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Girls basketball: Raiders win holiday opener

Junior Kaiya Sundeen (42) puts up a shot between two Hastings defenders in the second half of the Hudson girls' basketball team's 68-42 win over the Hastings Raiders last Thursday night at the high school. (Hudson Star-Observer photo by Bob Burrows)

Hudson scored the first six points of the game and never looked back on its way to posting a 69-51 decision over host Marshfield in the first round of the 8th annual Marshfield Tiger Girls Basketball Invitational Wednesday, Dec. 28.

The Raiders opened up a 14-4 lead in the firsdt 5:40 of the game and Marshfield never got any closer than eight the rest of the way.

Lexi Jonas hit five three-pointers in the first half and finished with a game-high 17 points while Shayla Wallin had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.

The Raiders (7-2) will face Wausau West (8-1) on Thursday, Dec. 29, for the tourney title. Wausau West defeated Oshkosh North, 66-52, in Wednesday's first-round action.

Hudson went into the holiday break with a 68-42 victory over Hastings, Minn., last Thursday, Dec. 22.

Raider girls' basketball coach Joe Behnke said it was nice to see so many past Hudson players in the crowd on Alumni Night against Hastings.

“It was great to see so many players from the past come back and get to catch up with them,” he said. And it was nice for our girls to have them there as it helped add some motivation for them playing a non conference game a day before Christmas Break.”

The Raiders didn't disappoint either, playing what Behnke described as their most complete game of the year from start to finish to record their fifth straight win of the season.

After making just three of 26 three-point attempts in a 49-48 victory over Eau Claire North three nights earlier, the Raider shot 9-of-21 Thursday night, including a 4-of-6 effort from Ashley Juza on her way to a team-high 16 points.

Hudson was also able to score off the break and recorded 19 assists on its 26 field goals.

“When we make a concerted effort to push the ball in transition we are at our best, and tonight we were able to do that early and often,” Behnke noted.

The Raider jumped out to a 30-18 halftime lead and kept pouring it on the second half with all 15 players seeing action.

Wallin contributed 15 points and five rebounds in the victory and Kylee Christiansen added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds while Jonas hit three three-pointers and finished with nine points.

Behnke said what really stood out to him was the play of the Raider defense. The team finished with a total of 14 steals, including five each by Wallin and Ty Huber.

Lucy Fashingbauer contributed five assists and four rebounds in the victory while Huber had four points, four assists and four boards.

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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