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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The Raider boys' basketball team ran its winning streak to four with a pair of victories at the big Rivers Conference/Wisconsin Valley Conference Challenge last week in Eau Claire. The Raiders defeated Merrill, 50-36, on Wednesday and Wausau West, 57-26, Thursday to improve to 5-2 on the season. After hosting Red Wing this past Tuesday, Jan. 3, Hudson will take a 1-1 record into River Falls (2-5, 1-2) this Friday, Jan. 6, for a 7:30 p.m.
Taylor Casey's goal in the third round of a shootout lifted the Raider boys' hockey team to a 4-3 victory over Orono, Minn., in the consolation championship game of the Bronze Division at the Schwan's Cup in Blaine, Minn. last Wednesday, Dec. 28. The two teams were tied, 3-3, after regulation and an eight-minute overtime and the game will be recorded as a tie in the record books, but tournament guidelines called for the outcome to be decided in a shootout. Dylan Haskins opened the shootout with a goal before Raider goaltender Josh Mattis stopped Orono's Gavin Payne.
For the fourth straight year the Raiders brought home a team trophy and senior Kolya Hawksford brought home the 152-pound individual championship from the prestigious Bi-State Wrestling Classic in La Crosse last Thursday and Friday, Dec. 29-30. Seven Raiders earned spots on the awards podium as Hudson finished second only to state powerhouse Wausau West in the 19-team Division 1 competition.
The Raider girls' basketball team led from the start and held Farmington, Minn., to single-digit scoring in the first and third quarters on its way to a 50-35 nonconference victory last Tuesday in Hudson. The Raiders led 12-7 at the end of one and 24-17 at halftime before widening the gap to double digits during most of the second half. The Raiders opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run, starting with a steal and layup by junior Kindra Witthus and ending with a three-pointer by junior Sarah Krier.
Hudson wrestling coach Chris Hansen got everything he wanted out of last Thursday's nonconference dual with Stevens Point. Except a win. Despite winning eight of the 14 matches, the Raiders came out on the short end of a 31-29 final score. "We had a great dual with Stevens Point," Hansen said. "It is exactly what I am looking for as a coach. Of course, I'd rather come out on the winning end but the bottom line is we try to put our kids in difficult positions and Point offered us just that." The dual was the last for the Raiders before this week's Bi-State Classic in La Crosse.
The Raider boys' hockey team got a power play goal from Dylan Haskins midway through the third period to force overtime, but Rice Lake's Cody Novinska's second goal of the game in the final minute of the extra session allowed the Warriors to escape with a 3-2 Big Rivers Conference victory last Tuesday at Gornick Arena. Haskins' power play goal at the 9:46 mark of the third was assisted by Steven Burke and James Fall and tied the score, 2-2.
The Raider boys' basketball team used two different strategies in a pair of nonconference road games across the border last week. And they both worked. Last Tuesday the Raiders drilled ten three-pointers in a 70-63 victory at Mahtomedi. Two nights later, they dominated the inside in a 64-52 victory at Hastings. Hudson, now 3-2 overall, will play two more nonconference games at the Big Rivers Conference/Wisconsin Valley Conference Challenge this Wednesday and Thursday, Dec. 28-29, in Eau Claire. They face Merrill (2-5) Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Wausau West (2-5) Thursday at 12:45 p.m.
Hudson took first place in every event but diving on its way to a 117-69 victory over Menomonie in a Big Rivers Conference boys' swimming and diving dual meet last Thursday at the middle school pool. Senior Charlie Skinner and junior Lucas Rukavina each won two individual events and Skinner also swam on two winning relay teams as Hudson cruised to the victory. Skinner teamed up with sophomore Evan Groehler, junior Louis Hoffman and sophomore anchor Sawyer Arndt for a first place time of 1 minute, 51.52 seconds in the first event of the night--the 200 medley relay. Rukavina followed
It seemed like only a matter of time before the Raider boys' hockey team would put a puck in the net to tie the score 2-2 at River Falls last Thursday. But as the game went on, that time seemed to be running out. The Wildcats scored a pair of first period goals, sandwiched around a Raider goal by Henry Brose, and clung to a 2-1 lead despite Hudson spending most of the night in its offensive zone. Finally, with 3:29 remaining in the game, Dylan Haskins put back a rebound of a Daniel Tripicchio shot for the tying goal on a Raider power play.
A cold-shooting third quarter by the Raiders helped Menomonie erase a two-point Hudson lead at halftime and the Mustangs went on to hand the Raiders a 59-48 loss in a Big Rivers Conference boys' basketball game at the high school last Friday, Dec. 16. The Raiders, now 1-2, play a pair of road games in Minnesota this week, at Mahtomedi this past Tuesday, Dec. 20 and at Hastings Thursday, Dec. 22, before competing at a holiday tournament at Eau Claire North Dec.