Cats pick up the pace; Boys go 1-1 for weekWildcat boys basketball coach Greg Gaulke was much happier with his team’s play last week.
By: Bob Burrows, River Falls Journal
Wildcat boys basketball coach Greg Gaulke was much happier with his team’s play last week.
After two sluggish losses the week before, the Wildcats forced 18 turnovers in a come-from-behind 52-40 victory at Eau Claire Memorial Tuesday, Jan. 10, before giving Holmen all it could handle in a 51-50 overtime loss Friday night.
“It was a good week; better than the week before,” Gaulke said. “We challenged them to play hard and with intensity and they did everything they didn’t do the week before -- they hustled, rebounded and played with confidence.”
River Falls trailed by three early in the third quarter at Eau Claire Memorial last Tuesday before forcing 10 third quarter turnovers to spark a 16-2 run. The Cats held the Old Abes to just one field goal in the third quarter while building a 40-31 lead.
Sophomore Luke Murphy scored 11 of his game-high 20 points during the Cats 16-2 run, including a pair of free throws early in the third quarter to tie the score, 29-29.
After leading by as many as 11, the Cats saw their lead cut to five, 43-38, with 4:06 remaining before Alex Call’s third three-pointer of the game shut the door.
Call finished with 12 points and Brad Freeborn scored 13 to give the Wildcats three players in double figures. Murphy finished with 11 rebounds to post a double-double while Freeborn grabbed seven boards.
Friday night at home against Holmen, the Cats took a 28-23 lead into the fourth quarter before Holmen stormed back to tie the score, 41-41, and force overtime.
Two free throws by Murphy and two more by Call in the extra session put the Cats ahead, 48-45, but a three-pointer by Holmen’s Michael Woggen with 51 seconds left tied the score again.
Jake Knotek found Murphy for a layup with 20 seconds left to give the Cats a 50-48 lead, but another three-pointer by Woggen from the corner with 2.8 seconds remaining gave Holmen a 51-50 lead.
The Cats had one last chance but a three-pointer by Freeborn at the buzzer hit the front of the rim.
“Holmen is a great club and it was a great atmosphere,” Gaulke said. “Even though we didn’t get the W it was nip and tuck all the way.”
Murphy led the Cats with 16 points and Call finished with 12 while Freeborn added eight.
The Cats will host Woodbury, Minn., in a nonconference game 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20.