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Girls defeat Rice Lake, Menomonie

The Hudson girls got back on a winning track in Big Rivers Conference basketball action last week.

The Raiders rolled to 76-49 win at Rice Lake Tuesday night and then overcame a stubborn Menomonie squad 59-47 at home Friday night.

A strong third quarter was the key to both of the victories.

After running up a 21-13 first-period lead against Rice Lake, the Raider offense sputtered in the second period and the half ended with Hudson holding onto a 29-26 advantage.

The Raiders' shooting touch returned after the intermission and they poured in 26 points in the third period and 21 in the fourth.

Sophomore guard Megan Givens led the early charge, scoring 11 of her 19 points in the first period. Senior center Anna Moeller collected all 16 of her points in the second half, 10 of them in the third period.

Senior guard Jess Vadnais spread her scoring over all but the second period. Vadnais also contributed 15 assists.

"That's a lot for any high school kid," Hudson coach Jerry Hautala said.

Hautala said Nicole Rose's two three-pointers in the third period broke the game open.

Menomonie is improved

A poor second quarter caused concern again in the Menomonie game.

This time, the Raiders let a 15-10 first-period lead slip away and trailed 23-20 at the half.

"Menomonie (2-7) is really an improved team," Hautala said.

Once more, the Raiders regained control of the game in the third period, outscoring Memonomie 21-7 in the period. Sophomore center Katie Layman led the rally, scoring 11 of her team-high 20 points in the period. Hudson led 41-30 at the close of the period and was able to maintain the cushion the rest of the way.

Givens contributed 13 points to the Raider scoring attack.

Menomonie's gutsy play didn't surprise Hautala.

"Everybody plays us tough," he said. "When you've beaten these teams 20 games in a row, they play hard. They don't want to get beat again."

The Raiders, 7-3 in the Big Rivers Conference, travel to Eau Claire Memorial (1-8) tonight (Thursday, Feb. 12). Next Tuesday they'll visit Mound-Westonka (Minn.) for a nonconference game.

They wrap up conference play Thursday, Feb. 19, at home against Chippewa Falls in what promises to be a battle for second place in the final standings.

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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