COLFAX — The Elk Mound girls traveled the short distance to Colfax last Friday night riding a seven game win streak while playing some pretty good ball in the process. But the Colfax girls have been playing some pretty decent ball themselves, and despite having their two top scorers held to just one basket each, they used a fast start to take a 41-28 win over the Mounders.
“If someone had told me at the beginning of the game Mallie Doucette and Hannah Hover would score just two points, I’m not sure I’d believe we had won the game,” Colfax coach Joe Doucette said. “We needed someone else to step up against a very good Elk Mound defense this game.”
That person would be Braanna Steen, who had a breakout game for the season as she scored more than half of the Vikings’ points with 22. After Colfax took a 15-2 lead at the start of the second quarter with help from four points each by Steen and Dannielle Dachel, the Mounders went on a six point run with two straight baskets from Kaysi Meindel and a bucket by Anna Sessions to cut the Colfax lead to seven. But Steen more than countered those points by herself, starting with a triple, then adding a deuce with a free throw and two more free throws before the Mounder’s Josie Hayes, who is the leading scorer in the conference with an 18 point average, stopped the run with her only basket of the night. Steen then capped the quarter off with another long ball and the Vikings took a 26-10 lead into the break.
“We let them get out early on us and we just can’t do that against a good team,” Elk Mound coach Jordan Kongshaug said. “We were playing good defense and making them work for shots but Steen got hot and we couldn’t stay with her.”
McKenna Mcvey started the third quarter off with a bucket in the paint and Jamie Solem nailed a three ball to get the Mounders closer at 26-15, but Steen, using a new spin move, came up with two straight baskets. Emma Hayes added a shot from close up for the Mounders but Ryleigh Prochnow swiped the ball and went coast to coast for the Vikings to get those points back. Sarah Winchester got Elk Mound to within 12 points with a trey but a final free toss from Steen allowed the Vikings to take a 33-20 lead into the final quarter.
“Braanna was the one to step up tonight,” coach Doucette said. “Our girls did a good job getting the ball to her and we played good defense on their two high scorers (Hayes and Meindel).”
Dachel, Doucette, Hover and Steen each picked up two points in the fourth quarter and the Mounders came up with eight points themselves, five by Winchester and three from Mattie Pitts. Although Winchester hit three straight free throws, the Mounders were just 5 of 16 from the foul stripe in the game. Pitts scored on a rainbow three pointer to finish off the Mounders scoring but the game was in the Vikings’ pocket by then.
“We are closing the gap each time we play Colfax, but they have so many different players who can step up it’s hard to stop them,” Kongshaug said. “We will just keep working hard and try to keep getting better.”
Steen was the only player in double scoring figures for either team as the Mounder’s second leading scorer, Meindel finished with five points.
COLFAX (41) Steen 7-6-7-22, Prochnow 3-0-0-6, Dachel 3-0-0-6, Doucette 1-0-0-2, Hover 1-0-0-2, T. Shipman 1-0-0-2, A. Rudi 0-1-2-1
ELK MOUND (28) Winchester 2-3-3-8, Meindel 2-1-7-5, Solem 1-0-0-3, Pitts 1-0-0-3, Mcvey 1-1-4-3, Sessions 1-0-0-2, E. Hayes 1-0-0-2, J. Hayes 1-0-2-2
THREE POINTERS: Steen 2, Solem 1, Winchester 1, Pitts 1