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Wildcat boys on a roll

Wildcat senior Ben Wunrow (30) puts up a runner in the lane while being defended by Chippewa Falls' Justin Jaquish in the first half of the Cats' 56-42 win over the Cardinals Friday night at the high school gym. Wunrow finished with 6 points in the win.Bob Burrows photo

The Wildcat boys' basketball team is doing all the little things it needs to do to win.

The Cats proved that in their last three games, a 38-37 win over Eau Claire North last Tuesday, a 56-42 victory over Chippewa Falls Friday, and a 64-40 win over Prescott Monday.

River Falls, now 12-4 overall, 4-3 in the Big Rivers Conference, will visit Hudson (6-9, 4-4) Thursday and Eau Claire Memorial (13-3, 7-0) Saturday.

Wildcat head coach Greg Gaulke said he likes the way his team is playing right now.

"As I've said for years, good things take time to grow, and the boys are doing some nice things on the court that they weren't doing earlier in the season," he said. "It's great to watch. They're moving and making the right cuts and reads, and recognizing the weapons they have. We're not a fancy team, but we are hard working."

The Cats had to work hard to knock off Eau Claire North (10-5, 5-2) and their University of Wisconsin recruit Evan Anderson last Tuesday. Anderson was held to 10 points while Wildcat senior McLane Sherman hit three three-pointers and finished with a game-high 13. But it took a big play by Ben Wunrow late in the game to seal the win.

With the score tied and seven seconds remaining, Wunrow stole an inbounds pass and was fouled, and made one of two free throws to provide the margin of victory.

Wunrow finished with nine points in the game while Zach Pavlichek added six points and was key to keeping Anderson in check.

"Zach did a great job of doubling Anderson when he got the ball," Gaulke said. "And at the end of the game, good things happened. That was a huge win for us."

Friday night against Chippewa Falls (6-8, 3-5), Pavlichek led the Wildcats with 16 points and four steals and Marty Herum and Zane Heinselman scored 11 points each in a 56-42 victory.

"I thought the boys played one of their most solid games of the year," Gaulke said. "Zane hit three threes in a row and it just ignited the crowd and the boys fed off it."

River Falls put the game away by outscoring the Cardinals 11-4 in the final eight minutes.

Monday night, Herum scored 13 points and Jimmy Ekman came off the bench to contribute 10 in a 64-40 nonconference win over Prescott (8-8).

"Everybody got in the game and everybody scored," Gaulke said. "Jimmy Ekman had a nice game off the bench and it was nice to get all the guys in the game and show them that we need them."

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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