Hudson Basketball

New Hudson boys basketball coach Brent Larson said there’s still a lot of learning going on a week into the season, but he’s happy with the Raiders’ energy and competitiveness.

The Raiders won two of their first three games under Larson last week, beating Superior 57-51 on the road last Tuesday and winning their home opener 83-40 over St. Croix Prep Saturday. The lone loss came Friday night on the road at Woodbury 57-54.

Larson, who coached at Somerset for three years before spending the past seven years as an assistant college coach at UW-Stout, UW-River Falls and St. Leo University in Florida, points out that the Raiders have eight seniors on the squad this season, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to experience.

“A lot of those guys don’t have much varsity playing experience, so there’s going to be some growing pains there,” he noted. “Even though we’re experienced, we’re not experienced if you know what I mean. Those guys haven’t been in the trenches at the varsity level yet.”

In the season opener at Superior last Tuesday, returning letterwinners Evan Tyler and Andre Renta both scored in double digits in the Raiders’ 57-51 victory.

Tyler had 20 points and eight rebounds and Renta finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and six assists while returner John Witcher contributed six points. Ben Berkhoff had four points and eight rebounds, Cash McDonnell four points and five boards.

“I thought the kids played hard and our defense and rebounding kept us in the game,” Larson said.

Larson said the Raiders defended and rebounded well Friday at Woodbury, but shot just 5-of-29 from three range, and 5-of-12 from the free throw line in a three-point loss.

Witcher had 20 points in the loss and came up with three steals while Renta had 14 points and seven rebounds. Ben Healy contributed five points, six rebounds and four assists while Tyler scored five points.

Saturday 12 different Raiders scored at least two points in an 83-40 home victory over St. Croix Prep.

Renta led the way with 17 points and Healy scored 13 while Payton Lawrence had 10. Witcher chipped in with 12 points and Tyler and McDonnell pulled down six rebounds apiece.

“I thought our focus and intensity was good against St. Croix Prep,” Larson said.

The Raiders will host River Falls in their Big Rivers Conference opener Tuesday, Dec. 7, before visiting New Richmond Friday night. Larson said he just wants the Raiders to continue to play hard.

“There's a kind of a blue collar mentality, and a culture of toughness,” he said. “So hopefully that's apparent when you come and watch.”

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