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Girls' basketball: Cats can't catch Hudson

River Falls Abby Doerre beats Hudson's Lex LeFever (12) and Ty Huber (22) to a loose ball in the second half of the Wildcat girls basketball team's 65-56 loss to the Raiders Friday, Jan. 26, in River Falls. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
River Falls sophomore Maddi Kealy (20) battles Hudson's Shayla Wallin for a rebound in the second half of the Wildcat girls basketball team's 65-56 loss to the Raiders Friday, Jan. 26, in River Falls. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

Hudson's girls basketball team avenged an early-season loss to the Wildcats Friday, Jan. 26, in River Falls, but the Cats made them work hard for it.

The Raiders needed to make all ten of their free throws in the final 1 minute, 30 seconds to hold on for a nine-point win, 65-56, as the Wildcats kept battling to the end.

"We certainly did not play our best game, but I thought defensively we limited their second chances pretty well," River Falls coach Ian Sticht said. "That was probably our best game defensively in terms of communication. They set a ton of ball screens and we were able to communicate those and defend them."

The Wildcats were within five, 35-30, at the break and Hudson opened up a double digit lead in the second half.

River Falls pulled to within five, 52-47, on a pair of free throws by Abby Doerre with five minutes remaining but the margin grew back to nine, 57-48, with 1:40 on the clock.

A three-pointer by Bailey Reardon made it a six-point game, 57-51, and Hudson's Shayla Wallin and River Falls' Kylie Strop traded a pair of free throws to keep it at six, 59-53, with 21 seconds left but that's as close as the Wildcats could get.

Strop finished with 14 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals while Reardon had 14 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots. Doerre added nine points and six boards and Maddi Kealy had eight points, six rebounds and two blocked shots while Taylor Weick finished with eight points.

"Offensively we went through a couple parts of the game where we stopped moving and made ourselves too easy to defend. We had some really good looks that we didn't finish. We are showing our growth this year by being more patient on offense and not forcing things."

Hudson had a big advantage at the free throw line, hitting 25-of-30 shots compared to 17-of-28 for River Falls.

The Wildcats, now 5-11 overall, 2-6 in the Big Rivers Conference, visited Menomonie (11-6, 4-4) Tuesday, Jan. 30, before hosting Rice Lake (13-3, 4-3) Friday, Feb. 2, at 7:15 p.m. at the high school.

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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