NEW RICHMOND, Wis. -- Nobody has been able to beat the Hudson girls’ basketball team so far this season, but New Richmond gave it their best shot on their home floor Saturday, Jan. 9.
Hudson jumped out to a 28-3 lead before the Tigers went on a 12-0 run to pull to within three. But that’s as close as they could get as the sixth-ranked Raiders pulled away for a 51-32 victory and improve to 9-0 on the season.
“9-0 isn't easy to do, especially through dealing with the usual adversity a season brings, and then being in a pandemic on top of that,” Hudson coach Jess Vadnais said. “But it's such a great group of girls and it's been an unbelievable ride so far.”
Things looked easy for Hudson early as they built a 19-3 lead but New Richmond, who went into the game with a record of 6-1, wasn’t going down without a fight.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Brooke Blaszczyk cut the Raiders’ lead to single digits, 23-14, with 3 minutes, 40 seconds remaining in the half, and layups by Leah DeYoung and Barb Kling made it a five-point game, 23-18. A put-back by Ellie Barlow-Sager with 1:28 left cut Hudson’s lead to 23-20, but the Raiders closed the half with a 5-0 run and Audrey Hatfield scored Hudson’s first six points of the second half to help the Raiders pull away.
Tiger coach Chad Eggert said Hudson was a good test for his team.
“Hudson was a battle,” he said. “In the Second half we struggled to score. I don't see anyone around here beating Hudson.”
Sophia Jonas finished with 16 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Raiders while Audrey Hatfield had another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Livi Boily contributed seven points while Grace Lewis and Grace Hanson scored five points each.
Blaszczyk led New Richmond with 13 points while DeYoung had 10 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Saturday afternoon’s win came less than 24 hours after the Raiders defeated Eau Claire North, 60-39, at home, and five days after a 64-40 win over Rice Lake. Vadnais said the Raiders were solid on the defensive end in all three games-- giving up 40, 39 and 32 points, respectively.
“That really leads to our transition game, and the girls have done a lot of the things I'm looking for on the offensive end as well,” she said. “We play team basketball at a very high level.”
Four Raiders scored in double figures against Rice Lake with Jonas finishing with 15, Boily 13, Grace O’Brien 12 and Hatfield 10. Hatfield also grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked a pair of shots.
Friday night against Eau Claire North, Jonas scored 16 points and Hatfield had 11 while Grace Johnson added seven points and 13 rebounds as the Raiders improved to 5-0 in Big Rivers Conference play.
Vadnais said he’s proud of the way the Raiders go about their business every day, but she knows there is still plenty of work to do.
Whether it's in the weight room, at practices, or games, they handle themselves so well. They are focused and work hard, and we also have a lot of fun every day,” she said. “But we know we have to get better every day, we have goals to try and accomplish. We are never satisfied, and we need another great week here with three more games in the next five days.”
After hosting Chippewa Falls (0-8) Tuesday, Jan. 12, the Raiders will travel to Menomonie (3-2) Friday, Jan. 15 before visiting Superior (1-1) Saturday, Jan. 16.
New Richmond eyes Middle Border title
Saturday’s loss to Hudson came after New Richmond improved to 4-1 in Middle Border Conference play with a 70-35 victory over St. Croix Central Tuesday, Jan. 5, and a 53-44 win over Ellsworth Thursday, Jan. 7.
The Tigers are currently one game behind Prescott in the MBC standings with nine conference games remaining, including two against the first place Cardinals.
“We have been playing well for the most part, considering we started three weeks later than most teams,” he said. “Our defense is getting better, now we just need to start making more shots. We have just conference games left now so we hope to keep getting better and compete for a conference title.”
DeYoung led the Tigers with 14 points in their win over St. Croix Central while Gabby Aune had 12 points and seven steals. Blaszczyk and Delaney Brown contributed 11 points each while Kling finished with six points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Thursday at Ellsworth, DeYoung had a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds and Kling had 11 points, eight rebounds and six assists in a 9-point win while Aune contributed nine points and Sophie Ballard scored eight.
The Tigers visited Baldwin-Woodville (4-2) Tuesday, Jan. 12, before a pair of home games against Amery (2-3) Friday, Jan. 14 and Osceola (3-6) Saturday, Jan. 15.