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Girls' basketball: Winning 2 games 170 miles apart

Hudson’s Grace Johnson (33) grabs a rebound in the first half of the Raiders' 53-42 win in Superior Saturday, Jan. 19. Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram 1 / 2
Hudson’s Annika Lewis (25) shoots over Superior’s Izzy Swanson (22) in the first half of the Raiders' 53-42 win in Superior Saturday, Jan. 19. Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram 2 / 2

It's not easy to play two basketball games in 18 hours in two different towns 170 miles apart.

But the Raider girls not only did just that last weekend, they also won both games.

After picking up a crucial 53-44 Big Rivers Conference victory over Eau Claire Memorial Friday night, Jan. 18, the Raiders made the long trip north to Superior and came home with a 53-42 nonconference win over the Spartans Saturday afternoon, Jan. 19.

"It was two great wins for us," said head coach Jess Vadnais. "It's tough to play two games 18 hours apart and the girls handled it very well."

Friday's victory boosted the Raiders' record to 5-2 in BRC play and kept them tied for second place with Eau Claire Memorial, two games behind Chippewa Falls. The win over the Spartans boosted Hudson's overall record to 9-5 heading into a trip to Chippewa Falls (11-3, 7-0).

"Big game on Friday," Vadnais said about the matchup with the Cardinals. "We will have to play very well all-around in a tough environment. But we are looking forward to the challenge."

Last Friday at home, the Raiders got 12 points each from Sophia Jonas and Lauren Stolzman and 10 points from Melanie Carli in a nine-point win over the Old Abes.

Livi Boily added seven points and Audrey Hatfield had four points and a team-high seven rebounds while Jonas came up with eight steals on the defensive end.

"It all starts on the defensive end for us," Vadnais said. "And we get out in transition very well."

Strong second half lifts Hudson over Superior

The Raiders kept up the pressure Saturday in Superior, opening the second half with a 21-4 run to break open a close game and post an 11-point victory over the Spartans.

Jonas led the way with 18 points and Stolzman and Annika Lewis had 10 each while Carli contributed five points, 11 rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Vadnais said the Raiders played suffocating defense in the second half.

"The girls are very well conditioned and were able to press and cause turnovers the whole second half," she said.

The victory was the fourth in five games for Hudson, and Vadnais said she likes the way the team is playing.

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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