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Spartans end Raider girls' hoops season in regional semifinal

Hudson’s Ashley Juza (33) and Kaylyn Jenkins (45) fight for a rebound with Superior’s Jessica Lindstrom in the second quarter of Friday night’s WIAA regional semifinal game in Superior. (Jed Carlson Superior Telegram photo)1 / 2
Hudson’s Lexi Jonas (11) races Superior’s Mackenzie Kmecik (4) to a loose ball in the third quarter of Friday night’s WIAA regional semifinal in Superior. (Jed Carlson Superior Telegram photo)2 / 2

The eighth-seeded Raider girls basketball team went toe-to-toe with Superior in Friday night’s, March 7, WIAA regional semifinal but the top-seeded Spartans proved too much in the end and walked away with a 71-60 victory.

The score was tied, 48-48 late in the third quarter before Superior took a three-point lead into the final frame. Superior’s two NCAA Division 1 recruits – Hailey Kontny and Jessica Lindstrom – stepped up in the fourth quarter and sparked the Spartans to the seven-point victory.

“We did an excellent job of withstanding their runs and answering all night,” Raider coach Joe Behnke said. “It came down to them just out working us on the boards. Kontny and Lindstrom really stepped up big when they needed them in the fourth.”

Lindstrom finished with 24 points and Kontny had 23 as the Spartans had three players in double figures.

Three Raiders also hit double digits in scoring, led by junior Lexi Jonas with 21 points, including four three-pointers. Sophomore Kaylyn Jenkins had 15 points while freshman Ashley Juza scored 14, including a pair of three-pointers. Sophomore Anna Paquette finished with seven points while junior Maggie Koehler scored four.

“I’m so proud of our girls tonight and the effort they laid out,” Behnke said. “We will use this experience, and getting to be on the floor with that type of talent, as a springboard for our summer work and into next year.”

Behnke had high praise for the Raiders’ lone senior, Katy Fox, who was forced to sit out the final two games of her high school career with a knee injury.

“We graduate Katy Fox, and it was hard to not get to see her play out her last few games due to tearing her ACL against East Ridge a few weeks ago,” the coach said. “Her contributions to this program left a mark she can be proud of.”

Superior (21-3) went on to defeat Marshfield, 67-51, in Saturday night’s regional final and will face D.C. Everest (22-2) in a sectional semifinal game Thursday, March 13, at Eau Claire Memorial High School.

Hudson’s season ended with a record of 9-14.

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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