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Raider boys defeat Cards in OT

The Hudson boys basketball team stayed in the race for a Big Rivers Conference title with a 63-61 overtime victory at Chippewa Falls Friday night.

Tuesday night of last week, they lost a non-conference game at home to a tough Stillwater, Minn., team. The score of that contest was 67-41.

Raider senior guard Logan Wenzel sank a three-pointer with 25 seconds left in overtime of Friday night's game to tie the score.

After a missed three-point attempt by a Chippewa Falls guard, Hudson freshman Seth Stanchik got the rebound and was fouled with five seconds remaining. He calmly dropped in two free throws.

A Chi-Hi shot at the buzzer bounced hard off the backboard, giving Hudson the victory. Chippewa Falls (0-3) was looking for its first conference win.

"It was just a back-and-forth emotional rollercoaster," said Hudson coach Tim Scharfenberg. "We just kept talking about being mentally tough and staying poised - that we needed to keep playing hard and good things would happen."

He added, "I thought we really did stay mentally tough and really did compete right down to the final buzzer."

The Raiders led 17-10 at the end of the first quarter, but allowed the margin to slip away over the middle two periods and trailed 44-43 going into the fourth quarter.

Chippewa Falls led by as many as four points in the fourth quarter. A three-pointer by Raider senior center Steve McCarney sent the game into overtime.

The win put the Raiders at 3-1 in the Big Rivers, tied with Rice Lake for second place in the standing. River Falls leads the league at 3-0. The Hudson boys' overall record is 5-5.

Scharfenberg was pleased with his team's ability to get the ball inside and score from the interior.

Stanchik, a 6-foot-3 post player, led Hudson in scoring with 18 points Friday night. McCarney added 15 points and junior wing Michael Zuehl contributed 10.

The Raiders remained without the services of senior guard Jay Langdon last week. He is expected to make his comeback Friday night (Jan. 13) at Eau Claire Memorial (0-4). Langdon has been sidelined since reaggravating a badly sprained ankle in the Dec. 9 defeat of Rice Lake.

The hot Stillwater Ponies were coming off a championship run in the eight-team Rochester, Minn., Rotary Tournament when they trotted into the Hudson High gym Jan. 3.

The Raiders were no match for them playing without Langdon.

"As the final score indicated, we got our butts kicked pretty well," said Scharfenberg. He was disappointed by his team's rather flat performance.

"They really outplayed us pretty much from start to finish and in every phase of the game," he said, adding that Stillwater's talent contributed to the Raiders' poor showing.

"They are a very good team," he said of the Stillwater boys.

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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