Vikings spring past Cardinals

With all the distraction going on before, during and after the game last Friday night involving recognition of the Colfax 1978 state basketball champions (heck, Bob Bradovich even did the channel 18 sports from the balcony before the game), the current Colfax team needed to keep their focus when they hosted the scrappy Spring Valley Cardinals. Maybe wanting to impress those former players in attendance (and their coach who happens to be an assistant at the college level these days), the Vikings stormed out to an early lead and ended the contest with a 51-28 win over the Cardinals.

There must have been a sweet spot on the floor for the Vikings because not only did Cody Zivcic open the game with a three pointer from it, he returned to that spot for another, and yet another for a 9-0 lead. Ethin Kiekhafer decided it was a hot spot, and he found it himself -nailing his own triple for a 12-2 Vikings lead. Lane Olson saw limited time in the game and put down a short jumper for his only points of the night and after Sawyer DeMoe scored on a put back and Kiekhafer added a bucket with two seconds on the clock, Colfax held an 18-6 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Vikings’ defense was tough all game as they kept the Cardinal shooters off balance while crashing the boards and pretty much giving them only one shot. As a result, they held Spring Valley to single digit scoring in the second and third quarters.

Kiekhafer connected from long range, and new to the starting lineup, sophomore Ben Kragness hit a bucket to increase the Colfax lead in the second stanza. Jarrod Rudi ended the half with a shot from three point land just before the buzzer for a 26-10 halftime lead.

DeMoe went on a roll in the third quarter, scoring four straight times, all from the paint with two coming off an in-bounds pass from Kiekhafer, who followed up with his third trey of the night. It was then Joe Wahl’s turn for some clutch shooting as he grabbed an offensive rebound and put the ball in the hoop as the horn went off to end the third quarter with Colfax in command 40-18.

Kragness went on his own roll, after missing two shots, the third time was the charm as he hit a short jumper, then went to the free throw line twice and knocked down four freebies. Rudi added a deuce and Andrew Larson scored his first varsity points as he calmly canned a three pointer to end the game.

“I thought we defended well all night and didn’t give them many good looks at the basket,” coach Andy Meade said. “We definitely out rebounded them. Ben Kragness and Ethin Kiekhafer played very well and we had some good minutes from Joe Wahl. It was a pretty good all around effort.”

There was certainly a balance in the scoring department as Kiekhafer finished with 11 points, DeMoe added 10, Zivcic had nine and Kragness picked up eight. The team shot 5 for 10 from the free throw line and drained eight triples in the win. The win puts the Vikings at 10-3 for the season and 8-2 in conference play, two games behind Elk Mound.

COLFAX (51) Kiekhafer 4-0-2-11, DeMoe 5-0-0-10, Zivcic 3-0-0-9, Kragness 2-4-4-8, Rudi 2-0-0-5, Wahl 1-1-2-3, Larson 1-0-0-3, Olson 1-0-2-2

SPRING VALLEY (28) G. Verges 3-3-4-9, B. Becker 3-0-2-6, T. Rudesill 2-2-4-6, J. Helmer 2-0-0-4, S. Green 1-0-0-2, B. Bednarek 0-1-2-1

THREE POINTERS: Zivcic 3, Kiekhafer 3, Rudi 1, Larson 1