jumpers when he played at midrange to outside, and knocked the ball out of his hands when he tried to gather rebounds.
Brown got a few shots early from the perimeter, but Hudson limited his touches, pulled down the defensive boards and kept him off the offensive glass, said Coach Jason Swavely.
“I think a key was that our guys prepared well throughout that week,” he said. “They were mentally ready to go, as well as physically up to the challenge.”
Hudson got the crucial rebounds and their total for the game exceeded that of North’s big front line and balanced team attack. Normally a man-defensive squad, the Raiders went to some zone late that disrupted North.
“We also were ready for their zone,” Swavely said, noting Hudson shot well from the outside versus the 1-3-1.
Nate Roeder hit a trio of three-pointers in the first period to finish with 15 points, and Ben Gresmer did the same in the third to end up with 14. Stanchik had eight points, Mark Van Den Broeke and Wenzel four each, and Jordan Vitek two.
“It was not our best game, but we made plays,” Swavely said. “Connor (Wenzel) stepped up in the waning moments and finished off two big free throws.”
Hudson was scheduled to travel to Chippewa Falls, which is 1-2 in the conference, on Tuesday night (post-press note: the Raiders defeated Chippewa Falls bya score of 73-56 in that contest), then play host to Shakopee at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 16. They boast a division 2 player and shoot very well, so Hudson’s defense again will have to be ready, Swavely said.