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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Chippewa Falls scored a pair of third period goals to beat the Wildcats in Big Rivers Conference action before the Cats dropped a pair of one-goal decisions later in the week, including an overtime loss to a very good Minnehaha Academy team, to slip to 2-7-1 on the season. Chippewa Falls score the go ahead goal 2:50 into the third period Tuesday, Dec. 19, then added an empty-net goal 11 seconds remaining to beat the Wildcats, 3-1, in Chippewa Falls.
Two nights after what Wildcat head coach Zac Campbell called possibly the biggest win for the program in five years at Eau Claire North, the Cats needed a three-pointer by freshman Zac Johnson with 13 seconds left and a pair of late free throws to pull out a victory at home against New Richmond. River Falls came back from ten points down midway through the second half Tuesday, Dec. 19, to knock off defending Big Rivers Conference champion and previously unbeaten Eau Claire North, 61-58.
Former Wildcat Karly Murphy, a redshirt freshman on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women's basketball team, has been named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week for the second time in three weeks after scoring a career-best 18 points in UWGB's 72-40 win over Bradley Saturday, Dec. 16. Murphy's career afternoon came on a 7-for-10 effort from the field and saw the redshirt freshman pull down five rebounds, dole out two assists and collect one steal in 25 minutes.
The third-ranked St. Croix Valley Fusion won their third straight game with a 3-0 victory over the Western Wisconsin Stars (Somerset/Amery/New Richmond/Osceola/St. Croix Falls) Tuesday, Dec. 19, in Somerset. The win boosted St. Croix Valley's record to 8-1 on the season heading into this week's Culver's Cup in Madison.
After a 10-point Big Rivers Conference loss at Eau Claire Memorial Tuesday, Dec. 19, the Wildcat girls went into the holiday break with a 54-51 victory Thursday, Dec. 21, at La Crosse Central. The Cats will take a record of 3-8 into the new year when they return to action Tuesday, Jan. 2, at Ellsworth. Last Tuesday at Eau Claire Memorial, River Falls scored nine points in the first minute-and-a-half but didn't score another basket for over ten minutes, allowing the Old Abes to take a 26-18 lead.
The Wildcat gymnastics team's only senior—Sam Krueger—highlighted the Cats' Senior Night win over Menomonie Tuesday, Dec. 19, but plenty of underclassmen stepped up as well in the team's final home dual of the season. Krueger took first in the vault, uneven bars and floor on her way to winning the all-around title and lead the Cats to a 137.25 to 129.65 victory.
River Falls posted first place finishes in every event and took second place in most of the others to roll to a 111-63 victory over Menomonie in a Big Rivers Conference boys swimming and diving dual meet Tuesday, Dec. 12, at the high school pool. The Wildcats followed that up with a third place finish at the 11-team Santa Claus Invitational Saturday, Dec. 16 at Eau Claire North. Head coach Eric Emerson said he was glad to see the continued improvement from the Cats in their last two meets.
Nine year-old Oliver Larson of River Falls was able to participate in his first deer hunt this year thanks to a new law that eliminated the state's minimum hunting age and proceeded to shoot his first deer on the second weekend of the season near Cumberland. Oliver is the son of Charles and Nichole Larson. Submitted photo
Twin brothers Cale and Shane Blinkman, 16, represented the St. Croix Swim Club at the USA Swimming Speedo Winter Junior Nationals at the University of Iowa Dec. 6-9. Shane Blinkman finished first in the 200 yard individual medley to become the Junior National champion for the western half of the United States. There was a second identical meet run at the same time at the University of Tennessee, where swimmers from the eastern half of the USA attended.
MADISON—The Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) has announced the members of its 2018 Hall of Fame class that includes three Falcons, Merilee (Healy) Cardinal, Dr. R.A. Karges, and Roger Kuss. The WIAC established a Hall of Fame to coincide with the conference's celebration of its 100th anniversary, which took place during the 2012-13 academic year. The 27-member class for 2018 will be inducted at the WIAC Hall of Fame Banquet to be held on July 28, 2018, at UW-Eau Claire.