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Boys basketball team returns to winning ways in double-overtime victory over North

The Hudson boys basketball team defeated Eau Claire North 64-61 in double overtime to end a five-game losing streak Tuesday night of last week.

The Raiders must have liked the feel of winning again. Friday night, they beat Rice Lake 77-56 on the Warriors' home court.

The week ended with Hudson alone in second place in the Big Rivers Conference standings with a record of 5-3. Eau Claire Memorial leads the league at 8-0. Four teams with three victories apiece follow Hudson in the standings.

With junior center Waylon Meyer apparently done for the season because of a fractured ankle and torn ligaments, sophomore guard Matt Miller made up for the missing offense with 37 points against North and 25 against Rice Lake.

Miller scored 13 of the Raiders' 16 points in the two three-minute overtime sessions with the Huskies. Eight of his 13 field goals in the game were three-pointers.

"Matt kind of had the answer," Hudson coach Tim Scharfenberg said. "Whenever we needed that big hoop, he provided it for us. He really scored well for us."

The quarter scores show just how close the game was. It was 10-10 at the end of the first quarter. North led 20-19 at halftime and 33-30 at the end of the third. Hudson came back in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 48-48 and send it into overtime.

The teams played to a 6-6 draw in the first overtime. The Raiders finally got the upper hand in the second one.

Hudson had its chances to end the game earlier. Miller got off a toughly-contested shot at the end of regulation play, but it was wide of the mark.

After North took a one-point lead with 12 seconds to go in the first overtime, Raider freshman Jay Langdon drove to the basket and was fouled. Langdon made the first free throw to tie the game, but missed the second after a timeout called by North.

The Raiders converted just five of 15 free-throw attempts for the game.

"We could have sealed the deal (earlier) if we would have hit our free throws," Scharfenberg said.

Miller came through with big baskets in the second overtime to give Hudson the win.

"It was one of those games where our guys just kept battling, and kept their poise, and held together as a team," said Scharfenberg. "We needed to get a close, pressure-packed game like that. We needed to smell victory and gain some confidence again."

The Raiders were coming off a series of close and disappointing losses to Holmen, Chippewa Falls and River Falls.

"We had been on kind of a streak there, and self-doubt sets in a little bit," Scharfenberg said.

Solid win at Rice Lake

The Raiders played with plenty of confidence Friday night at Rice Lake.

Five Raiders poured in a total of 26 points in the second quarter to build a 45-31 halftime lead. Miller scored 13 of his 25 points (11 on free throws) in the fourth quarter as the Raiders clinched the win.

The referees called an amazing 29 fouls against Rice Lake and 25 against Hudson. The Raiders shot 37 free throws and made 29. Rice Lake was 23 of 36 from the free-throw line.

Kraig Urbik contributed 11 points, Darren Brathol, 10, Scott Krueger and Justin Boyd, nine each, and Brady O'Keefe, seven, to the Hudson scoring attack.

Scharfenberg was pleased with the performances given by senior forward Dave Louks and sophomore forward Brady O'Keefe. The two were pressed into action when scheduled starter Jay Langdon came down with the flu.

"You really are happy that they could respond and play as well as they did when opportunity knocked," Scharfenberg said. He said Louks and O'Keefe had worked hard in practice and had great attitudes despite not getting much playing time before the Rice Lake game.

Scharfenberg also credited junior center Kraig Urbik with giving his team a strong inside presence.

The Hudson coach was pleased, too, that his team expanded its lead in the fourth quarter instead of letting it slip away.

"We've been in that position before, playing from on top, and we've let teams back in," he said. "This is a game where we really played four complete quarters. We never faltered... It was one of the best team efforts that I've been associated with in a long time."

The Raider boys play host to Menomonie Thursday night (Feb. 6) and travel to Eau Claire Memorial Saturday night.

Randy Hanson

Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.

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