COLFAX — Playing the Colfax girls has not been an easy task in the past for the Hilltopper girls, but playing them after they lost their first game of the season made things even tougher. A slow start by Glenwood City allowed the Vikings to take an early lead and the Toppers never recovered as they lost the conference match up 57-23 in the Colfax gym January 3.
Turnovers against the Colfax full court press along with several missed shots when they did manage to get any off, allowed the Vikings to take a 16-0 lead before Kristie Knops took the goose egg off the scoreboard for the Toppers with a free throw with under a minute left in the first quarter. Making matters worse, Glenwood committed their seventh team foul just under the 2:00 mark, allowing the Vikings to shoot bonus free throws.
Jennifer Kopacz and Morgan Kadinger came up with second quarter buckets to get the score to 29-5 and Moriah Kuehndorf knocked down a free toss and Olivia Weidling scored on an in bounds pass, which was one of the few uncontested shots of the game for the Toppers. But the Vikings continued to apply pressure, forcing more turnovers, fouls and off balance shots by the Toppers, leaving Glenwood down 36-8 at the half.
“You have to be ready to play right from the start when you play Colfax,” Topper coach Justin Kuehndorf said. “They are very intimidating and come out fast. We got behind right away and couldn’t get back into the game against their press and hot shooters.”
The only Topper points of the third quarter came on a single free throw by both Janessa Ullom and Rachel Klatt, and they didn’t help their cause when they missed six more attempts from the line as they ended the quarter down 50-10. The offense woke up a bit in the final stanza as Kopacz canned her first of two triples in the quarter with a deuce by Knops and a free throw by Morgan Kadinger in between, bringing the score to 52-19. Kopacz scored from the paint and Knops finished off the long night with a couple of free throws for the final score.
“We finally found some rhythm on the offensive side in the fourth quarter,” coach Kuehndorf said. “We hit some open shots, then made some stops on the defensive end. Colfax just has so many talented players, it’s hard to defend them all. But we did a much better job on both ends in the second half.”
Kopacz led the Toppers in scoring with 10 points, and as a team they were just seven for 24 from the foul line. Colfax wasn’t much better however, as they were 16 of 34 on freebies.
Glenwood City is now 4-5 overall and 3-3 in conference play. They will be busy this week with three games on the slate, Monday against Prairie Farm, Tuesday at Boyceville and are at home against Elmwood Friday.