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Raiders win opener over No. St. Paul, 65-59

Hudson’s Jack Koski (12) blocks a North St. Paul shot as teammate Jake Neiderhauser (23) provides support in the first half of the Raider boys basketball team’s 65-59 win over the Polars last Tuesday. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Paul Malecha)1 / 3
Hudson senior Alex Herink (32) wins the opening tip in the Raider basketball team’s 65-59 win over North St. Paul in its season opener last Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the high school gym. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Paul Malecha)2 / 3
Hudson sophomore Mathew Sparstad (10) hits a drive in the first half of the Raider boys basketball team’s 65-59 win over North St. Paul last Tuesday. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Paul Malecha)3 / 3

It took some last minute heroics, but the Hudson Raider boys basketball team opened the season with a 65-59 win over North St. Paul in a game played in Hudson Tuesday, Nov. 26.

Hudson displayed balanced scoring, with three players in double figures led by Alex Herink with 23 points. Matt Sparstad and Jake Giordana chipped in 12 and 10 respectively. Miles Lewis added 8.

The game was close throughout the first half, with Hudson trailing 32-30 at the break. The Raiders, however, put together a strong third quarter, outscoring the Polars 16-4 to take a 46-36 lead into the final eight minutes. North St. Paul, however, stormed back to tie the game 59-59 with just over a minute left in the game.

Hudson regained control of the game starting with a Giordana drive and layup. North St. Paul missed two free throws, but Hudson committed an offensive foul and the Polars got the ball back with less than 30 seconds to play.

Hudson’s Miles Lewis made the defensive play of the game, stealing the ball and driving for a layup to give Hudson a four-point lead. Sparstad added a couple of free throws in the final seconds.

“Our guys played hard,” said Raider coach Jason Swavely. “North St. Paul came back, but our guys kept battling and I was proud of how they maintained their poise down the stretch. The Miles Lewis steal near the end of the game was big. We made several good defensive plays during the game.”

North St. Paul was led by Peter Lindberg’s 19 points.

Swavely said he was happy to see that several of the football players on the basketball team were able to make a quick conversion.

“With the football team playing late into the season, it can be challenging to make the switch to basketball quickly,” Swavely said. “Football shape is different than basketball shape.”

Swavely purposely scheduled three early nonconference games this year to help with the adjustment. The Raiders travelled to Hastings Tuesday (Dec. 3) and play at St. Paul Como Park Friday (Dec. 6). The Raiders open Big Rivers action Tuesday, Dec. 10 when Hudson hosts Eau Claire North.

Swavely said the conference will be very good and very competitive this season. Rice Lake is considered the favorite since they return multiple starters, including the highly recruited Henry Ellenson, a 6-9 forward.

Swavely said Menomonie, Eau Claire North and Eau Claire Memorial will all be in the hunt. Of course, he hopes his Raiders are also in the mix.

Hudson     15-15-16-19- 65

No. St. Paul 14-18- 4-23- 59

Hudson scoring: Krier 4, Sparstad 12, Koski 2, Giordana 10, Lewis 8, Neiderhauser 2, Herink 23, Osterhues 4.

FT - Hudson 12/21, North St Paul 17/23

3 pointers - Hudson 5, North St Paul 6

Doug Stohlberg

Doug Stohlberg has been part of the Hudson Star-Observer since 1973 and has been editor since 1987. He worked at the New Richmond News from 1971 to 1973. He holds a bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota.

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