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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Sophomore Sally Cranston scored 24 seconds into the fourth overtime to end the longest championship game in WIAA State Girls' Hockey Tournament history and lift the St. Croix Valley Fusion to a 3-2 victory over the top-ranked Central Wisconsin Storm Saturday at Alliant Energy Center in Madison. The state title is the third straight for the Fusion, a cooperative team consisting of players from River Falls, Baldwin-Woodville, St. Croix Central and Spring Valley high schools. St. Croix Valley advanced to the championship game with a 7-1 victory over Appleton United Friday.
Bob Burrows photo UPDATE: Fusion top Appleton, advance to championship The St. Croix Valley Fusion girls hockey team won its semi-final game against Appleton 7-1 the afternoon of March 4 at the state competition in Madison. The Fusion advance to the championship game at noon Saturday, March 5, playing the winner of a Mosinee versus Sun Prairie game. Sophomore Sally Cranston and senior Alice Cranston, sisters, each scored two goals, putting the team ahead 4-1 at the end of the second period.
The Wildcat boys' basketball team was in no mood to share Friday night in Rice Lake. The Cats had already assured themselves of at least a tie for the Big Rivers Conference championship going into the game, and a loss would have meant sharing the title with second place Rice Lake. But River Falls had three players score in double figures and held Rice Lake to 10 points below its scoring average in a 60-52 win to lock up the BRC title outright with a conference mark of 11-1.
The St. Croix Valley Fusion girls' hockey team and the Wildcat gymnastics team will both look to defend their state championships after winning sectional titles the weekend of Feb. 26-27. The gymnasts won their sectional meet in River Falls by over 14 points Feb. 26 while the Fusion defeated Hayward/Spooner, 5-2, in the sectional championship game in Chippewa Falls. The gymnasts won their sectional meet in River Falls by over 14 points Five Wildcat gymnasts will compete in the individual portion of the WIAA State Gymnastics Championships this Friday, March 4, at 5:40 p.m.
The UW-River Falls men's basketball team advanced to the WIAC Tournament Championship game for the first time in school history by defeating UW-Platteville, 69-60, in a semifinal game Thursday night at Karges Center. Falcon seniors Jontae Koonkaew and Jake Voeltz, playing for the final time in front of the Karges faithful, carried the team on their backs in the second half as UW-RF hit the 20-win mark for the first time since 2004. Koonkaew scored 20 of his team-high 23 points in the second half while Voeltz finished with 20 points, 14 after intermission. The Falcons will travel to UW-Steve
The Wildcat boys' basketball team held sixth-ranked Onalaska to 34 points below their season scoring average Thursday night, but that didn't stop the Hilltoppers from advancing to their third straight sectional final. Onalaska's defense was just as stingy, holding River Falls to just nine field goals on its way to a 27-22 win in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal at Eau Claire Memorial High School. Onalaska improved to 23-2 with the victory and will face Merrill (14-11) in the sectional semifinal Saturday night in Marshfield.
Two-time Olympic medal winner and River Falls native Karyn Bye Dietz displays her gold medal for hockey from the 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan and her silver medal from the 2002 Salt Lake City games to a group of youngsters at Wildcat Centre the afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 19.
The UW-River Falls women's hockey team has accomplished a lot since its inception in 1999. But it's never been ranked No. 1 in the nation. Until now. The Falcons, by virtue of a weekend sweep over Finlandia University, coupled with previous No. 1 Rochester Institute of Technology's loss to Oswego Saturday, moved into the top spot in this week's USCHO.com poll released Monday afternoon. UW-RF beat Finlandia 7-1 Saturday and 12-0 Sunday at Hunt Arena. The 12 goals is a team record for most goals in a game. The Falcons have been ranked nationally for 38 straight weeks but have never been No.
Emotions were high Friday, Feb. 11 at the high school gym when the Wildcat boys' basketball team took on Menomonie. It was senior night, in front of a packed house with a share of the Big Rivers Conference on the line. And despite Menomonie's best efforts to spoil the night, the Cats came away with a 55-47 victory to win their first conference title since the 2004-05 season. The Wildcats can win the title outright by beating Rice Lake on the road Feb. 18. River Falls enters the game with a BRC record of 10-1 (13-5 overall) while the Warriors are in second at 8-2 (14-6 overall).
The Wildcat boys swimming and diving team will be represented in seven events at Friday's WIAA State Championship Meet after placing second at last Saturday's sectional in Stevens Point, while 11 Wildcat wrestlers advanced to this weekend's sectional tournament. Senior Tim Weller will compete in four events at state. Weller finished second in the 200 yard individual medley and fourth in the 100 yard backstroke Saturday.