HUDSON, Wis.-- Hudson’s girls had to wait ten days to play their first game of the new year but when they finally took the court they played one of their best games of the season.
The Raiders jumped all over Menomonie, pulling out to a 30-11 halftime lead on their way to a 54-24 Big Rivers Conference win over the Mustangs. It was Hudson’s fourth straight victory of the season and upped their record to 8-4 overall, 3-1 in the BRC.
“It was a complete game for us, playing well for 36 minutes,” head coach Jess Vadnais said. “It was definitely a goal of ours to come out in the first conference game of the new year and make a statement. We played with a lot of energy and intensity, and played incredible defense.”
The 24 points allowed was the second lowest total of the season for Hudson, bested only by the 21 points scored by D.C. Everest in a 41-21 win Dec. 7. The Raiders are allowing just 36 points per game in conference play and 44 overall.
“Our defense is definitely our identity, and everything else falls into place from there,” Vadnais said.
Offensively, the Raiders got 18 points from Audrey Hatfield, 12 points from Grace Johnson and nine points from Sophia Jonas in their latest victory. Johnson also pulled down 10 rebounds for a double-double while Livi Boily contributed eight points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
Hudson also welcomed back senior captain Lauren Stolzman, who scored seven points in her first game since tearing her ACL in June.
“She worked so hard to get back, and it was really good to see her out there,” Vadnais said. “She will only get stronger, and it's a big boost to our team as we continue our journey through the conference season and into our playoffs.”
Speaking of playoffs, the Raiders picked up two big sectional wins against Marshfield and Wausau West at the Marshfield Holiday Tournament just after Christmas. Hudson defeated Marshfield 43-35 behind 14 points and six assists from Boily and topped Wausau West, 57-47 with Jonas leading all scorers with 20 points.
“We played well together and really played well on both sides of the ball,” Vadnais said. “It was nice to go on the road over break and come out with two solid wins.”
After playing their last seven games on the road, the Raiders return home to host three games this week, beginning with Eau Claire Memorial (7-1, 3-1) Tuesday, Jan. 14. Rice Lake (4-8, 1-5) will come to town for a 7:15 p.m. game Thursday, Jan. 16 followed by Superior (5-6) Saturday, Jan. 18, at 2:30 p.m.