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Raider boys defeat Eau Claire North 56-52 in Big Rivers opener

The Hudson Raiders boys’ basketball team opened Big Rivers Conference play Tuesday night, Dec. 10, with a 56-52 homecourt defeat of Eau Claire North.

Alex Herink led the Raiders with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Matthew Sparstad added 18 points, including four three-pointers.

Elsewhere in the Big Rivers Conference on Dec. 10, Rice Lake defeated Chippewa Falls, 95-72. Michigan State head coach Tom Izzo attended the game to watch Henry Ellenson play for Rice Lake. Ellenson had 27 points and 12 rebounds for the Warriors. River Falls topped Menomonie, 47-41.

Herink scores 1,000th career point

Senior Alex Herink scored a game-high 25 points, including his 1,000th career point as a Raider, to lead the Hudson boys’ basketball team to a 68-51 victory over Como Park last Friday night in St. Paul. The win moved the Raiders back over .500 following a 71-61 loss to Hastings earlier in the week. Hudson opened Big Rivers Conference play this past Tuesday, Dec. 10, at home and will host Red Wing in a nonconference game Friday, Dec. 13, at 7:15 p.m.

Last Friday at Como Park, the Raiders struggled in the first half and trailed 25-20 at the break before the 6-6 Herink took over. “We were getting plenty of great looks in the lane and needed to finish more of them off,” Raider coach Jason Swavely said, noting Hudson made just 8-of-27 shots in the lane in the first half.

“We knew that they would fall if we kept executing and getting the opportunities.” Swavely said the Raiders were able to outscore Como Park by 22 points in the second half behind a strong defense and Herink’s dominating performance on the offensive end. “They did not have a good match up for Alex and our guys did a great job of finding him,” Swavely said. “Alex did the rest.”

In addition to Herink’s 25 point night, Jake Giordana also hit double figures with 11. Matt Sparstad contributed eight points in the win and Miles Lewis and Jake Neiderhauser finished with six points each. Three nights earlier at Hastings the Raiders dropped a 71-61 decision to the host team. The Hastings Raiders held a 29-28 lead at the half, but outscored Hudson 42-33 in the second half to put the game away.

“We were flat offensively and defensively from the beginning of the game,” Swavely said. “We got down early and made two runs at Hastings but in the end were never able to recover from being down early in the game.” Hudson was led in scoring by Sparstad with 19 points while Giordana and Herink added 16 each. “Offensively we took too many poor shots and didn't finish well around the basket when we worked for a great opportunity inside,” Swavely said. “We played impatiently on offense, which will come as we continue to come together as a team.  Our conversion defense needs to improve as Hastings scored too many baskets in transition.  Many of the guys still need to get their basketball legs. That is coming every day in practice.”  

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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