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 St. Croix Valley Fusion girls hockey team is peaking at the right time. Since losing three straight games over the holiday break, the Fusion have won nine of their last ten, including a 6-5 victory over the state's top-ranked team—the Eau Claire Area Stars—Thursday, Jan. 25, at Wildcat Centre. They followed that up with a 3-1 victory over fourth-ranked University School of Milwaukee Saturday, Jan. 27, in Baldwin for their sixth straight win.
Women skaters extend streak The fifth-ranked UW-River Falls women's hockey team swept UW-Superior in a home-and-home series, 7-5, Friday, Jan. 26 at Hunt Arena, and 5-0, Saturday, Jan. 27 in Superior to extend its unbeaten streak to 11 games and improve to 15-4-2 on the season.
The Wildcat boys hockey team picked up a 7-3 Big Rivers Conference win over Rice Lake at home Tuesday, Jan. 23, before dropping a 6-1 nonconference decision to Providence Academy Saturday, Jan. 27, in Plymouth, Minn. Tuesday's seven goals tied a season-high for the Cats, who got a pair of goals each from Max Rotsaert and Cody Wilson, to improve to 3-6-0 in the BRC. The game was scoreless after one period before the teams combined for five goals in a second period that ended with the Wildcats holding a 4-1 lead.
Hudson's girls basketball team avenged an early-season loss to the Wildcats Friday, Jan. 26, in River Falls, but the Cats made them work hard for it. The Raiders needed to make all ten of their free throws in the final 1 minute, 30 seconds to hold on for a nine-point win, 65-56, as the Wildcats kept battling to the end.
The Wildcat wrestling team manhandled both Rice Lake and Eau Claire North in a Big Rivers Conference triple dual Thursday, Jan. 25, at home before going 2-1 at the West Salem/Bangor Team Tournament Saturday, Jan. 27, in West Salem. The Cats improved to 5-1 in BRC duals by beating Rice Lake, 72-6 and Eau Claire North, 70-9 Thursday and wrapped up the regular season Tuesday, Jan. 30, at Chippewa Falls. They'll begin postseason action at the WIAA Division 1 Regional Tournament Saturday, Feb. 10, in New Richmond.
Anytime you can get a win on the road in the Big Rivers Conference it's a good thing. When that win comes against a team that had won six of its last seven games it's even better. And when that win is over your archrival just 10 miles up the road in its packed home gym? It doesn't get much better than that. That's what the Wildcat boys basketball team did last Friday night, Jan. 26, in Hudson, when it overcame a four-point halftime deficit to snap the Raiders' three-game winning streak, 72-59, and move to within a half-game of first place in the BRC.
Three nights after hitting 14 three-pointers in a 77-63 victory over UW-Eau Claire Wednesday, Jan. 24 in Eau Claire, the 20th-ranked UW-River Falls men's basketball team made just five threes and was just 16-of-51 from the floor in a 78-57 loss to No. 19 UW-Oshkosh Saturday at Page Arena. The Titans led by three, 29-26, at halftime before shooting 65.2 percent (15-of-23) from the field in the second half to pull away. Oshkosh scored 22 points off 15 Falcon turnovers and outscored UWRF by ten (28-18) in the paint.
The Wildcat boys hockey team made a pair of late comeback attempts in two games last week but came up one goal short in both, dropping a 4-3 nonconference decision to St. Paul Johnson Tuesday, Jan. 16, and a 5-4 Big Rivers Conference game to Menomonie Thursday, Jan. 18, at Wildcat Centre.
Local competition in the 2018 Knights of Columbus International Free Throw Championships will be held Friday, Jan. 26, at St. Bridget's Parish School gym. All boys and girls ages 9 to 14 are invited to participate. Winners will advance to the district competition. Doors open at 5 p.m. and competition begins at 5:30 p.m. For more information, contact Andy Schneider at 715 425-9606 or 715 222-9606.
Men's hoops wallops Blue Devils The UW-River Falls men's basketball team (12-4, 3-3 WIAC) got back on track picking up a WIAC conference win over UW-Stout (7-10, 1-5 WIAC Saturday, Jan. 20 when they took down the Blue Devils 96-68 at Page Arena. The Falcons outscored the Blue Devils 42-29 in the first half. At the 10:09 mark, the Falcons jumped to a double digit lead and got as much as a 22-point difference after back-to-back three-point shots by Chris Laymon and Alex Herink.