COLFAX — After mauling Mondovi back in early January by 29 points, the Colfax boys’ basketball team saw a completely different herd of Buffaloes enter the Vikings’ gym Feb. 12. It was apparent from the first quarter Mondovi had stepped up their game on both sides of the ball as they took a big lead before allowing Colfax to tie things up and force overtime. In the end, the Buffaloes prevailed, 49-45.
Colfax took a 2-0 lead as Lane Olson went straight to the hoop over a smaller Mondovi defense, but that would be the last lead for the Vikings until the overtime period. Mondovi came up with 18 first quarter points including three triples by three different players, the third one coming from TJ McLean on a shot he will surely tell his grandkids about some day. After a missed three pointer by the Vikings, McLean took the ball with three seconds left and heaved a baseball pass from way on his side of the half court mark and swished it, putting his team up 18-9. (It was the only shot he made all night). To make matters worse for Colfax, starting point guard Ethin Kiekhafer was on the bench after drawing his second foul just two minutes into the game and he remained their until the third quarter.
A patient offense and scrappy defense allowed Mondovi to build their lead to 22-9, but Cody Zivcic did his best to keep the Vikings in the game, canning six straight free throws. Olson added the only field goal of the quarter off an in-bounds pass and Jarrod Rudi dropped in a free toss but turnovers on the Vikings part combined with hot shooting by the Buffs resulted in Colfax being down 29-18 at the break.
“Mondovi came out and hit some shots and we got into some foul trouble,” Colfax coach Andy Meade said. “It became a tough situation for us.”
The Vikings fell behind by 14 points at 32-18 before they began their comeback. Three buckets from Zivcic, two from Sawyer Demoe and a deuce and free throw by Olson cut the deficit to 37-31 heading into what everyone thought was the final eight minutes.
Colfax continued to peck away at the Mondovi lead as DeMoe and Rudi both hit one of two free throws and Zivcic canned a pair to get the score to 38-35 with 3:06 on the clock. The Viking’s “D” forced a turnover and Zivcic knocked down the one and only three point shot of the game for his team to knot the score at 38-38. After Zivcic was called for a charge on their next possession, Brett Vetterkind put Mondovi back up with two free tosses, but again the Vikings tied it up, this time on an Olson shot coming from DeMoe’s in-bound pass from the sideline.
Turnovers continued to haunt the Vikings, and just when it seemed like they had all the momentum, two straight empty possessions allowed Mondovi to go back up on two more free throws by Vetterkind It looked like Colfax was doomed when they were called for traveling with 15 seconds left and Erich Wolf added another free throw, but Rudi was fouled on a three point attempt with six seconds left. The freshman hit the first freebie but missed the next two, and things looked even worse as Tim Serum hit his first free toss of the game for a 44-41 Buffalo lead with just four ticks on the clock. Kiekhafer was then fouled and after making the first shot, he purposely missed the second, letting it bang off the rim and things bounced in the Vikings favor as DeMoe snared the rebound and was fouled in the process. With two seconds left, the sophomore calmly dropped both attempts in to send the game into OT.
Olson hit a free throw for a 45-44 lead but even after the Mondovi shooters missed on a couple of three point shots, the Vikings just couldn’t control the ball and three turnovers and a charging call combined with five of eight shooting from the foul line by Mondovi put the game away.
“I give a lot of credit to Mondovi for playing very well,” Meade said. “I thought we did a great job coming back in the second half and we got the game in a winnable situation but we were unable to close the deal.”
Zivcic led the Vikings in scoring with 20 points including 9 for 10 at the charity stripe while DeMoe added 11 points and Olson 10. Colfax finished 18 for 28 at the free throw line and Mondovi was 16 for 26, Wolf, who did not play in the first game against the Vikings, led the Buffaloes with 10 points. Teammate AJ Risler, their three point specialist, hit one in the first quarter but played sparingly the rest of the game after injuring his ankle.
MONDOVI (49) Wolf 4-1-2-10, I. Scott 3-0-0-7, M. Stamm 3-0-0-7, Vetterkind 0-7-10-7, Q. Buchholz 1-4-6-6, M. Konitzer 1-2-2-4, AJ Risler 1-0-0-3, TJ McLean 1-0-0-3, Serum 0-2-6-2
COLFAX (45) Zivcic 5-9-10-20, DeMoe 4-3-4-11, Olson 4-2-5-10, Rudi 0-3-7-3, Kiekhafer 0-1-2-1
THREE POINTERS: Zivcic 1, Risler 1, Scott 1, Stamm 1, Wolf 1, McLean 1