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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The fifth-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion girls hockey team dropped a 4-1 decision to second-ranked Eau Claire-Altoona on the road Thursday, Jan. 4, before getting some revenge against Superior at home Saturday, Jan. 6. Superior had beaten the Fusion 5-4 in overtime the week before at the Culver's Cup in Madson, but St. Croix Valley jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the rematch at Wildcat Centre and held off a late Spartan surge for a 4-3 victory.
River Falls scored single goals in each period and goalie Jake Miller stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced as the Wildcats defeated Hayward, 3-1, in a nonconference hockey game Saturday, Jan. 6 in Hayward. Jake Bergmanis scored the first goal of the game 10 minutes, 4 seconds into the opening period, assisted by Tye Kusilek and Cody Wilson before Zak Paulson made the score 2-0 with an unassisted goal 1:39 into the second period.
After a lackluster 73-48 loss in its WIAC opener at home against unranked UW-Stevens Point Wednesday Jan. 3, the third-ranked UW-River Falls men's basketball team battled back from a 10-point deficit with just over five minutes remaining to defeat fifth-ranked UW-Whitewater, 81-80, Saturday, Jan. 6, in Whitewater. Brennan Witt's jumper with less than two seconds left capped a 7-0 Falcon run to close the game.
After winning the Division 1 title at the Northern Badger Classic over holiday break, Wildcat wrestling coach Kevin Black said his team needed to remain disciplined and focused as it moved into the new year. So far so good. The Cats kicked off 2018 with a 54-30 Big Rivers Conference win over Eau Claire Memorial Thursday, Jan. 4, before placing first at the 10-team New Richmond Invitational Saturday, Jan. 6. Black said the Wildcats weren't as sharp as he'd like to see, but they found a way to grind out some ugly wins.
The Wildcat gymnastics team shook off the rust of the holiday break to sweep Hudson and Superior in a Big Rivers Conference double dual Friday, Jan. 5, in Hudson but that doesn't mean head coach Lauren Kaminski was satisfied. The Wildcats posted a team score of 131.375 to best both Hudson (127.45) and Superior (109.075). Kaminski said it was nice to remain undefeated in BRC competition, but she hopes to see more when the Cats host their annual invitational this Saturday at the high school.
The University of Wisconsin-River Falls women's hockey team will host the Korean national team in an exhibition game Sunday, Jan. 7, at Hunt Arena in the Falcon Center. The game will be a tune-up for the visiting team which will compete in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February with an automatic entry as the host nation.
The third-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion girls hockey team shut out seventh-ranked Wisconsin Valley Union, 5-0, before dropping a pair of one-goal heartbreakers to unranked teams at the three-day Culvers Cup last week in Madison.
The eighth-ranked UW-River Falls men's basketball team used a 15-1 run late in the first half to break open a close game and roll to its eighth straight win, 72-49, over St. Olaf College in its final nonconference game of the season Friday, Dec. 29, in Eau Claire. The Falcons will take a record of 9-1 into their WIAC opener Wednesday, Jan. 3, against UW-Stevens Point (6-5). Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Don Page Arena in the Falcon Center.
UW-River Falls senior Alex Herink of Hudson was named the WIAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week Dec. 18 after registering 24 points and 11 rebounds in a come-from-behind 69-65 victory over Northwestern-St. Paul Dec. 16. Herink scored 20 points in the second half to lead the comeback. UWRF trailed by 15 points at halftime and 21 points in the second half. His three-point basket with 1:12 left in the contest put the Falcons up five points — their largest lead of the game.
After a big 75-67 victory over a very good D.C. Everest team Thursday, Dec. 28, the Wildcat boys basketball team dropped a one-point game to host Tomah in the second game of the Tomah Holiday Tournament Friday, Dec. 29. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Wildcats and puts them at 6-3 overall heading into a Big Rivers Conference home tilt with Eau Claire Memorial Friday, Jan. 5. River Falls, Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire North and Rice Lake are all bunched at the top of the BRC standings with one conference loss apiece.