Vikings suffer first conference loss to Raiders, then pound Panthers

With two players scoring 82% of the team’s points, the Colfax boys had a rough go when they traveled to Elmwood Dec. 11 for a conference match up against the Raiders. Elmwood, one of the teams picked to finish near the top of the conference, had three players score in double figures as they defeated the Vikings in overtime 79-74. They bounced back rather nicely however, to break their two game losing streak by slamming the St. Croix Central Panthers 48-23 three days later.

Elmwood

It certainly wasn’t free throw shooting by the Vikings that hurt them in the game as they knocked down 19 of 21 from the foul stripe, but Austin Huss and Cody Zivcic combined for 61 points and just three other players scored in the game for Colfax. Huss continues to light up the scoreboard as he poured in 37 points on nine deuces, three triples and 10 of 11 free tosses. Zivcic added 24 points on seven shots from close range, a three ball, and was a perfect seven for seven from the foul line.

The Vikings were behind after the first quarter 21-16 and 32-28 at the half, and kept it close as they were down 42-39 heading into the final quarter. They fell behind by as much as nine points with just over two minutes left but clawed their way back to within three and Ethin Kiekhafer connected with his only three pointer of the game to knot the score at 66-66 with 22 seconds left. In the overtime period, Huss came up with six of his teams eight points but  the Raiders scored 13 with six coming on free throws and they finished with the win.

“It was a very competitive game between two teams that played extremely hard,” Colfax coach Andy Meade said. “We had good performances from Zivcic and Huss. Huss was especially tough in the second half.”

COLFAX (74) Huss 12-10-11-37, Zivcic 8-7-7-24, Kiekhafer 2-2-2-7, S. DeMoe 2-0-0-4, J. Wait 1-0-0-2

ELMWOOD (79) S. Jones 5-11-16-22, Lo. Wolf 6-2-3-17, K. Webb 6-5-11-17, Le. Wolf 2-1-2-7, E. Fredrickson 1-5-8-7, T. Laflex 2-0-0-6, D. Rhy 1-0-0-3

THREE POINTERS: Huss 3, Lo. Wolf 3, Le. Wolf 2, Laflex 2, Zivcic 1, Kiekhafer 1, Rhy 1, Jones 1

St. Croix Central

It was just what the Doctor ordered as the Vikings faced the Panthers who were just 1-2 in conference play when they entered the Colfax gym. After the Panthers’ Jason Matteson hit a three ball to start the game, Zivcic returned the favor from the corner and Huss added a short jumper for a 5-3 lead and the Vikings rolled from there on out. Kiekhafer canned a triple, Jeremiah Wait assisted Sawyer DeMoe for a bucket, Zivcic scored on a drive through the lane, Huss swiped the ball and showed everybody Lane Olson isn’t the only Viking who can slam dunk, Zivcic stole an errant pass and zipped it up court to Huss again for a lay up and Jarrod Rudi dribbled down court, stopped and popped from the top of the key for a bucket and an 18-6 Colfax lead after the first quarter.

Kiekhafer drained a pair of three balls in the second stanza to help increase the Vikings’ lead to 34-11 at the break, but the Vikings’ defense was the key as they held the Panthers to single digit scoring all four quarters.

“We really went after them on the defensive end and forced turnovers and didn’t let them get many good shots off,” Meade said. “Our defense led to some good shots on the offensive end.”

The lead increased to 42-11 in the third quarter after Huss hit back to back shots from under the hoop, and DeMoe added a pair of short buckets, one on a nifty reverse layup, before the Panthers broke the string of points. Colfax scored only two points in the fourth on single free throws by Joe Wahl and Ben Kragness, but the game was put away by then.

In their lowest point total in a winning effort this year, Kiekhafer led the team with 13 points including four triples while Huss added 12 points. Colfax will host Glenwood City Thursday, Dec. 20 then will be off for the holidays.

COLFAX (48) Kiekhafer 4-1-2-13, Huss 6-0-0-12, Zivcic 4-0-0-9, DeMoe 4-0-0-8, Rudi 2-0-0-4, Wahl 0-1-1-1, Kragness 0-1-2-1

ST. CROIX CENTRAL (23) D. Jones 3-1-2-7, Matteson 1-2-2-5, B. Booth 2-0-0-4, T. Berg 2-0-0-4, T. Lathe 0-3-6-3

THREE POINTERS: Kiekhafer 4, Zivcic 1, Matteson 1