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Raider hoops team faces tall order in Saturday's tournament game

The Hudson boys basketball team will have to hold 6-foot-11 Evan Anderson in check if it hopes to advance in the WIAA tournament.

The Raiders take on Anderson's Eau Claire North Huskies in a regional final game in the Hudson High School gym at 1 p.m. Saturday.

The Hudson boys, champions of the Big Rivers Conference with a 10-2 record (15-5 overall), defeated the Huskies (8-4, 14-7) twice during the regular season.

Anderson, a University of Wisconsin recruit, wasn't in the line-up for their first meeting, however. He tore ligaments in his ankle early in the season and had to sit out for seven weeks.

But Anderson was on the court when the Raiders defeated the Huskies 55-47 at Eau Claire on Feb. 7.

"I think having faced him, and beating them, gave us a sense hope," said Hudson coach Jason Swavely. "We have the ability to play with those guys."

In 2007-08, the Raiders lost three times to the Huskies and their 6-foot-11, 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-6 front line.

It will be up to the Raiders' 6-foot-4 Seth Stanchik, 6-foot-4 Ben Gresmer and 6-foot-3 Mark VanDenBroeke to contend with North's height.

The Huskies will have problems of their own trying to contain Stanchik, who scored 30 points in the Raiders' regular season finale, a 80-53 victory over Eau Claire Memorial.

Swavely said Hudson's defeat of North on the Huskies' home court was a turning point in the season for Stanchik.

"Seth is a very good player. But ever since that game Seth has been just very focused," Swavely said.

North defeated Chippewa Falls 56-42 in a regional semifinal on Tuesday to advance to Saturday's regional final. The No. 1-seed Raiders had a bye in the first round of tournament games.

Tickets for Saturday's game will go on sale at the door at 11:30 a.m. They are $4 each. No passes or gold cards will be honored.

"It should be a heck of a game either way," said Swavely.

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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