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 holiday break is coming at a good time for the Wildcat gymnastics team. Over half the team was either sick or injured in a dual meet against Red Wing last Tuesday, Dec. 12, but the Cats still managed to score 138.85 compared to the Wingers 123.375 in the Meyer Middle School gymnasium. "We had over half the team either struggling with an injury or coming down with illness, so we had several girls stepping into new spots," head coach Lauren Kaminski said. "So, with all of that, to stay consistent with our team score felt good."
The Wildcat boys basketball team started last week with an emphatic 86-47 victory over visiting St. Paul Highland Park Monday, Dec. 11, but the week ended on a low note with a 72-62 Big Rivers Conference loss Friday, Dec. 15, at Rice Lake. It was the first conference loss of the season for the Wildcats and head coach Zac Campbell said it continued a trend of slow starts for the Cats in the Warriors' home gym.
Alex Herink of Hudson scored 20 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to help the eighth-ranked the UW-River Falls men's basketball team rally from a 21-point deficit to win their seventh straight game, 65-60, over the University of Northwestern Saturday, Dec. 16, in St. Paul.
The Wildcat girls basketball team picked up a 66-57 nonconference win over Osceola at home Tuesday, Dec. 12, before dropping a 65-52 Big Rivers Conference decision at Rice Lake Friday, Dec. 15. After clinging to a one-point lead at the break, 28-27, the Wildcats outscored the Chieftains by eight in the second half to post the 66-57 win.
The UW-River Falls women's basketball team will take a four-game winning streak into the holidays after defeating St. Catherine University, 75-63, Saturday, Dec. 16, in St. Paul. UWRF jumped out to a 41-20 first half lead behind 10 first half points each from Brynn Liljander and Taylor Karge. St. Catherine cut the Falcon lead to eight, 50-42, at the end of the third quarter but Liljander hit a three-pointer to open the fourth and the Falcons led by double digits the rest of the way.
The Wildcat boys hockey team earned an overtime victory at Rice Lake and went toe-to-toe with second-ranked Eau Claire Memorial in a pair of Big Rivers Conference contests last week. Jake Bergmanis' second goal of the game with 44 seconds left in overtime gave the Cats a 5-4 come-from-behind win over the Warriors Tuesday, Dec. 12, in Rice Lake. Two nights later Eau Claire Memorial clung to a 1-0 lead over the Wildcats through two periods before the Old Abes scored four goals in the third period to remain undefeated with a 5-1 win.
River Falls eighth grader Carson Delander admitted he was nervous before his very first lift in his very first powerlifting meet. "Then my first lift wasn't valid so I got a little more nervous," he said. "But then I came back and finished strong."
Karly Murphy of River Falls, a redshirt freshman on the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women's basketball team, was named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week Dec. 4. Murphy had a career day Saturday, Dec. 2, in UW-Green Bay's 63-55 win over 23rd-ranked Marquette University, notching her first career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, a new career best, in 32 minutes of play.
The Wildcat gymnastics team won its first Big Rivers Conference dual meet of the season last week while adding another invitational title to its early season resume over the weekend. The Wildcats defeated Eau Claire North/Memorial 138.975 to 132.150 Tuesday, Dec. 5, before winning the 10-team Chippewa Falls Snowflake Invitational behind a record-setting performance by senior Sam Krueger Saturday, Dec. 9.
Sophomore Kylie Strop led four players in double figures with 19 points and senior Faith Mader drained five three-pointers and finished with 17 points as the Wildcat girls basketball team picked up its first win of the season, 75-63, at Hudson Tuesday, Dec. 5. Strop added a team-high 13 rebounds and six assists to her stat line and junior Bailey Reardon had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds as the Wildcats erased an early 20-11 deficit to take a 38-27 halftime lead. Sophomore Maddie Kealy contributed a career-high 12 points in the win.