In a game in which neither team had more than a five point lead the entire way until the last minute of play, the Colfax boys basketball team hung on for a 52-46 tough win over the Cochrane-Fountain City Pirates in a non-conference battle at home Nov. 20.
The Pirates are one of the favorites to win the Small Dairyland Conference and they came out fast, taking a 5-0 lead before the Viking’s Cody Zivcic scored on a lay-up and Ethin Kiekhafer drained a triple to knot things up. Sawyer DeMoe, Kiekhafer and Zivic all hit a deuce but three straight empty possessions on the Viking’s part allowed the Pirates to hold a 12-11 advantage at the end of the quarter.
C-FC put in a deuce to start the second quarter but Kiekhafer took charge as he scored seven of the next eight points for Colfax on a triple from the top of the circle, a deuce from the corner and a baseline drive but with a Joe Wahl free toss in between, Colfax still had only a two point lead at 19-17. DeMoe then seemed to appear out of nowhere as he swiped a Pirate pass and rolled the length of the court for a layup, then scored from underneath on an assist from Jeremiah Wait. With 20 seconds left in the half, the Vikings turned the ball over and the Pirates took advantage of it, scoring on a layup and Colfax held a slim 23-21 lead going into the intermission.
It was a see-saw battle throughout the third quarter with the game knotted four times. C-FC went on another five point run for a 26-23 lead before Zivcic scored on a baseline drive. But both teams picked up their defense resulting in no scoring for almost four minutes before the Pirates hit their second of four three balls in the stanza to take a 29-25 lead. Wait hit his only bucket of the game and DeMoe canned a pair of free tosses to tie things up at 29-29 then the Pirate’s Troy Eilladsen and Kiekhafer traded triples. Cole Lisowski drained a long ball and Zivcic scored on a drive and free throw to end the quarter in a 35-35 tie.
DeMoe scored on a put back and Kiekhafer dropped in two free tosses for a four point Colfax lead but that didn’t last long as back to back turnovers by the Vikings allowed the game to be knotted at 39-39 with just over four minutes left. DeMoe used his football moves and muscled his way through a pair of defenders for a bucket and added a free throw on the play, but a turnover on an in bounds play gave the ball to the Pirates and they took advantage of it as Lisowski drained another long ball for a 42-42 tie. The Pirates took a one point lead on a free throw but that would be their last lead as Kiekhafer zipped a pass to DeMoe underneath to score on a bucket and a free throw, and Jarrod Rudi picked a nice time to score his only points of the game as he calmly nailed two freebies, giving Colfax a 48-43 lead with .44 seconds left. The Pirates were forced to foul and Colfax coach Andy Meade decided the best place to have the ball was in Zivcic’s hands. After missing the front end of a one and one twice, Zivcic returned to the stripe two more times and put the game away with four free throws.
“We knew they were a good team coming in,” Meade said. “They have seven very talented seniors but I thought our three returning players (Kiekhafer, Zivcic, DeMoe) did an excellent job tonight. Wait never left the floor the whole game and he and Kiekhafer did a great job of getting the ball in to DeMoe. And Rudi did a phenomenal job on defense and hit two big free throws in the stretch. It was a great win for us,” he added.
Kiekhafer led all scorers with 19 points with a trio of triples while DeMoe contributed 15 points and Zivcic added 13. The Vikings were 13 of 18 from the charity line while the Pirates were just six of 14. Colfax is now 2-0 and heads to Spring Valley for a conference game Nov. 30.
Cochrane-Fountain City (46) Lisowski 5-1-3-13, P. Lyga 2-3-9-8, A. Baker 3-0-0-6, M. Hunger 1-2-2-5, P. McCamley 2-0-0-4, J. Suhr 1-0-0-3, Eilladsen 1-0-0-3, J. Eikamp 1-0-0-2
Colfax (52) Kiekhafer 7-2-2-19, DeMoe 6-3-5-15, Zivcic 4-5-7-13, Rudi 0-2-2-2, Wait 1-0-0-2, Wahl 0-1-2-1
Three Pointers: Kiekhafer 3, Lisowske 2, Lyga 1, Suhr 1, Hunger 1, Eilladsen 1