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Boys Basketball: Old Abes top Cats in battle for top

The only two one-loss teams in the Big Rivers Conference squared off in Eau Claire Tuesday night, Jan. 8, and when the dust settled only one of them remained on top of the conference standings.

Eau Claire Memorial scored the first two baskets of the second half to snap a tie game and never looked back on its way to beating River Falls 64-53 and take sole possession of first place. The Old Abes improved to 4-1 in conference play while the Wildcats slipped into a pack of two-loss teams that also includes Eau Claire North, Chippewa Falls and Hudson, all at 3-2.

River Falls bolted out to a 19-9 lead midway through the first half but the Old Abes came back to tie the score, 24-24, at the break before pulling away in the second half. The closest the Cats could get was within three, 37-34, following a pair of Zac Johnson baskets but Memorial quickly built its lead back to ten.

Johnson was the lone Wildcat in double figures with 22 points as the Cats shot 41 percent from the field (20-of-49) compared to 55 percent for Memorial (24-of-44). The Wildcats did outrebound the Old Abes 25-33 led by five rebounds each from Adam Feyereisen and Liam Dougherty. Feyereisen also dished out eight assists.

River Falls, now 7-4 overall, will host Chippewa Falls (4-7) Friday, Jan. 11, at 7:15 p.m.

Bob Burrows

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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