It was like night and day for the Wildcat boys basketball team in its two Big Rivers Conference games last week. Thursday at home against Eau Claire North, the Cats worked with surgeon-like patience and skill in a 47-40 win over the Huskies. Two nights later however, they found themselves coming out on the short end of a good, old-fashioned shootout in a 74-72 loss to the Warriors. "Rice Lake was just the opposite of the Eau Claire North game," Wildcat head coach Greg Gaulke said.
The Ellsworth wrestling team showed why it's the No. 2 ranked team in the state in Division 2 Friday night. The Panthers won 12 of 14 matches on their way to defeating the Wildcats 57-8 in the annual battle for the Kirby Symes Gold Shoe in Ellsworth. Wildcat head coach Dave Brandvold said this is the most aggressive Ellsworth team he has seen in years. "They out hustled us and out maneuvered us most of the evening," he said.
Any win on the road is a big win. And a Big Rivers Conference win on the road is even bigger. Just ask the Wildcat boys basketball team. The Cats put together three big road wins in their last three games, including a huge win over BRC leaders Hudson last Tuesday that puts them just one game out of first place in the conference heading into Thursday night's game against Eau Claire North at the high school. "That was the biggest win for us so far this year," head coach Greg Gaulke said about the Cats' 50-46 victory at Hudson last week. "The game was just great for the fans too.
The Wildcat boys basketball team held Menomonie to just three field goals in the fourth quarter while outscoring the Old Abes 18-11 over the final eight minutes on its way to a 53-42 win at Menomonie last Tuesday. Saturday at the high school, the Cats battled back from a 14-point third quarter deficit but couldn't get any closer than three in a 58-55 loss to Eau Claire Memorial. Last Tuesday in Menomonie, River Falls trailed 12-10 at the end of one but forged a 22-22 tie by halftime.
The only blemish on the Wildcat gymnastics team's record over the past year-and-a-half was a second place finish to Gale-Ettrick-Trempeleau/Melrose-Mindor0/Cochrane Fountain City (GMC) earlier this season in Wisconsin Rapids. But the two time state champion Cats got a little vindication on their home floor Saturday by topping GMC for the team title at the River Falls Winter Wonderland Gymnastics Invitational. The Wildcats finished first in the 12-team field with a score of 139.85 while GMC was second with 136.75.
The Wildcat wrestling team finished seventh out of 39 teams in the final Northern Badger Wrestling Classic at UW-River Falls' Knowles Center Dec. 29-30. While the tournament was the last to be held at the Knowles Center it will remain in River Falls. Next year it will be held at the high school Dec.
Twelve-year-old Lily Cranston, who has been playing hockey since she was four years old, points to one big difference between playing hockey on a boy's team and a team of all girls. "The locker room," she said. Until recently, Cranston and girls just like her who love hockey had no other option than to play on a boy's team. That started to change last year when the River Falls Youth Hockey Association sponsored an all-girls U-19 team, with players' ages ranging from as young as 10 all the way up to 19.
The Wildcat hockey team ran into a buzz saw in the form of the Menomonie Indians Thursday night (Dec. 18) and suffered its fourth straight loss of the season, 9-1. The Indians scored five times in the first period and had an 8-0 lead before the Cats scored their only goal of the game late in the third period. "Menomonie has a very nice team," Wildcat coach Rick Hansen said. "They've got speed, patience with the puck and great passing." The Indians scored their first goal on a power play less than five minutes into the game.
The Wildcat gymnastics team took four of the top five spots in three different events and swept the top three places in the all-around on its way to a 136.675 to 124.725 win over Hudson in the season and Big Rivers Conference dual opener last Tuesday at the Meyer Middle School gym. The Cats had a first place finisher in every event but the balance beam. Head coach Shelly Kahut-Loomis said she was pleased with the win, but noted there were areas the team needs to concentrate on. "Other sports have penalties, we have deductions, and we had some unnecessary deductions for thi
First year Wildcat boys swim coach Stacey O'Connor had a simple message for her team after its home opener against Hudson Thursday night: "Be pleased, but don't be satisfied." The Wildcats, with just 10 swimmers compared to Hudson's 17, and no competitors in diving, held their own against the Raiders, winning two of three relay events and getting a pair of first place finishes from sophomore Jeff Swanson.