2/5/2014 3:41:00 PM Warrior boys set school hoops record
Rice Lake took an easy step toward another Big Rivers undefeated championship when the Warriors downed Eau Claire North 58-39 in boys' basketball Tuesday in Ole Olsen Gym. The Warriors led by 37-18 at halftime and built a 20-point lead by midway through the third quarter, running their conference record to 9-0 with three league games to play. Next action for the state's third-ranked Division 2 Warriors is Friday at Hudson (4-3). The Warriors downed Hudson 75-65 in Rice Lake in early January. Hudson is one of three teams chasing the Warriors, though well behind in the standings. Hudson, Menomonie and Eau Claire Memorial all have three losses. Rice Lake is 13-2 overall with three conference games and three nonconference games remaining. On Tuesday, the Warriors host Ashland. Henry Ellenson scored 16 points, Austin Angell 13 and Brandyn Christman 12 in Rice Lake's 19-point win over North (3-5, 4-11) on Tuesday. It was Rice Lake's school record 33rd straight conference win. The record was broken in Friday's 55-47 win at River Falls, the 32nd straight win in Big Rivers play. The previous school mark was 31 straight conference wins, set by the Warriors of 1959-61 in the Heart o' North Conference. The current streak began at the start of the 2011-12 season in which the Warriors went 12-0. Rice Lake posted another 12-0 mark last season and have won their first nine conference games this season. The last Big Rivers loss for Rice Lake came at the end of the 2010-11 season to River Falls on the home court. The Warriors got points from nine players in Tuesday's win as most of the starters played only about 20 minutes. Ellenson had another big night in the lane with 12 rebounds and two blocked shots. Starting point guard Ben Widdes had four assists and two steals to go with four points, and Christman also had four assists. The Warriors shot 42% from the field, including 6 of 17 from three-point range for 35%. Rice Lake made 10 of 16 free throws. North got 19 points from Josh Weix, a 6-foot-5 senior. Rice Lake pulled away from River Falls in the second half Friday for a 55-47 road win. The Warriors led by 26-24 at halftime before stretching out to a 39-31 lead after three periods. Ellenson scored 19 points, Shawn Magee 11 and Widdes nine to lead the Warriors. Christman had two of Rice Lake's three-pointers while adding eight points. For River Falls (1-7, 6-10), Reed Blasius and Kyle Duex scored 13 points each. Rice Lake's scheduled nonconference game at Amery on Jan. 29, canceled because of cold weather, will not be made up. Also in the Big Rivers on Tuesday, Menomonie (6-3) downed Hudson, 55-48.