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Boys bounce back from loss

Wildcat senior Logan Nygaard (54) and Tomah's Patric Schroder battle for position under the basket in the second half of the Cats' 69-44 victory over the Timberwolves Saturday afternoon at Meyer Middle School. <i>Bob Burrows photos</i>1 / 2
Wildcat junior Luke Murphy gets over the rim to score two of his game-high 32 points after making a steal at midcourt in the second half of the Cats' 69-44 victory over Tomah Saturday afternoon at Meyer Middle School.2 / 2

The Wildcat boys' basketball team recovered from a sluggish effort in a 47-44 loss at Menomonie Friday, Jan. 18 to beat Tomah, 69-44, less than 24 hours later at the Meyer Middle School gym.

River Falls shot just 42 percent from the field at Menomonie, making just 3-of-10 three point attempts, and 5-of-11 free throws, while slipping into third place in the Big Rivers Conference standings with a mark of 4-3.

The Wildcats came out Saturday, Jan. 19, and jumped out to a 21-13 first quarter lead over Tomah on their way to improving to 8-4 overall.

Luke Murphy had the hot hand in Saturday's victory, pouring in 32 points in addition to pulling down a team-high seven rebounds and leading the Cats with four assists.

Brad Freeborn added 13 points and Tanner Heinselman chipped in with 10, including three three-pointers, as the Wildcats built a 41-30 halftime lead on their way to the 25-point victory.

Alex Call contributed five points and Eric Wunrow had four points, six rebounds and four assists, while DeMarcus Zeroth scored two points and Sam Lenzen, Reed Blasius and Kyle Duex each added a free throw.

One night earlier in Menomonie, the Wildcats scored just four first quarter points and trailed by five, 20-15 at the break. Menomonie outscored the Wildcats by seven in the third quarter to widen the gap to 37-25 before River Falls' fourth quarter surge came up just short.

Murphy led River Falls with 19 points and Freeborn finished with 10 while Wunrow added six and Call finished with four. Blasius added a three-pointer and Sam Barr had a bucket to round out the River Falls' scoring.

Murphy, Wunrow and Heinselman each pulled down four rebounds.

The Wildcats travel to Rice Lake to take on the BRC-leading Warriors (12-3, 7-0) this Friday, Jan. 25. They return home to host Eau Claire Memorial (7-8, 3-3) Tuesday, Jan. 29, at 7:30 p.m.

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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