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Knotek, Cats bomb Mustangs

Wildcat junior Kelli Skogen beats a Menomonie defender off the dribble at the top of the lane in the second half of the Cats' Big Rivers Conference game against Menomonie Friday night at the high school. The Wildcats defeated the Mustangs, 61-44, for their first BRC victory of the season. <i>Bob Burrows photos</i>1 / 2
Wildcat senior Lexi Knotek drives past a Menomonie defender in the second half of the Cats' 61-44 win over the Mustangs Friday night. Knotek led all scorers in the game with 21 points.2 / 2

After missing her first three-point attempt of the game Friday, Jan. 18 against Menomonie, Wildcat senior Lexi Knotek made her next seven shots from beyond the arc to finish with 21 points and lead the River Falls girls basketball team to its first Big Rivers Conference win of the season, 61-44, at the high school gym.

Knotek made five of her seven three-pointers in the first quarter as the Wildcats sprinted out to 26-4 first quarter lead. The Cats continued to pour it on in the second quarter, widening the gap to 40-14 by halftime before cruising to the 17-point victory.

Karly Murphy contributed 11 points for the Wildcats and McKenna Hage had nine while Lauren Steinhoff finished with eight. Joellen Turner chipped in with six points in the win and Abby James scored five while Amelia Kjos added a free throw.

Hage and James had one three-pointer each to give the Wildcats a total of 27 points from long range. The Cats also connected on 8-of-11 free throws compared to 4-of-6 for the Mustangs.

River Falls improved to 4-9 overall, 1-5 in the BRC while Menomonie fell to 3-12 overall, 0-6 in BRC play.

The Wildcats will visit Rice Lake (7-7, 3-3) Friday, Jan. 25, seeking to avenge a 53-39 loss to the Warriors earlier this season. The Cats travel to Eau Claire Memorial (8-4, 4-2) Tuesday, Jan. 29, before returning home to host Chippewa Falls (11-3, 5-1) Thursday, Jan. 31, 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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