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Basketball: Raider girls split at Waconia

The Raider girls' basketball team bounced back from a 55-40 loss to Waconia, Minn. in its season opener last Friday, Nov. 23 to post a 60-50 victory over Zimmerman, Minn. in the second game of the Waconia Tournament on Saturday, Nov. 24.

Just 12 hours after falling to the host team, the Raiders jumped out to a 29-19 halftime lead against Zimmerman and held on for the 10-point victory.

"We got into a little foul trouble right away but were still able to take a 10 point lead into the half," Raider coach Joe Behnke said. "Fatigue did play factor as play was a little sloppy at points but we were able to extend our lead for most of the second half before ending up winning by 10."

The Raiders' aggressive play resulted in 29 trips to the free throw line, where they made 17. They also connected on seven three-pointers, including three by Ellie Whitacre, who tied for the team lead in scoring with Sarah Krier, each with 14 points.

Jordan Huber contributed nine points in the victory, including a pair of three-pointers, while Kindra Witthus finished with eight points and Anna Paquette scored seven. Maggie Koehler and Kaylyn chipped in four points apiece while Katy Fox added two.

On day earlier against defending Wright County (Minn.) Conference champion Waconia, the Raiders led by three, 28-25, at the half before the experienced Waconia squad came back for a 55-40 win.

Behnke said it was a single-digit game until the final few minutes.

"We got off to a slow start in the second half," he said. "The score was not indicative of how hard fought the game was played."

Witthus led Hudson with 13 points and Whitacre had eight, including the Raiders' only three-pointer. Krier and Koehler finished with six points each and Huber scored file while Fox finished with two.

The Raiders continued their season-opening series against Minnesota teams this past Tuesday, Nov. 27, at Roseville. They will host Baldwin-Woodville in their home opener this Thursday, Nov. 29, at 7:30 p.m. before preparing for their next game Friday, Dec. 7, at D.C. Everest.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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