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Raiders get Carney first win

Junior Elise Carli (15) drives the lane in the second half of the Raider girls basketball team's season opening 54-38 victory over Colfax Tuesday, Nov. 21, in Hudson. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
Hudson senior Elise Anderson (43) goes to the floor to corral a loose ball in the second half of the Raider girls basketball team's season opening 54-38 victory over Colfax Tuesday, Nov. 21, in Hudson. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

New Hudson girls basketball coach Jess Carney was happy the Raiders beat Colfax, 54-38, in the season opener last Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the high school. But not for herself.

"It's more important for the girls," she said. "That's the way you want to start your season, and I thought right from the get-go we came out with a lot of poise and we executed the game plan very well. They're really buying into what the coaches are trying to get them to do, and seeing great results with it."

Carney, who won a state championship as a sophomore at Hudson in 2002, said there was a lot of nervous energy in the gym for her coaching debut, but the players helped make her job easier.

"They're the ones that put all the work in," she said. "They're the ones that play together. We ask them to play together and play for each other and that's what they went out and did tonight."

The Raiders built a double-digit lead behind a pair of early three-pointers by Ty Huber before Colfax made it a six-point game, 26-20, at the break. Hudson's defense and inside game took over in the second half and the Raiders outscored the Vikings by ten to post the 16-point win.

Huber finished with 15 points and Kaiya Sundeen had 10 to lead a balanced Raider attack. Izzy Hanson scored nine points and Sophia Jonas and Shayla Wallin had eight each while Grace Uchytil and Melanie Carli each scored two.

Sundeen pulled down a team-high six rebounds and Jonas and Uchytil had five each while Wallin blocked five shots and had five steals. Collectively the Raiders blocked 11 shots and came up with 12 steals in the win.

Carney liked what she saw in the season opener.

"There's always room, obviously, for improvement," she said. "But some of the things we've been keying on in practice and emphasizing in the last couple weeks came in in great moments tonight. And as a coach that's wonderful to see."

The Raiders opened Big Rivers Conference play at Chippewa Falls Tuesday, Nov. 28, and will play in the River Falls Quad this weekend against Tartan Friday, Dec. 1 at 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 2, at 2 p.m. against Stillwater. They'll return to BRC action against River Falls at home Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 7:15 p.m.

Carney said she's looking forward to seeing what the Raiders are capable of this season.

"It's a journey," she said. "It's a long season. There's a lot of ups and downs. And it takes a lot of work to be a state champion as I was in high school. As a player you realize it's a lot of work, and then you go and look at it from a coaching perspective and it's even more work. It's preparing the girls as best as they possibly can be. I try to share with them any advice that I have and hopefully as we go through the season here they'll start to learn more and more what it takes to win games."

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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