Abes steal one away, cagers start regionalsThe Raider girls basketball team again lost a close one going into regional play, but they hope they’ll have better luck when striving for a three-peat against Menomonie.
By: Bob Burrows, Hudson Star-Observer
The Raider girls basketball team again lost a close one going into regional play, but they hope they’ll have better luck when striving for a three-peat against Menomonie.
Hudson broke out to a 22-6 lead, but Eau Claire Memorial soon started cutting into it by going to a full-court press – and playing with newfound emotion.
The result was a low-scoring affair where Hudson’s chances late dwindled – they managed just five points in the fourth quarter — and the Raiders accepted a 36-34 loss to the Old Abes.
“We scored at will for the first four minutes. Then we couldn’t get the ball to drop, even though we had good looks at the basket,” said Coach Beth Graskewicz.
Post player Kait Haag kept Hudson close by having 16 of its points; almost half the team’s total. Katie Ecker and Morgan Zabel each chipped in six.
“Their press bothered us more in the second half than the first,” Graskewicz said, noting that their foes tried to run the floor out of that man-to-man style. Memorial appeared to fully commit to a pressing approach over halftime, when Hudson still led 22-15.
“They as a team would then sink into the middle,” she noted about the Old Abes’ defensive strategy, and the Raiders tried to keep them back on their heels.
The difference in the game ended up at the free throw line, where Memorial hit its shots during its big fourth quarter of 13 points, and also converted on six charity tosses in the second.
Hudson was scheduled to face Menomonie on Tuesday in their first regional game, and may soon return its tallest player to the lineup. The Raiders will try to use their height to beat Menomonie for the third time this year. Menomonie will use its typical dribble penetration to get offense chances, such as kicking the ball out to perimeter shooters.
“We will change our defenses, depending on how much shooting success they have,” Graskewicz said, adding that Hudson is not a full-court-oriented team. “We want to change the point at which they get into their offense.”
If the Raiders win, they travel to Eau Claire North for their next postseason game, at 7:30 p.m. Friday.