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Boys basketball: Raiders lose shootout with Blaine

Hudson junior Landen Bilse (5) drives for two of his team-high 26 points in the Raider boys basketball team's 96-88 loss to Blaine Friday, Dec. 15, in Hudson. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
Hudson junior Ethan Kostynick beats a pair of Blaine defenders underneath in the first half of the Raider boys basketball team's 96-88 loss to the Bengals Friday, Dec. 15, in Hudson. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

From a fan's perspective, last Friday's boys basketball game between Hudson and Blaine was certainly exciting. It just didn't end in the Raiders' favor.

The two teams combined for 184 points in a game that was decided by eight points as Blaine left town with a 96-88 victory.

"Both teams were running and shooting the ball well," Raider coach John Dornfeld said. "It was close all the way but at the end they made a couple more shots than we did."

The score was tied 48-48 at the break and the teams kept up the pace in the second half. Dornfeld said that was just fine with Hudson. He said the game was a lot like the Raider's 95-94 loss at Hastings earlier this season. He said Hudson could have won both games if not for a few plays.

"You take a couple of plays away and it could be a different outcome," he said. "That's what I try to remind the kids; a handful of plays can make the difference and we want to make sure we come up with those plays at the end."

Junior Landen Bilse led Hudson with 26 points and junior Keyser Helterbrand had 15 while junior Jacob Daulton scored 14 and freshman Luke Healy had 11. Junior Ethan Kostynick finished with six points and senior Isaac Young scored four while junior Peyton Reece had three and sophomore Charlie Neuenschwander added two.

While the Raiders kept pace with Blaine, the Bengals did much of their damage from beyond the three-point line. Dornfeld said that's one area where the Raider defense needs to improve.

"We have to do a better job of getting out on shooters," he said. "Blaine shot the ball extremely well in the second half but we have to get out there and get on their shooters and make it difficult for them."

After hosting Tartan Tuesday, Dec. 19 the Raiders will visit La Crosse Central, the fourth-ranked team in Division 2, Thursday, Dec. 21.

"Tartan likes to push the pace and La Crosse Central certainly does, so I would expect the next couple of games to be high scoring affairs too," Dornfeld said.

The loss to Blaine dropped Hudson's record to 2-4 on the season, but without a senior starter, Dornfeld said the Raiders are continuing to improve.

"I definitely feel like we're moving forward with each game and each day in practice," he said.

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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